(Open Thread) There are very significant prosecution evidentiary problems ignored or misrepresented in the mainstream media. which will lead to an even larger explosion of violence if there is a not guilty verdict.
The comments to our coverage have been (mostly) informative, reflecting that readers are really on top of the issues. We don’t often do an ‘Open Thread’ just opening things up for reader comments, but we are now that we are (close) to done with the prosecution case, and likely to start hearing from defense witnesses next week.
I’m not making any predictions. I think the verdict could go either way at this stage, and if I had to put a wager on the table, it’s more likely that there will be a guilty finding on at least one of the counts. There is sufficient evidence, particularly after the prosecution medical expert witnesses, for a jury to find guilt, if the jury believes the prosecution witnesses and discounts whatever contrary experts the defense brings. The 9-minute video is still very powerful evidence. Conversely, there also is enough in dispute for a finding of reasonable doubt.
The jurors also know that the city and much of the nation will explode if there is a ‘not guilty’ verdict, and that they will be doxxed and their lives ruined.
What I can say with confidence is that as with the George Zimmerman trial, the public is being misinformed by the mainstream media that this is an open-and-shut case, and if Chauvin is found not guilty it’s because of systemic racism in society and the judicial system.
For example, the widely accepted narrative that Chauvin kept his ‘knee on the neck’ for 9 minutes has been thoroughly debunked by the prosecution’s own witnesses and the body cams. There was pressure by Chauvin’s knee, but it was not continuously on the neck, and was mostly on the back and shoulders, according to prosecution medical witness testimony. Recognizing this evidentiary problem, the prosecution case has shifted from the initial several trial days of claiming that pressure from the knee to the corotid artery cut off blood flow to the brain causing loss of oxygen and inability to breathe, a claim rejected by the prosecution’s own medical experts, to a broader claim that Floyd being restrained while handcuffed in the prone position with pressure from multiple officers impaired his ability to inhale.
There are very significant evidentiary problems ignored or misrepresented in the mainstream media as to (1) cause of death, (2) whether Chauvin caused the death, (3) whether the force used by Chauvin was unlawful, and for some counts, (4) Chauvin’s intent. People who only read the mainstream media coverage of the case are ignorant of these issues.
A good example of media malfeasance is an article I stumbled upon at WaPo with this headline, Chauvin’s attorney argues Floyd saying, ‘I can’t breathe,’ was a form of resisting arrest, which started with this opening paragraph:
Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin continued Wednesday with the former officer’s defense team arguing that George Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe,” while police attempted to load him into the squad car was a form of resisting arrest.
That makes the defense seem absurd and laughable, something that should not be taken seriously from an evidentiary view. Except that’s not what Chauvin’s attorney said in questioning the MPD use of force trainer. As the article text (if you read deep down) makes clear, the context was testimony elicited that officers need to consider a person’s other actions in judging whether a suspect saying ‘I can’t breathe’ is legitimate, and that if the suspect is otherwise “actively resisting arrest,” that statement may not be credible:
“If somebody is saying, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and they’re passing out and they’re not resisting, that’s one form of an analysis, right, because the actions of the suspect are consistent with the verbal utterances he’s making, right?” Nelson asked.
“Other times and in this particular case, when Mr. Floyd was initially saying that he couldn’t breathe, he was actively resisting arrest initially when he was in the back seat of the vehicle, right?” he continued.
The admission by the MPD officer was significant in the defense showing that the use of force was reasonable. But WaPo readers would not know that, certainly not the majority who read only the headline and opening paragraph. That is just a small example of how the media distorts the case and the trial to fit its narrative. This distorted narrative will lead to an even larger explosion of violence if there is a not guilty verdict.
To catch up on our daily coverage, here are the links:
- Chauvin Trial Day 1 Wrap-Up: Opening Arguments & Three State Witnesses
- Chauvin Trial Day 2 Wrap-Up: State Focused on Feelings, Judge Scolds Firefighter
- Chauvin Trial Day 3 Wrap-Up: Floyd Was “High” with Foam Around His Mouth
- Chauvin Trial BREAKING: “Mama” Was George Floyd’s Nickname For His Drug-Sharing Girlfriend
- Chauvin Trial Day 4 Wrap-Up: Another Poor Day for Prosecution, Advantage Defense
- Chauvin Trial Day 5 Wrap-Up: Poorly Informed Witnesses Provide State with Poorly Informed Opinions
- Chauvin Trial Week One Analysis: State Offers Abbreviated Versions of Video Evidence
- Chauvin Trial Day 6 Wrap-Up: Chief Says Neck Restraint Not Trained, But Does It Matter?
- Chauvin Trial Day 7 Wrap-Up: a horrible day for the prosecution
- Chauvin Trial Day 8 Wrap-Up: “I Ate Too Many Drugs” Video May Be Game-Changer
- Chauvin Trial Day 9 Wrap-Up: Medical Experts Resuscitate Prosecution Case
- LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 10 – Forensic Pathologist and Medical Examiner Day
Andrew Branca will have more of his excellent analysis in the days ahead, but for now, the floor is yours.
UPDATE 9 p.m.:
The more I think about it, the greater the alternative theories as to what stopped Floyd’s breathing (and caused his death) presented by prosecution witnesses (pressure on carotid artery versus positional asphyxiation) seem to be a problem for the prosecution that in and of itself could be argued to create reasonable doubt. It could be used effectively in closing.DONATE
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