LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 6 – Will State Offer Proof of Cause of Death?
After a full week of state’s witness, we’ve not yet seen any testimony on Floyd’s actual cause of death
Welcome to our LIVE coverage of day 6 of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd. I’ll be live blogging the court’s proceedings all day in real-time!
For those who may not know, I’m Attorney Andrew F. Branca, an internationally-recognized expert in use-of-force law, providing daily real-time legal analysis of the Chauvin trial’s proceedings as a guest commentator for Legal Insurrection, as well as over at my own blog, Law of Self Defense.
Anyone interested in a free podcast version of our daily legal commentary and analysis of the Chauvin trial, you can find that available at the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Podcast, available on most every podcast platform, including Pandora, iHeart, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, simple RSS feed, and more.
We’re now entering the second full week of the state prosecution presenting it’s case-in-chief–where it is to meet it’s burden to provide Chauvin guilty of the crimes charged, and to do so beyond a reasonable doubt.
The first week consisted largely of the emotional–often, weeping and sobbing–testimony of bystander witnesses, who necessarily saw only a small portion of the officers’ interaction with Floyd, had only limited understanding of what was going on, and lacked vitally important facts about what the officers were doing to try to save Floyd’s life including having made a code 3 “lights & sirens” emergency call for paramedics, who were en route to the scene.
This was followed by the testimony of several Minneapolis Police Department officers who had negative things to say about Chauvin and his purported conduct, but whom similarly had knowledge of only a fraction of the relevant facts surrounding the officers’ interaction with Floyd, as well as of evidence-supported alternative explanations for Floyd’s death other than Chauvin’s knee.
Indeed, so far we’ve seen no testimony from state’s witnesses as to precisely how it is supposed to be that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death, or even contributed to that death in a wrongful manner.
So, this week I’m hoping the state will finally begin to share with us their evidence on the two core issues in this case, however rarely stated those issues may be.
First, what killed Floyd?
Was Floyd killed by mechanical asphyxia, by the officers compressing his chest and neck to such a degree that they effectively and intentionally murdered Floyd on a public street, in front of a crowd filming them? This seems to be unlikely to be the state’s theory of the case, as not even the state has charged Chauvin with a crime based on intentional killing.
Alternatively, did the officers kill Floyd by mechanical asphyxia but unintentionally, in a manner showing such indifference to a known risk of death or serious bodily injury that their conduct, even if unintentional, constitutes criminal recklessness, which could be the basis for the charges against Chauvin? If so, what’s that mean for the accessory charges against the other officers–were they accessories to an act of criminal recklessness? Is that even possible, legally speaking.
Again, whatever the state’s theory, they must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, in the face of evidence-based alternative explanations for Floyd’s death, including his 3-fold fatal levels of fentanyl, presumably the result of his attempt to hide his illicit stash of fentanyl/methamphetamine pills via rapid ingestion when approached by police, his existing severe hypertensive and cardiovascular disease, his history of prior overdoses on similar drugs with similar physiological effects on his body, and his decision–despite his frail and overdosed condition–to fight lawful arrest against multiple officers for a full 10 minutes.
All of this in the context of the lack of any physiological evidence of mechanical asphyxiation, include a lack of any signs of trauma to Floyd’s neck.
Second, was Chauvin’s conduct, even if deadly, wrongful?
Even if we set aside the first question, and presume that it was Chauvin’s knee that was a causal factor in Floyd’s death, we also need to ask this second question, which is whether the use of that knee, in that manner, under those circumstances, was wrongful, or lawful. The Minneapolis Police Department use-of-force policies in effect at the time explicitly permitted a knee-on-neck restraint technique when dealing with non-compliant suspects–indeed, MPD training materials on restraint included illustrative photographs showing the precise technique used by Chauvin.
Further, officers are not only permitted but required to use force not only to protect themselves and the public, but to protect the in-custody suspect, even from himself. To the extent the officers believed Floyd was suffering from excited delirium–and we know they were, because they are heard discussing this concern on their body camera footage–the standard protocol is to completely restrain the suspect’s entire body to prevent the over-exertion believed to kill in cases of excited delirium.
Further, it is well recognized that overdose victims who regain consciousness often immediately respond with violence when they rouse, and thus steps to prevent this would be reasonable. This is all the more the case when the suspect is being restrained on the street in one of the busiest intersections of the city, with moving traffic mere feet away.
All of these are factors that could make Chauvin’s knee on neck restraint of Floyd entirely justified under the totality of the circumstances, and thus not the basis for criminal sanction even if it did contribute to Floyd’s death. After all, a patient who dies on a surgeon’s table dies at least in part because the surgery has opened them up–but we don’t put that surgeon in prison simply because his conduct contributed in some manner to the patient’s death, because the surgeon’s conduct itself was lawful.
Third, Was There A Criminal Delay in Providing Care?
A third potential theory of criminal liability on the part of the officers could be that there was a criminally reckless delay in providing apparent necessary care to Floyd. This was hinted at by some testimony last week–paramedic Smith, for example, expressed the opinion that the officers could have begun chest compressions before his ambulance arrived on scene.
I’ll note that delay of care was not the purported criminal misconduct laid out by Prosecutor Blackwell in his opening statement–rather, the claimed basis for criminal liability was mechanical asphyxiation, a completely different theory of the case. Is the state changing it’s theory mid-trial? If so, why? I mean, we may not know all the evidence the state will present in its case-in-chief, because that presentation is still occurring–but certainly the state knows what evidence it will be presenting. Should we not expect the state’s case in chief to be internally coherent?
Further, the question of delay in care is impossible to assess without taking into consideration all of the surrounding circumstances, including the officers’ awareness that they’d already made a code 3, emergency, lights & sirens, medical call, as well as the growing angry mob threatening imminent physical violence, to the point that Officer Thau was physically restraining the mob, that both Thau and Chauvin were reaching for their OC canisters, and now we’ve even heard testimony from the store clerk that he himself was obliged to physically restrain others in the mob.
Also a factor here is the danger that the 6′ 6″, 230 pound Floyd, if resuscitated, might be immediately physically violent. The soon-to-arrive EMS had the powerful sedative ketamine on board, a drug routinely used in such circumstances to protect not just the officers from the suspect, but also the suspect from the suspect. The officers had no such means at their disposal.
Even in the state’s opening statement by Prosecutor Blackwell, in which they are supposed to set out a broad view of their theory of Chauvin’s criminal liability, there was a great deal of emotive hand-waving, half-truths in the form of context-less citations of selected portions–but only selected portions–of the MPD policy manual, and a complete lack of any consideration of how the state intended to overcome Chauvin’s likely defenses–that is, that his conduct towards Floyd, first, wasn’t the cause of his death given the overdose and other facts, and second, even if a cause of death was nevertheless justified under the circumstances.
Again, the state will be obliged to make its case, and overcome the likely defenses, beyond a reasonable doubt.
So, here’s hoping that week we see the state either make progress in meeting this burden–or, alternatively, expose the central weaknesses in their case in chief.
Meanwhile, we’ll continue live blogging today’s proceedings in court, as we have been doing since the start of jury selection, and providing commentary and analysis of those proceedings in our separate “wrap-up” post after the court has adjourned for the day.
Here’s a live video feed of the day’s proceedings:
We are using a new live blogging software. If you encounter any problems, post in the regular comment section to this post.
Here’s today’s live blogging, updated in real time throughout the day:
Enjoy the show!
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Attorney Andrew F. Branca’s legal practice has specialized exclusively in use-of-force law for thirty years. Andrew provides use-of-force legal consultancy services to attorneys across the country, as well as near-daily use-of-force law insight, expertise, and education to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. He wrote the first edition of the “Law of Self Defense” in 1997, which you can now order in its current edition for just the price of shipping and handling by clicking here. To know YOUR state’s use-of-force laws in an actionable way that will keep you safer physically and legally, take our state-specific advanced use of force class either streamed online or via a shipped DVD with a 100% no-question- asked money-back guarantee, here: Law of Self Defense State Specific Use-Of-Force Class.
[Featured image is a screen capture from the body worn camera of former MPD Police Officer Thomas Lane.]
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Welcome to the show trial, day six!
Branca ‘s comment – “Again, the state will be obliged to make its case, and overcome the likely defenses, beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Technically Branca’s statement is correct – However, with the several of the juror’s selected in the case, the state only has to imply that chauvin was the cause.
The verdict must be unanimous to convict and only one needs to say NO to be not guilty.
That one will be under immense pressure to go along with najority.
Actually it needs to be unanimous to convict OR acquit.
Any other result means a mistrial – which is the best this officer can hope for given this jury,
That’s incorrect—in the event that there’s 1 hold-out juror for a “not guilty” verdict on any and/or all counts, it would be a hung jury and the judge would have to declare a mistrial on any and/or all counts where there was a non-unanimous verdict—which is not the legal equivalent of an acquittal, as jeopardy does not attach
I think the prosecution has already made a fatal error due to the weakness of their case
they began with trying to garner sympathy for Floyd, which will wane in a matter of days if not hours
if they had the goods, they would have demonized Chauvin and then let the rest of case bloom off of that
but they don’t, so they didn’t
Chauvin is just a cop, doing a horrible job most people wouldn’t do
Floyd was just a slow motion suicide, spanning over many years and Chauvin just happened to be there when it concluded.
It’s not a rare story and trying to blame someone other than Floyd is pretty common also
I agree, except I worry about the make-up of the woke-mob jury.
It’s already baked in the cake and why I find the opening moves by the prosecution puzzling
They know that they quite a few “guilty no matter what” votes and preening to those jurors was just wasted overlap. And the jurors that are open minded wont be swayed by the theatrics.
My guess is the State has always had the “Michael Slager” plan in mind. Hung jury, then get him to plea to something still significant but not one of the charges he faces now
The Slager case was essentially like the raytard brooks case in Atlanta, except that Slager was alone against a violent felon. That so many supposed self-defense and law-and-order advocates threw Slager under the bus is shameful.
“… That so many supposed self-defense and law-and-order advocates threw Slager under the bus is shameful. …”
brutal, what was done to Slager. His defense should have been that he was confused by the fight and made a mistake in judgement. How many people can keep their thoughts straight when in physical fight for their life?
I agree completely. I think he basically had a reaction to his taser being grabbed and it was a little bit slower reaction than looked good on camera to “safe in my comfy office chair” critics viewing it later. This is what they mean when they say use of force and policing isn’t always pretty. Whether it be Chauvin, Slager, or whoever. Not saying a cop can never make a mistake for which they should face punishment, but the bar is pretty high for me. If we ask these men to go face off against the worst, most dangerous elements of our society we need to be pretty understanding of what they may end up doing to preserve their own lives.
If you’re a violent criminal, you’re pretty expendable to me. I certainly don’t want to live in the sort of society that defaults to taking such peoples’ side and defaults to being anti-cop. If you want to avoid being in a murky situation where a cop may overreact and kill you, best defense against that remains what it always has been: don’t be a violent criminal on drugs who resists arrest and fights cops. It’s not a 100% guarantee, but it is close.
For that matter I also am pretty sympathetic to Wafer and Dunn. Especially Dunn.
Slager made no mistake in judgment in that shooting. He shot a dangerous fleeing felon, as allowed by law. It doesn’t matter how slow or fast his draw was; he performed his duty as a police officer.
The only mistake he made was in “planting” the Taser near Scott, which effectively never happened, since he picked it up seemingly as soon as he discovered it was no longer in his hand, after it lay there almost exactly 38 seconds, and never, to my knowledge, claimed that he found it next to Scott’s body.
If he was planting evidence, why didn’t he leave it there? After all, he claimed that Scott “grabbed my Taser” and used it on him during their fight, not “grabbed my Taser, ran away with it, and kept it until he dropped on the ground after I shot him”. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Based on the video, Scott almost certainly took the Taser from Slager, but dropped or threw it on the ground before running, and Slager probably didn’t know where it was until after the shooting.
I found this three minutes ago. I’m surprised it’s allowed on YouTube!
That link is for Frame 394, a documentary film that examines the Slager case, and how video may prove him not guilty.
There are three allowable outcomes for this trial–quite independent of facts and/or law: 1) Guilty on all charges (preferred); 2) Guilty on some charges (shaky, but could fly) and 3)Hung Jury (Very, very shaky). Not Guilty on all charges is not a permitted verdict.
1) gets some celebratory disorder, probably only minor. 2) gets a min to medium riot. 3) medium plus rioting, hopefully containable.
A Not guilty verdict would result in cities burning, massive looting. All “mostly peaceful”, of course. Judge, jury, anyone associated with the defense will need to be in witness protection–which they will not get. Hence, this outcome has been off the table since the get go.
Hence, “show trial” is a wholly apt description.
The best Chauvin can hope for is a hung jury–which will result in a retrial. And so on, until they get him convicted of something sufficiently dire.
If Defendant gets a hung jury, a second go by Prosecution is more difficult, because now a precedent of courage has been set. This can become contagious, or at least stiffen the spine some of those that follow.
If it’s one hold out, Prosecution may very well move to a re-trial. Two – maybe. Three, likely not.
Brave Sir Robin, the precedent of courage will be overcome when some court apparatchik releases the names and addresses of the jurors. So antifa/#BLM can and will make examples of them.
For those who care to comment: If #3 is the case and rioting, looting, and burning results, how prejudicial would that be to a second trial? Meaning with an understanding that a “not guilty” verdict will result in such mayhem, how could the state maintain the facade that Chauvin can get a fair trial?
(FYI, I understand that is also the situation now, but only as an undertone. Such a result hasn’t yet been realized, and most people would probably hope that such a result would not be the case. But if a hung jury results in widespread mayhem and violence in fact, that undertone will become an obvious, strident, and unmistakable note.)
Will they create Reasonable Doubt about what killed Floyd? After they tell the jury to ignore the coroner’s verdict?
Well the police chief and other officers testified against Chauvin, Chauvin being on Floyd’s neck well after it appeared Floyd was dead, Chauvin denying help from medical professionals, Chauvin continuing to apply more and more pressure when Floyd wasn’t resisting, Chauvin having to be removed from Floyd by the medical team even though Floyd was lifeless under him.
Chauvin will go to prison, end of story. The video, the witnesses, the testimony from the Chief and other police. He’s done.
Well, another minimum wage marxist liar and fraud shows up to spew propaganda and lies.
The massive piece of evidence that is going to be difficult for the defense to get past is the fact that both autopsies (not that the Baden one should even qualify as an autopsy) is that they both ruled the cause of death as homicide.
Unfortunately I don’t think the average jurist will have the understanding of how subjective (and political) such a declaration is when there are a multitude of factors that went into why Floyd died.
I’m not a lawyer but I believe an overdose death is a homicide and that not all homicides are illegal
Well, I’m not a lawyer either, but I am pretty sure that is incorrect.
Homicide said means the death was caused by the actions of another person.
The “homicide” finding was made even before the tox screens were known.
If a cop justifiably shoots a criminal, that is a homicide
but it is not criminal
and Floyd didn’t mean to OD, so it wasn’t suicide
Not meaning to OD would result in “accident” as the cause of death.
Homicide means the died to to another’s action.
According to the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), “[h]omicide occurs when death results from a volitional act committed by another person to cause fear, harm, or death.”
foggy… homocide is a generic term. There are justified and unjustified homocides. In Floyd’s case, none of the cops direct or indirect actions killed him. Holding him down was justifiable considering his altered mental state, size and strength. Sticking him in the back of a cruiser in cuffs doesn’t not solve the risk to Floyd or others. His ingestion of drugs, as he did in the past… overwhelmed him this time.
Alaskabob, we are speaking of the medical definition of homicide, not the criminal definition. A medical determination of homicide applies no fault or criminality, it simply means the death was caused by the actions of another person.
I don’t think that was the appropriate medical conclusion, and I believe the Medical Examiner only claimed homicide after political pressure, but it is still going to be a big hurdle for the defense.
floyd’s drug supplier, most likely morris lester hall and/or “mama”, will never be investigated for their crimes.
This shows a horrible misunderstanding that I hope none of the jurrors have. All murders are homocides, not all homocides are murder. If Chauvin was 100% justified in the killing of Floyd it would be a homocide, but not a murder.
Justified police homocides are not murder. Chauvin is accused of murdering floyd, not killing floyd. The two are very different.
I think you should read my comments again.
We are talking about the MEDICAL determination of homicide, not a criminal finding.
IIRC- the medical definition of homicide is any cause other than natural death, say by old age, disease, or illness. An unexplained death is medically homicide. Legally, it’s an unexplained death until there’s an explanation.
I am not sure it is universal across all states, but normally there are five choices for cause of death: natural, accident, suicide, homicide, and undetermined.
A self administered, but non-intentional overdose death would be classified as accident, not homicide.
But would Floyd have died if he had been allowed to sit up instead of being pinned down? The jury would pretty much say yes.
Meaning Chauvin has to claim he was worried Floyd would become agitated once again if released from being pinned. Put emphasis on Chauvin acting to help the delirious Mr. Floyd.
“But would Floyd have died if he had been allowed to sit up instead of being pinned down?”
Maybe, but would you conclude that to be true beyond a reasonable doubt?
I sure wouldn’t.
but still reckless to keep man pinned down like that. In his delirious state he could hyperventilate and pass out. The defense has to be that Chauvin did the best he could to help Floyd. He wanted to minimize his interaction with hostile crowd that was egging him on to resume struggling.
It seems that GF could hyperventilate and pass out no matter what but if allowing GF to sit up, would GF continue to fight and be a danger to everyone?
“… if allowing GF to sit up, would GF continue to fight and be a danger to everyone? …”
right, but I would not phrase it as threat to others. He was handcuffed. I would bang it into jurors heads that he was harming himself by resisting in his delirious state. Chauvin made decision, base on his training and observations of Floyd, to keep him still.
But lawyer not using this defense. Very worried for Chauvin.
Is “reckless” a felony or a misdemeanor?
“… Is “reckless” a felony or a misdemeanor? …”
on the part of a trained police officer, reckless is more than enough to convict him of murder. Chauvin has got to defend himself by saying he was trying to help the man. No other reason to keep a handcuffed man pinned down like that.
My point was that reckless behavior means nothing unless you can prove that reckless behavior was the cause of death. That is an awfully high hurdle considering Floyd’s drug use.
Secondarily is the argument that Chauvin’s actions were not reckless. Nelson has already suggested that a couple of the reasons to continue the restraint is to stop Floyd from harming himself and also because they expected EMT to be on scene any second.
Don’t forget, defense hasn’t presented its case yet.
We don’t know if Floyd would have survived he he’d been allowed to sit up. What we do know is that he was having difficulty breathing even while he was standing up, which suggests that sitting up wouldn’t have made much difference in terms of helping him breathe. Floyd’s breathing difficulties weren’t being caused by his body position so much as by the fact that his lungs were filling up with fluid due to the drug overdose (complicated by the fact that his severely-diseased heart was not fully functional).
We do know that Floyd would have died even if he had sat up.
its possible that Floyd would have survived if he had received immediate medical attention at the time he was originally placed in squad ca – possible he could have survived, but not likely. However, by the time he started to exit the squad car, the fluid to had built up to the point that he could not survive and the fluid was rapidly building up. By the time he was hobbled, he had less than 5 minutes to live and absolutely nothing could be done to save him.
Well, I don’t know if you can go so far as to say you KNOW he would have died, but I think it is certainly fair to say he might have died, or even probably would have died even if they sat him up.
That is plenty for a not-guilty verdict.
That would depend on the testimony of qualified medical experts, which will undoubtedly be brought in at some point. From what I’ve seen so far, he had enough Fentanyl and other substances coursing through his system that he would have died even if they laid him down on a feather mattress and patted his forehead. So that part will likely come down to whose MEs are more believable and how well do the lawyers perform in their questioning.
Is there any doctor who would testify that sitting up is a cure for a heart attack?
I’m sure Mr. Nelson will appreciate your expert assistance in putting on his case in chief. Off the wall hypotheticals add so much to trial coverage.
as it is, the jury is going to convict him. The defense has to explain why Chauvin maintained the pin hold on Floyd. Relying on reasonable doubt will not work. The only explanation that can sway the jurors is one that shows Chauvin as trying to help Floyd.
The defense doesn’t have to explain anything, the state has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
That’s it. The rest of your opinion is just utter BS.
Obviously, because people sleep sitting up. Or something.
I thought at one point Floyd asks them to let him lay down.
That’s incorrect. The burden is on the state to prove that Chauvin is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges they’ve brought against him—Chauvin has no legal obligation whatsoever to prove or disprove anything
“… The burden is on the state to prove that Chauvin is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt …”
This is a jury trial. The jury can do what it wants.
WAPO stream keeps talking about an unexpected delay this morning. I thought it was scheduled for 9am today, then jury at 9:30ish this morning. Did I miss something? or are they just wrong like usual.
Nelson scoring some serious points on the training admissibility
No matter what the game it is, when you put players in a no-win position, they will cease to play
that is the place in which cops find themselves and they are already quitting the game
five years from now, inner cities will be forced to hire 3 time losers
that will be a lovely neighborhood
And none of the 3 time losers will be charged and convicted.
“not to a degree sufficient to sustain life”
What the heck is that supposed to mean??!
ER doctor couldn’t even manage to get a nights sleep before testimony today…sheesh.
The ER doctor has not done anything to support the prosecution team’s “reasonable beyond doubt”. In fact, may be helping the defense.
He just doesn’t want to be there. He probably feels foolish now that he’s undoubtedly read the tox reports.
Floyd was unconscious when all medical personnel dealt with him. Of course they didn’t see him acting agitated, restless or any of the other things they’re listing as signs of overdose. The people Washington Post has commentating on this are incredibly ignorant. Dare I say stupid. The emergency room doctor cannot make determination of death. His comment should have been stricken.
The Compost…go with stupid.
Did the doctors ever administer naloxone?
Nelson asked about naloxone! Bravo!
ER doc statement – Patient in cardiac arrest for 30 minutes, no report that patient was very sweaty, often the case with excited delirium, no report that Floyd had ever been extremely agitated, in my experience seeing many mental health crisis or drug use leading to severe agitated states, almost always reported by paramedics, so absence of information telling, didn’t have any reason to believe that was the case here.”
Seems to be pretty strong in favor of State.
However prior comment on Hypoxia ( lack of oxygen)
The Hypoxia would be caused by either strangulation or fluid in lungs.
Since no / zero signs of strangulation, only likely cause of Hypoxia is fluid in lungs –
If the ER doc answers the question correctly, he becomes a defense witness
replying to myself – the early stages of the cross of ER Doc seems to be very good for defense.
The paramedics here wouldn’t have reported Floyd as agitated, since the paramedics didn’t show up until after Floyd was already unconscious. Floyd clearly was agitated, as can be seen on the videotapes of his earlier interactions with cops, and the fact that he smashed his face into the partition in the back of the cop car so hard that he injured himself.
“no report that Floyd had ever been extremely agitated”
I don’t think a report matters much here when he’s clearly shown to be agitated on the video
the ER doctor didn’t see the video prior to treating Floyd, he would have no idea if he was agitated or not. . I found the question about the handcuffs interesting, it could just as easily be argued that any injury / discoloriaztion caame from him thrashing around when resisting arrest
Replying again to my self
One of my clients is an ER Doc. I asked him the question “if death due to drugs if be signs of being very sweaty”
His comment is that it would be virtually impossible to tell if drug use based on the extent of sweatyness or the absence of sweatiness.
Any idea why Nelson asked about rectal drugs?
Probably due to Floyd’s remarks on having previously been “hooping” earlier in the day, which apparently is a slang term for the rectal administration of drugs.
Ahh I hadn’t heard that
Mr. Barca commented on reasons why the defense atty may not have wanted to show Zimmerman the manual in his summary of Mr. Zimmerman’s
I think Mr. Floyd can be heard on
one of the officer’s body cam videos saying he had been hooping earlier
Multitude of blood vessels in the rectum, leads to a faster transition of drugs into the blood stream.
The WaPo commentators are just adorable.
I can’t help but wonder whether the jury is getting just as impatient with the prosecution’s beating around the bush as I am.
Show that the knee restraint caused Floyd’s death.
Show that the knee restraint was unlawful.
You’re a week into your case-in-chief, time to fish or cut bait.
for a rational juror, maybe yes. So the handful (what is there, maybe 3-4?) who are going to evaluate the case on the facts are probably looking for something solid here.
The emotional ones are getting all the blah-blah-blah they need to keep their opinion of guilt intact.
All of which overlooks the fact that unless this judge takes the decision away form the jury by ruling that the state has failed in its burden of proof as a matter of law, a guilty verdict is inevitable – regardless of the facts.
Given the fact that this judge denied all motions for a change of venue from the poisoned Minneapolis atmosphere, I do not see him having the guts to do that.
“Would you spell that for the ladies and gentlemen of the jury?:”
Jurors are, as far as I know, not supposed to do independent research before reaching a verdict, so why is the precise spelling of asystole important?
(Unless it’s not for the jury, but rather for the media types, but they’ve got 12 lawyers there presumably because they think the trial is important).
“This seems to be unlikely to be the state’s theory of the case, as not even the state has charged Chauvin with a crime based on intentional killing.”
Hang on. Isn’t this a MURDER trial? If he has not been charged with something, then how is there a trial at all?
“Alternatively, did the officers kill Floyd by mechanical asphyxia but unintentionally, in a manner showing such indifference to a known risk of death or serious bodily injury that their conduct, even if unintentional, constitutes criminal recklessness, which could be the basis for the charges against Chauvin”
Hold the phone. Has he been charged with “criminal recklessness”?
Are they waiting until the end of the trial to decide on the charges? That’s not how this works is it?
Geronl: Addressed here:
Chauvin Pre-Trial Day 1: 3d Degree Murder Throws Wrench Into Jury Selection Process
Murder doesn’t require intentional killing.
Just to clarify for the readers, some murder charges do, but Chauvin’s charges do not.
Something that’s been interesting to me is how police testimony is being used in this case. Thinking back to voir dire, I definitely felt that some prospective jurors wanted Nelson to think that they would be willing to trust police officers more than a bystander, because that would indicate that would be more willing to trust Chauvin’s judgment. But most of police witnesses are being called by the state, and I get the sense that many of them are just trying to “save face,” clearly being evasive about what they are actually trained to do in these situations because they don’t want to the Minneapolis police to attract any more negative feedback. The question is whether the jurors will recognize this.
Just noticed that Schleiter looks quite a bit like Harrison Ford.
That might play well with the jury unless one of them works for the FAA.
Or the Empire.
Once George Floyd chugged his stash, he ingested enough meth and fentanyl to kill several people. He was a dead man walking, and no action or inaction of the police at the scene could have stopped that. The fentanyl flooded his lungs with fluids and the meth kept him hyped up to fight the arrest and stress his already overstressed heart.
Yep. The felon criminal drug addict took a lethal drug overdose.
Good riddance is the appropriate response for a man whose crimes include home invasion, holding a woman at gunpoint in front to her children.
I’m a bit confused on something. A few times I’ve read that the manual in effect at the time of Floyd’s death did, in fact, permit Chauvin to use his knee to attempt to control Floyd. Yet, on the first day of the trial (?), I think it was Zimmerman who testified that Chauvin’s use of his knee was not permitted. If that is so, how is it that Zimmerman was allowed to make such a claim without being hammered on cross? Additionally, would that not constitute perjury by Zimmerman?
Mr. Barca commented on reasons why the defense atty may not have wanted to show Zimmerman the manual in his summary of Mr. Zimmerman’s
I feel like all of the prosecutors are pursuing extremely different theories of the case in a sort of attempt to “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks”. I don’t think that will work out for them with the jury.
The witness testified that the officers were unable to find a pulse – implying that they should have realized that Floyd was dead/dying. I thought that the police never checked for a pulse – hence didn’t realize the urgency of the situation. Did I just miss this? If not, is it wise to point it out?.
they checked for a pulse. they will definitely point it out
Nelson is doing a great job with the cross examination of this chief…and weakening the prosecution cases each and every day.
If you ever need an example of opinion journalism, the Post’s coverage here couldn’t be better. Every time the commentator describes the trial, it’s “the killing of George Floyd,” which presumes that the cause of death was that Chauvin choked Floyd out, rather than “the death of George Floyd,” which would leave open the possibility that a drug overdose was the actual cause of death.
journalists have ZERO capacity to think outside the preordained allowable narrative within their own bubble. some of the least impressive people on earth.
Well done bringing up the fiery but mostly peaceful protests in Minneapolis last year through a back door, Chief Arrodondo. That’s not going to intimidate jurors at all.
Floyd’s skin in the photo for this article looks weirdly mottled. Is that from drugs?
I thought he looked ashen, a classic sign of opioid use, but that could be confirmation bias. He definitely looked unhealthy.
So the body camera of one officer showed that Chauvin’s knee was on GF’s shoulder blade. Not on his neck.
But a bystander’s video showed something else.
And the Chief admitted it appeared Defendant’s knee was on the deceased shoulder, not his neck. I found that admission fairly devastating to the Prosecution.
Great coverage, but I have a bone to pick with you. The third person singular possessive pronoun is “its”, not “it’s”.
In reading the transcripts, something has occurred to me about the gaggle of carpet bagging pro-bono attorneys. They know they will lose and they don’t care.
They aren’t here for the win, they are here for the resume builder.
They are liberals, they are not accountable. Excuses for failure are just fine. They don’t care about the loss, because it was one of the 14 other attorneys that didn’t do their job.
They don’t have to win, therefore they truly are not bringing their A-game to a case that should not have come to trial at all. Atticus Finch on the other hand… he has to win, Chauvin’s life depends on it and it shows. He’s fighting like a damn black belt.
I think Mr. Floyd can be heard on
one of the officer’s body cam videos saying he had been hooping earlier
I disagree that the pro bono attorneys are not bringing their “A” game. I have read that Nelson is not the lone ranger he is made out to be, he has a team in the background, including the attorneys of the two other officers…but I am wondering if this is ethical for them to help him, if there might not be a conflict of interest?
“… but I am wondering if this is ethical for them to help him, if there might not be a conflict of interest?”
There are potential problems but also ways (like joint defense agreements) to mitigate them. And there are fewer potential conflicts because they aren’t being tried together.
There’s a lot of unforced errors.
Granted, good prosecutors would not get bamboozled into this lynching, so empty vessel career climbers are what is left. This is the JV team for actual talent and its showing.
It is becoming apparent they are not working like a team, because the types that would volunteer to preside over a lynching to advance their careers are NOT team players, they are ME players. So while they have the tactical advantage of numbers, it is like they are trying multiple cases at once and none of them are coherent or strong.
Today we got the muppet witness to say what SJW want to hear, and then 2 minutes later, Nelson whooped that guy over his head like is was a choreographed judo throw.
They don’t have a strong case to start with, but they are starting to appear like a clown car.
IIRC, from a conversation with a former fellow employee who was ex-CIA, the rapid (2/sec) eye blinking from the chief of police is a sure sign of equivocating, avoiding, dodging. If I were a jury member, this would negate anything he said. Does anyone, including Mr. Branca know more about this tendency than I do?
Your CIA friend doesn’t know what he’s talking about. No body language or verbal cues are signs for everyone. You have to have enough interaction with someone to determine what they cues are.
Well. His CIA friend may know what he’s talking about, and he’s just misinterpreting it. There are a lot of potential signs of lying, but they must be taken as a part of their impression of the subject, not as an individual LUL HE’S LYING siren.
He is correct in this case that the chief’s entire demeanor said he was lying, and the blinking was just part of that.
I haven’t had a chance to overview anything – how did Nelson’s cross go? I’m hoping he pulled out the manual and made the idiot point to where it said what Chauvin did was against his training.
Most CIA friends do not tell you they are in the CIA. That’s how you know they are in the CIA.
Especially if you ask them and they say, “No.” It’s a sure tell.
Fantastic public service—this is the go-to site for commentary on the trial!
I read on the newsfeed on my homepage (which I hate but Microsoft won’t let me change it and I’ve tried) that the chief of the MPD said Chauvin “absolutely” violated department policy.
How did Nelson do on cross examination?
Use vivaldi or brave and set them as you default. In fact I heard duckduckgo has a browser too.
Nelson destroyed the Chief.
Not really… he let the chief get away with a lot of “Oh, we’re talking purely hypothetically” and “Are you talking generally, or in the case of May 25, 2020” and so on. Nothing on cross caused me to think that Arradondo had learned anything new or was considering anything new, and just the “You haven’t arrested someone in 10 years” thing is insufficient.
The video comparison destroyed the chief. But he did see the milestone video but probably not closely enough.
Say I’m a juror. The second thing I heard in this case was MMA-aficionado Donald Williams talking about seeing Chauvin shift his body weight multiple times while holding down Mr. Floyd. That’s always at the back of my mind, the “shimmy”. Schleiter brings out that the videos were taken at the end of the incident on redirect and that any amount of damage could have happened earlier than that ten-second clip.
It might be dishonest, mind, and it’s possible that we’d see the same difference and perspective if looking at the video in multiple different points, but that’s not what we got. That redirect saved a lot of the damage that Nelson’s cross and video comparison caused.
Beyond that, we’re talking about Darnella Frazier’s video, not the Chief’s. The Chief’s testimony was primarily about police procedure and how the actions of the police officers in question did not comply with the policy (specifically when considering the side recovery position). Also, the most poignant thing for me was “OK, so they didn’t use the hobble, but they used their arms and body weight to put the guy into the same restraint (Maximum Restraint Technique) that the hobble would have anyway”, and Nelson’s floundering about “But isn’t it a reduction in force if they intend to use the tool but instead do the same thing with their hands” looks bad.
Nelson also seemed rather flustered, loudly flipping through notes, starting a question then reconsidering… I don’t think it was a good witness for him.
That being said… the doctor, on balance, was at worst a neutral witness for Nelson, since he seemed primarily annoyed that the paramedics didn’t inform him of medically-relevant information, and points out that it took half an hour to get from Cup Foods to the hospital. Shifts cause of death away from Chauvin.
Did the token police chief really start talking about transgender policy on the stand? This is bizarro world.
The state witnesses stated their own opinions and the state still has not yet proved any of their charges.
So far, the state has barely proven there is a shadow of a doubt of his innocence. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think that’s how this works.
Nelson did not seem to challenge Blackwell (the director of training) to any degree.
Did Nelson effectively challenge the training with the prior witness? It would seem Nelson successfully challenged the prior witness with the training but, Blackwell undid the good cross for the prior witness.
Alternatively, Is Nelson biding his time with the Knee on back/neck from the training manual.
He can’t just pull out the training manual and challenge the witness with it. Not on cross in any case. He can’t argue, he can’t testify, he can’t introduce his own exhibits.
When the defense presents its case, he’ll have the chance to enter the manual into evidence.
I think if a witness says that the knee restraint is not taught then he could ask if they are sure there is no document showing otherwise. They have opened the door to such questions, and that helps prep the jury for when he has a witness of his own and is able to introduce the document.
So, there are ways of letting the jury know the witness is talking out his rear end, and who knows, maybe the witness will admit such a document exists. He did get the witness today to admit that they switched from striking to body weight restraints at some point in dealing with certain suspects. All of those admissions help prep the minds of those on the jury for what the defense will present later.
Did nelson get Blackwell to agree that the Defense had to obtain the training records via “search warrant” – Was that a typo by Branca or was the statement correct? Seems odd that a search warrant was required for the training records?
He definitely was asking about a warrant with respect to the training manuals.
So why are all these people lying on the stand about the knee-on-back technique? It was obviously part of their training and in their manual.
I believe your statement is true, but do you have support for it somewhere? I’m just looking to independently verify because I have heard that, but it’s obviously not yet been presented in court. If Nelson can produce manuals showing the exact technique DC used, this should be a slam-dunk for the defense (and certainly would make the lying you mention very strange and damning.)
Nelson showed a video late this afternoon showing that Chauvin’s knee was on the shoulder blade. Not on the neck. I saw some documents from MPD authorizing this type of tactic. They were online last year.
Here is an article containing a photograph from the police training manual, showing how Minneapolis cops are trained to subdue a suspect who is showing signs of excited delirium. Notice where the cop’s knee is on the suspect.
It could be in the manual, but not taught. The content is thousands of pages. There was interesting discussion of this in the pre-game show and I will be curious how it plays out.
Knee on neck?
1-Not addressed in live class?
2- Addressed as no-no in live class, but Chauvin didn’t take that class.
Not addressed, but picture shown in material (Chauvin did or did not take class with a picture showing the material)
3- Once upon a time it was ok- but then later it was removed, but never taught as no-no in a class Chauvin attended.
4- Still exists in a manual as Branca says…even though it’s never addressed either way in training.
The big question is whether Cahill will allow it if (4) is the case. I would expect more latitude if 4 were the case, since it’s pretty disingenuous for the state to convict a man for doing what is shown in a picture in their training content even it is not a slide used by any of the trainers. This whole foundation and rules of evidence stuff is complex stuff for us lay people.
Police reform remains slow but these restraints are obviously used worldwide.
PHoto – https://gab.com/kittylists/posts/106014490527064078
If the MPD is like the cop-shop I worked at, manuals are available as PDFs on the department Intranet, so every cop in the department has access to them. As changes are made to policies, procedures and tactical doctrine, bulletins are issued (via email) alerting all members of the force of the changes so that they will be aware of the discrepancies between the current manuals and the new policies, procedures, and tactics. Those changes are incorporated into the next revision of the manual.
During the Freddie Gray trials of the six Baltimore police officers, the Baltimore PD IT department wasn’t even willing to testify under oath that their email server actually sent out the emails, much less that the officers received the emails, or opened them, or checked a box, or anything. No means of formal confirmation of receipt or acknowledgement. So no way to show in court that officers were substantively informed of any change in policy. Was relevant in that case because department had passed a mandatory “seatbelt suspects in van” order a couple of weeks before Freddie Gray apparently killed himself with a shallow dive inside the van at speed, and prosecution couldn’t demonstrate that officers were actually notified of new policy.
The Freddie Gray case sowed the seeds to Saint George of Floyd in that the police were trying to buckle him into the back of the squad. Otherwise they could have just closed the back door after getting him in. MPD does not have paddy wagons that I am aware of.
In the manual, but not taught!?
The manual is part of the teaching, possibly the main part. We don’t yet live in a post-literate society, present company excepted.
Crazy to think that former Officer Lane will have to go through a trial in August. While he restrained Floyd’s legs, he caused no harm and even requested Chauvin to stop with the knee. Twice.
Then he performed CPR while Floyd was loaded on the ambulance.
Politicians will stop at nothing to please their constituencies and feather their own nests, even if it means sacrificing innocents. No shame or remorse, black-hearted evil cruelty. They will burn.
But yes, it’s crazy.
Lane is white, and a cop. That’s two strikes.
Lane is even taller than Floyd, about 6′ 8″. He was on the job about 3 days, and must be offered to the PC Gods. https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2021/03/31/derek-chauvin-human-sacrifice-n2587224
FWIW, just saw this report:
“Deaths from cocaine, meth mixed with opioids on the rise”
“”Much of the increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine in recent years is due to the co-occurrence of opioids,” said study author Dr. Holly Hedegaard.
A similar trend has started taking hold because of the combined abuse of both methamphetamines and opioids. Starting in 2017, deaths attributed to that pairing started to outpace deaths linked to meth alone.”
Token black police chief doesn’t know the difference between “condoned” and “condemned”.
He also doesn’t know the difference between “implore” and “employ”.
Yeah, but if what I read i correct, he sued the department for discrimination and has gotten promoted regularly since then. That appears to be his particular grift.
He defended double triple fencing around government buildings and sports stadiums b/c of the proud boys rioting in Minneapolis last summer, and the Jan 6 insurrection.
When I was on a med-mal jury, the plaintiff’s counsel kept changing their theory of liability almost every day of the four-week trial, I think as they saw we weren’t buying their old theories. Certainly the theory we heard in the opening statement was never heard from again, and no evidence was ever presented for it.
As I pointed out in the jury room, the theory they finally ended up with had one major flaw: the doctor who made that decision was not one of the defendants, and didn’t even testify. For all we knew he wasn’t even deposed. (Years later I met this doctor and he was amused to learn that he had been the scapegoat at a trial he was not involved in.)
Missed you buddy! Rumor is you were on holiday with Mark 311.
Rumor further has it you both ended in a Tijuana jail after a tequila infested drunk fest and brawl with a bunch of sailors from San Diego. Any truth to that?
Did Mark 311 actually propose to you? Did you accept? Did you get a windmill tattoo?
I’m not an attorney by any means – so just my opinion.
I’ve been extremely impressed by defense attorney Eric Nelson. I’ve read that he has a team of attorneys backing him up, but I’ve yet to see this in the courtroom. It truly seems like a case of David vs Goliath. And Nelson is really doing well with his cross of each witness. If he can keep it up and then actually present some evidence, bring in some experts, etc, then I see one of three outcomes: 1.. Hung jury 2. Not guilty 3. manslaughter.
I’ll be interested to see what the medical experts have to say in this case. As someone with some medical training (but admittedly not foresenic), I’ve read the autopsy reports and watched the videos as presented by the state. George Floyd was having a medical or psychiatric crisis (probably from the drugs) during his encounter with the officers. There’s doubt in my mind whether the “recovery position” would have made a difference in whether he would be alive or not today.
Photo – https://gab.com/kittylists/posts/106014490527064078
I read Nelson is very good and a SuperLawyer in that that state.
They said “You can’t see him coming, he is working three steps ahead of you. He doesn’t rattle, perfect for this high stress case.”
Plus he has 6 lawyers helping him who represent the other officers. Because if Chauvin goes down they all go down.
Have you found any sources that suggest who these other attorneys are or if they will actually be part of the Chauvin trial?
Ultimately, I think it will work to Chauvin’s advantage to have a single attorney doing all the cross, presenting evidence, etc because Nelson will be able to present a coherent and comprehensive final argument.
The other lawyers are a part of a panel of lawyers that the Police Union has on retainer to represent the officers. Nelson also is on that panel and being paid by the police union.
Nelson is in front and these other guys are in the background helping, working as a team.
makes me feel much better that this guy has support.
Also when Nelson got the Chief to say the bodycam footage didn’t not show his knee on the neck, but the other mob video is the same time, so it looked to be on his neck. He is setting up to show earlier mob pics or vids and then the same bodycam not showing on the neck but on the shoulder.
No conviction in this case, most likely the few blacks will vote guilty and nobody else will.
Yeah, that was the climax, when he got the token police chief to admit that the knee was on his shoulder from the body cam video. Nelson is doing really well for himself.
The other lawyers are a part of a panel of lawyers that the Police Union has on retainer to represent the officers. Nelson also is on that panel and being paid by the police union.
Nelson is in front and these other guys are in the background helping, working as a team.
makes me feel much better that this guy has support.
Provide actual evidence DC knee caused the death of GF.
Chauvin will go to prison and good riddance. Down vote me, i’ll bath in your downvotes because I know just will have been served.
From the video evidence, witness testimony, and testimony from other cops and the Chief its clear Chauvin should be put in prison. He had Floyds life in his hands without a doubt and took that life with ease. He’s a maniac who should be taken off the streets.
And OBVIOUSLY not all cops are bad. But if you have seen all the video and heard all the evidence and still believe the cop is completely innocent thats on you.
Even IF Floyd had died from drugs, Chauvin was on top of him LONG AFTER HE DIED. He did not administer any aid or even allow others to administer it. He was the judge, jury and executioner for Floyd and thats not his job. I still think its laughable people try and justify what Chauvin did. Floyd wasn’t resisting for 9 minutes, he was crying for help most of the time and begging for his life, put him the back of the squad car and book him, its not that hard.
if stupidity was a crime, you’d be doing life
Multiple life sentences.
“stupidity” is an understatement.
Ah yes, the fabled ‘he did not administer aid’. Pretty interesting how jackasses like you have suddenly switched from ‘he choked him out with his knee’ to ‘well he could have saved his life if he administered aid’.
Please tell me, internet sage, exactly what ‘aid’ that a cop could administer that would have saved the druggie’s life from a massive fatal overdose. Because he was a dead man. The cops did exactly what they needed to do – call the medics. There is ABSOLUTELY NO medical aid that could have been administered that would have saved his life from the amount of drugs in his system. None.
And pro tip. If you are ‘crying for help and begging for his life’, then he’s breathing. And the ENTIRE REASON that he was on the ground to begin with was he was screaming in the back of the police car he couldn’t breathe and then fought the officers when they took him out.
The minute he took the drugs he was dead, and there was absolutely nothing anybody could do to stop it.
Any time idiots like you come around here is a reminder of how little you actually know about the evidence presented. We’re literally 6 days into the trial and the prosecution has yet to actually provide the jury the cause of death AT ALL, never mind proving that Chauvin did it.
Any actual prosecutor trying a murder case opens with evidence about the cause of death and tie that cause of death to the defendant. Instead they spent a week having teenagers and fat firefighters cry on the stand about their feelings. Almost like they KNOW they have no case.
And this case is most likely going to end in a mistrial or an acquittal. The evidence simply isn’t there for a guilty verdict, although I think a mistrial is most likely. Even if morons like yourself succumb to emotion and return a guilty verdict, there are a ridiculous amount of appeals that will most likely vacate the conviction and have a retrial.
The evidence simply isn’t there.
This part in particular:
“Any actual prosecutor trying a murder case opens with evidence about
the cause of death and tie that cause of death to the defendant.
Instead they spent a week having teenagers and fat firefighters cry on
the stand about their feelings. Almost like they KNOW they have no
The Minneapolis media are telling people that everything is going great with the prosecution. Same is heard in coffee shops, parks, walking trails. Minneapolis has even hired social media influencers who are coming in from out of town. https://kstp.com/news/for-many-in-black-communities-chauvin-trial-brings-anxiety-and-hope/6064704/
Chauvin Trial Day 6 Wrap-Up: Chief Says Neck Restraint Not Trained, But Does It Matter?
They already put him in the back of the squad and he escaped.
Come on Man,…