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LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 7 – Where is Cause of Death Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?

LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 7 – Where is Cause of Death Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?

Arguing Floyd Died of Asphyxiation Just Means Fentanyl Killed Him

Welcome to our ongoing coverage of the Minnesota murder trial of Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd.  I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense, providing guest commentary and analysis of this trial for Legal Insurrection.

Anyone interested in a free podcast version of our daily legal commentary and analysis of the Chauvin trial can access the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Podcast, available on most every podcast platform, including PandoraiHeartSpotifyApple PodcastGoogle Podcastsimple RSS feed, and more.

Today marks a week and a half since the state has begun presenting their case in chief, and they have yet to nail down a key issue in this case—what, exactly, caused Floyd’s death?

We know they don’t believe that Chauvin intentionally killed Floyd, because Chauvin is not charged with an intentional killing—all the various charges against him, including the odd use of the term “murder” preferred by Minnesota, are unintentional killing crimes, at worst (e.g., felony murder, reckless homicide).

They sometimes suggest in passing Floyd was killed asphyxia, lack of oxygen to his tissues, perhaps induced by Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, or pressure placed on Floyd’s body, or by positional asphyxia or purported failure to place Floyd in the so-called “recovery position.”

The problem with this approach is two-fold. First, it’s impossible to determine with any degree of certainty, much less beyond a reasonable doubt, that any of the physical actions of the officers, including Chauvin’s knee in the absence of any sign of leg trauma, actually caused any degree of asphyxia.  One can speculate that cause and effect, but speculation does not get one to proof beyond a reasonable doubt—at least not in the context of an evidence-based alternative explanation for asphyxia.

And that’s the second problem with this approach.  That alternative explanation is, of course, Floyd’s three-fold fatal levels of fentanyl.  Fentanyl overdose kills by inducing asphyxia, because of the drug’s effect on suppressing respiratory function, as well as inducing foaming in the lungs. And the only person responsible for Floyd’s ingestion of overdose levels of fentanyl is Floyd.

To say, then, that Floyd died of asphyxia—as the state did yesterday through the testimony of emergency room physician Langenfeld—does nothing at all to direct fault to Chauvin or the other officers involved, and away from Floyd, because it is at least as likely—arguably far more likely—that this asphyxiation was the result of Floyd’s own conduct, not the conduct of the officers involved.  That doesn’t get us to proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or anything close to it.

Indeed, unlike Floyd, the officers could have no clear idea of exactly what Floyd had shoved into his mouth an ingested, what drugs he might have taken and still have in his system shortly before contact by police, how frequently and recently Floyd had been using or been “clean,” what Floyd’s tolerance to any given dose of drug might be, what co-morbidities—such as severe hypertension, cardiac disease, and cardiac artery occlusion—Floyd might be suffering from, and other factors that played as decisive a role, or a greater role, in Floyd’s demise than anything any of the officers did in the course of making Floyd’s lawful arrest.

At some point the prosecution is going to have to present evidence of the precise mechanism by which they believe Chauvin killed Floyd,  that this purported mechanism of death was not otherwise lawful conduct by Chauvin, and that this purported mechanism of death is proven beyond a reasonable doubt despite the presence of perfectly obvious and evidence-supported alternative explanations for Floyd’s death that place no fault on the officers.

Will that day be today?  Will that day ever come? Join us and find out!

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:

Stay safe!


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 video of today’s court proceedings in MN v. Chauvin.]




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The Packetman | April 6, 2021 at 9:38 am

Can Judge Cahill grant immunity from prosecution to Maurice Hall to obtain his testimony?

Mr. Frank is concerned that not having Hall testify affects a fair trial for Mr. Chauvin. In fact, Mr. Frank doesn’t want him to testify because it wouldn’t be fair for Mr. Frank.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the state handles the Minneapolis PD training manuals, which instruct Minneapolis cops that they’re supposed to put drug users showing signs of excited delirium (confusion, disorientation, combativeness, foaming at the mouth, etc., — IOW, what Floyd was showing) on the ground, and restrain them with a knee over the neck.

The prosecution has put on several PD higher-ups to say that what Chauvin did was wrong and outrageous and no, of course none of our cops have ever been trained to use that technique. But we know that’s a lie, and when the defense introduces the training manuals, the jury will know it’s a lie too.

    Flatworm in reply to Observer. | April 6, 2021 at 10:56 am

    If what you say about the training manuals is true, I have to wonder what the prosecution’s thought process is on this. If it’s true, then a bunch or their core witnesses are instantly outed to the jury as a bunch of lying liars, and a core element of their case gets blown right out of the water. I can’t believe they’d be ignorant of the fact. Do they have some procedural technicality up their sleeve to prevent the jury from seeing that manual? Is it a “who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes” kind of thing, pure bravado and gaslighting? Are they counting on hardcore BLM activists in the jury to browbeat everyone else into a conviction, evidence notwithstanding? Or do they just not care what the verdict is, as long as the media portray them as the tragic heroes who struggled in vain against a racist system?

    That’s all IF the claim is true, as I have not seen the manual for myself.

      Andy in reply to Flatworm. | April 6, 2021 at 11:36 am

      I think Branca had said he had seen the exact material referenced. It was curious that Nelson didn’t pull it out yesterday, but his job isn’t to argue with witnesses.

        Flatworm in reply to Andy. | April 6, 2021 at 12:38 pm

        I am aware that Mr. Branca has commented on the contents of the training manuals before, and ordinarily I would have no reason to doubt his word. But the prosecution’s strategy on this point is just so mind-boggling and incomprehensible if the claim is true, that I feel I must remain open to the possibility it is not.

      Observer in reply to Flatworm. | April 6, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      If you scroll down in this article, you will be able to see the photo from the MPD training manual, showing the proper way to restrain a suspect showing symptoms of excited delirium (as Floyd was). You will see a photo of a cop with his knee on the neck of a suspect lying on his stomach, with his head turned to the side, just like Floyd.

      Arredondo and those other pandering political hacks are shameless liars, and they’ve thrown their fellow cops to the wolves. If there is any justice, they will be the ones who end up getting devoured, once the jury (and the public) realizes how badly they’ve been deceived.

      As for what is going on in the minds of the prosecutors, who knows? As Branca has pointed out, they haven’t even presented a coherent theory of the mechanism of Floyd’s death, let alone how Chauvin caused the death. They seem to be hoping that the jury will decide to convict based on emotion — hence the first week of crying bystanders, followed by the second week of outrageously outraged, holier-than-thou, virtue-signaling, upper-level administrative cops.

        Flatworm in reply to Observer. | April 6, 2021 at 1:27 pm

        I thank you for finding the links, that was very helpful. Upon review of the manual excerpts filed with the court, it looks to me like there’s some leeway there. There’s an image that purports to show a similar maneuver, but the closest description in the text is describing an arm control technique that reads “Closest knee pins subject’s
        shoulder down (stay on ball of foot).” If you examine the photograph under “Ok they are in handcuffs now what”, you’ll see the person with their knee on the neck/shoulders does indeed remain on the ball of his foot. Still photographs I have found of Chauvin pinning Floyd’s neck do not show him on the ball of his foot. That same page also notes “Place the subject in the recovery position to allieviate positional asphyxia”.

        So it looks like there are definite discrepancies between the trained technique and what Chauvin did. It’s still going to look pretty disingenuous for the Chief and other police to pretend they never saw that technique and don’t know what it is.

      FOAF in reply to Flatworm. | April 6, 2021 at 2:19 pm

      When this all started it occurred to me that Ellison *wanted* an acquittal for the purpose of stoking riots and racial turmoil because that’s how he rolls. After I saw the nightmare team, I mean dream team, he assembled for the prosecution I figured that was not the case. But maybe I was right the first time.

        Flatworm in reply to FOAF. | April 6, 2021 at 2:37 pm

        You may well be right. Something similar happened to me years back while following the George Zimmerman trial. First, it seemed like I must be watching a different trial from the mainstream media pundits, no doubt taking place in an entirely different state with totally different laws. Second, the prosecution made some really bone-headed moves, like admitting Zimmerman’s video statement into evidence (thus getting his side of the story before the jury without cross-examination), then having the police witness presenting the video pronounce it “credible”.

        The pundits were shocked by the verdict. I was not. But I could never shake the suspicion the prosecution had thrown the whole thing on purpose.

          NYBruin in reply to Flatworm. | April 6, 2021 at 5:21 pm

          They didn’t have a great case to begin with – plus all of the pre-trail publicity (“If I had a son. . .”), including the now iconic photo of a younger Trayvon Martin, forced them to go to trail IMHO

      amatuerwrangler in reply to Flatworm. | April 6, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Invest 24 minutes…. this video is done by a prosecutor who does police use-of-force cases. Its a straight-forward run through the scenario using body cams and other videos. In the second portion where this guy comments on it, there are shots of the training manual and of actual demonstrations by MPD.

      As to defense attorney– he may be waiting to get all the prosecution witnesses on the record regarding the training, and then discrediting all of them with the actual training material. That would seriously reduce options for the prosecution to rehabilitate those witnesses. You have to have patience to pull off a successful ambush.

        The prosecution may think they can exclude the training material from evidence. Unless the fix is in there is no reason to believe that would happen, since their own witnesses made that training a matter of record by claiming Chauvin wasn’t following the training.

Maya Echols, BLM activist, claims “cities will burn if Chauvin not convicted”

a little extra bonus for finding Chauvin not guilty

Seems like a serious disservice to Chauvin if the judge allows Hill to not testify. Even if it means invoking the 5th on a question by question basis.

    catscradle in reply to Smooth23. | April 6, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Hall’s attorney will advise Hall to not answer any question, even Hall is asked “what day is today?”. Does not matter if the judge approved the question or not. The judge cannot hold Hall in contempt without giving him immunity but cannot give immunity from federal prosecution.

    The prosecution and defense should have resolved this issue before the trial started..

      The Packetman in reply to catscradle. | April 6, 2021 at 10:38 am

      I believe Mr Hall didn’t signal his intent to invoke the 5th until after the trial had started (after it became evident that Floyds drug use … and how he obtained them … looked to be a factor).

        TheOldZombie in reply to The Packetman. | April 6, 2021 at 10:59 am

        Yep. Because someone probably told him that he would be stupid to get on the stand because of his actions that day. He’d could be charged and if Chauvin was for some reason found not guilty the state in revenge might than blame him and go after him.

          The first smart thing Hall has done in his life. If Chauvin gets a hung jury or not guilty out of this trial, the prosecutors will be *furious* and looking to take it out on somebody, like the pusher who sold Floyd his OD meds. Testifying would let them say “Hall did it, he said he did it, lock him up and throw away the key.”

      Dave in reply to catscradle. | April 7, 2021 at 9:06 am

      I’m pretty sure Hall cannot be put on the stand and made to invoke the 5th if his attorney notifies the prosecution of his intent to do so.

TheOldZombie | April 6, 2021 at 10:49 am

Hall’s a major witness to the events that day. He also has Floyd’s girlfriend who testified about him. He at least needs to be put up on the stand so he can refuse to testify.

Does Hall pleading the 5th impact Chauvin’s 6th amendment right to have testimony in his favor?

The 5th vs. 6th issue must come up regularly. How is this resolved?

Midfiaudiophile | April 6, 2021 at 11:10 am

I’m trying to figure out why Frank thinks that Mr. Floyd having a crisis or not signifies.

Officers are (as far as I’m aware) trained to use force to the extent necessary to prevent the subject of an apprehension from doing harm to themselves, officers, or bystanders. If anything, someone having some manner of break that makes them impossible to reason with increases the necessity of restraint and force.

The prosecutor literally stood up there and said, “Our dog in the fight is a fair trial for Mr. Chauvin.”

Mind = Boggled.

Observation – With testimony from Mercil – the state has presented 8 or so witnesses that state that Ok to play paddycake with non compliant suspect

    lurker9876 in reply to Joe-dallas. | April 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    I saw an article indicating that MDP is slow to police reform. So what is their current policy in handling suspects of extreme excited delirium and similar incidents? More paddycakes?

      Johnny Weissmuller in reply to lurker9876. | April 6, 2021 at 6:58 pm

      Usually 2 hour wait for police. Also, they do not respond to non-violnt crimes anymore. Junkies not getting the help they need.

Riots are already being threatened if an innocent verdict is returned. I wouldn’t be surprised if witness intimidation isn’t going on as well. No way to get a fair trial in this jurisdiction.

    geronl in reply to Ghost Rider. | April 6, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    The jury intimidation is as real as it gets too. Yes, I have no doubt the witnesses are scared to death.

      JustShootMeNow in reply to geronl. | April 6, 2021 at 8:03 pm

      Many of the jurors said they weren’t fearful during questioning. They were either lying or stupid.

Shifty Bitwise | April 6, 2021 at 12:07 pm

Neck restraints ( and joint locks) not part of Brazilian Ju Jitsu ? Someone should let the Gracie Brothers know….STAT!

Midfiaudiophile | April 6, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Mercil (several times): To apply a vascular neck restraint, you need to slow the blood flow on both sides of the neck. Nelson’s going to have fun with that one.

More subtly, Arradondo called it a conscious neck restraint several times yesterday, arguing with Nelson over it when Nelson said he called it an unconscious neck restraint.

Now, Schleiter is calling it an unconscious neck restraint with Mercil.

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to Midfiaudiophile. | April 6, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Schleiter is probably regretting calling Mercil, but he might be the only Use of Force expert willing to testify on behalf of the state. Cross is turning Mercil into the Defense’s witness.

TO ANDREW. Your article says “We know they don’t believe that Chauvin intentionally killed Floyd, because Chauvin is not charged with an intentional killing—all the various charges against him, including the odd use of the term “murder” preferred by Minnesota, are unintentional killing crimes.”

but that’s wrong.

He’s charged with second degree murder:
“Second-degree murder is an intentional killing, but is less serious than first-degree murder because some malicious factors aren’t present”

Could you either stop saying that wrong thing, or clarify why you believe it’s true?

Mr. Mercil comes across as very credible, and Mr. Nelson is asking some really relevant questions. Wow.

In reading through the transcript up to midday break, I again land on the assessment that the verdict is a foregone conclusion in the minds of the prosecution. Their MO is Chauvin is guilty and it’s Nelson’s job to prove him innocent, not the other way around.

As Branca pointed out, they haven’t even determined what caused the death, let alone whether Chauvin’s actions contributed to it, let alone contributed to it in a way that was reckless and callous.

This is all pre-riot theatre for the prosecution. They are doing it because it makes the mob feel good. No serious minds on their side believe it is a guilty verdict. Not sure how many serious minds there are behind the scenes on state’s side, but if there are any, they are playing a horrible, vindictive game based on an ugly world view.

As an aside, look up the “triangle choke” and “bow and arrow choke” for BJJ on youtube. These are what leg chokes look like. Had one of Floyds arms been free and above his head THEN there is a remote possibility for a knee on the neck to have choked him IF the opposite arm was in a position for the shoulder to poke into the neck. It is hard for a non-practitioner to understand how this stuff works and the prosecution is counting on that. It’s a tall order for the jury to even understand the difference between an airway choke and a blood choke when it comes to the position. If you put a 100 experienced guys on the mat going against your grandpa in Floyds position, I’m betting not one of them could choke grandpa out with only their knee. Better than me have stated this.

    bigskydoc in reply to Andy. | April 6, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Anatomy and mechanics of chokes could easily be communicated to a lay jury in a 5-minute presentation. By the time he was 10, my son would teach this topic to the younger BJJ kids. I would assume the state wants to assiduously avoid any explanation of this, and that the defense will be aggressively using their own use of force expert to explain.

      Andy in reply to bigskydoc. | April 6, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      So you’ve been in the BJJ world, you might have heard something unintentionally mentioned by Merci. “He fell in love with the sport.”

      The rest of his testimony is consistent with that personality. It’s closer to chess than MMA.

        bigskydoc in reply to Andy. | April 6, 2021 at 2:26 pm

        My 15-year-old son and I both are BJJ practitioners, and my ears perked up when Mercil said that.

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to Andy. | April 6, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    “Their MO is Chauvin is guilty and it’s Nelson’s job to prove him innocent, not the other way around. ”

    That’s how I’m reading this new witness, Officer MacKenzie, as well. Paramedic witnesses “His pupils were dilated, so we didn’t think he was on opioid”. This witness seems to be here to say “The guy with the CPR card should have given Narcan assuming he was on opioid when even the paramedics weren’t sure”.

    They’re trying to create reasonable doubt for the defense?

WaPo has no talking heads today. I wonder why.

“The state’s going to need a pregnancy test after this cross of Mercil.”

This should be the lead headline for every news outlet today.

    bigskydoc in reply to Andy. | April 6, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Absolutely. I’m going to be giggling about that all day. This is why I love reading Branca. His wit is impeccable.

So Schleiter in his re-direct is calling it a “neck and back” constraints?

Nelson re-crossed on the same photo/video used by Schleiter and Mercil had to revise his answer.

Schleiter knows his team is losing. If they had clear evidence that Chauvin killed GF with that manslaughter, they would have produced it by now. They have nothing more to add.

It’s time for them to wrap up and handing it over to Nelson.

That seemed like a masterful cross by Nelson of Mercil based on my own observation and Atty Branca’s reaction.

    SField in reply to foospro86. | April 6, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    I thought the same thing.

    And, based on my own knowledge, I found Mr. Mercil to be the polar opposite of Mr. Williams. Williams so-called “expertise” was laughable, while Mr. Mercil came across as what I’ve known to be a person focused solely on teaching the appropriate disciplines, and who comes forth with the expertise and demeanor you would expect from a man in his position.

    And Mr. Nelson asked him some really relevant questions…

      thad_the_man in reply to SField. | April 6, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      You can tell that as Nelson was asking him questions he was growing more nervous. Little things like his fidgetting more.

      He really didn’t want to give the answers but he couldn’t lie.

Several times during Mr. Mercil’s testimony, I had to double check that he is State’s witness. The direct was not particularly helpful to the State’s case. The cross was devastating.

6 1/2 days of State testimony
1) method – mechanism of how he died has not been introduced
2) autopsy has not be introduced
3) Best the state has produced is that Chauvin used excess force. Though cross has resulted in a dispute as to whether it is excess force of sufficient force.

Mike Wilson | April 6, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Chauvin is walking. Up until now I thought there was a reasonable chance of manslaughter conviction and a very small outside shot of 3rd degree murder (based on wokeness of the jury.)
Defense hasn’t even presented and the prosecution’s case is shot to hamburger. Game over. Time to board up.

    REDACTED in reply to Mike Wilson. | April 6, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    I wish you were right but there are too many “of course I can be impartial” jurors on the panel

    the best Chauvin can hope for is a hanger

    and then the Feds will enter and in conjunction with the prosecution, try and get Chauvin to plea to something significant but less than what he is now charged with

    the inner city justice system is completely broken

    Perhaps that is exactly what the “government” wants here, that is those directing the prosecution.

Question, because Chauvin isn’t being charged with assault directly, doesn’t the prosecution have to lay foundation that Chauvin contributed materially to the cause of death before they can introduce evidence that his actions were against policy and illegal to meet the second degree murder requirements? If they don’t put forward evidence showing Chauvin was materially involved in the cause of death everything about the hold he was using seems to me to be prejudicial.

I admit, the prosecution’s approach has me very confused, they started off with their weakest testimony with the very obviously biased and unreliable witnesses that contributed nothing to the trial except inflaming emotions and now they are presenting evidence that over half the time under cross seems to suggest Chauvin was actually following the policies in the moment or that any fault might lie in other people.

I guess the prosecution will have to argue next that Nelson should have stopped his cross of Mercil halfway through, turned their case on its side, and started CPR on it.

    BillyHW in reply to Flatworm. | April 6, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    This is going so badly for the prosecution that I think the rioting is going to start early, before this trial even ends.

      broomhandle in reply to BillyHW. | April 6, 2021 at 10:01 pm

      You have to realize that the Prosecution knows that Chauvin is not guilty. They are doing what they are directed to do. Someone very high up has made the now familiar mistake of deciding that having a big public trial will make people feel like proper attention was given to this event. And it never works. There will be riots no matter what happens.

        Barry in reply to broomhandle. | April 6, 2021 at 11:33 pm

        “has made the now familiar mistake”

        It isn’t a mistake. They are the instigators of the riots. It’s their team, “Team Riot”.

I only had a chance to read Branca’s posts during my lunch break, but anyone else watching this and seeing Mercil’s testimony on redirect is as awful for the prosecution as Branca’s summary makes it seem?

Am I reading Branca’s ‘!!!’ indicators as testimony torpedoing the Prosecution’s case?

Nelson continues to do a very good job at poking holes in prosecutions case, the seeds of reasonable doubt and acting in a way within the training he has received have take root.

Then you had Crump and Sharpton out in front of the courthouse, must be trying to change the newscycle. That was not a good morning for the prosecution.
Crump appeared to be in desperation mode a little over a week into the trial.


Mercils testimony was incredibly damaging for the state. He basically agreed that there was no knee to the neck and that the force used was acceptable and that he’s done the same.

He blew the states theory to pieces.

He was a witness for the state but ended up being a star witness for the defence!

TheOldZombie | April 6, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Lawyer for Hall is testifying why her client won’t testify. Basically testifying leaves him open to being charged for 3rd degree murder.

Schleiter: Officers have Narcan available to them?

McKenzie: Yes.

isnt that contrary to prior testimony?

So having failed to prove how he died, or how DC is responsible they are now going to the route that DC should have administered medical attention?

    luckystars in reply to Decee. | April 6, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Yeah he should have saved his life, never should have cuffed him. He should have known he was a Saint in disguise.

      There was no saving Floyd’s life. He was de facto dead the second he ingested that triple-fatal dose of fentanyl and meth to avoid getting busted for having it.

    lurker9876 in reply to Decee. | April 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Maybe the mob killed GF?

      Edwardson in reply to lurker9876. | April 6, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      In my opinion they did. The look on the cop’s faces was not lack of concern for who they were arresting. It was the blank look of someone getting ready for a gun, knife, rock, or baseball bat to ce from the crowd.

      That took attention away from their detained person’s medical condition and focused on a defensive stance until help arrived.

      The snatch and go, also a direct result of the hostile crowd cost precious seconds and destroyed the flow of information to EMS.

      Once again it’s only my two cents, but the worst actors in the crowd should be the ones getting charges.

        Midfiaudiophile in reply to Edwardson. | April 6, 2021 at 5:09 pm

        Don’t forget Fire showing up to the wrong location, storming about the place trying to figure out what was going on, and finally figuring out that the ambulance was parked several blocks away. Consider that Zimmerman said that it took him “less than ten minutes” to make his way to HCMC from Cup Foods, and that Mr. Floyd departed from Cup Foods at 8:32 or so and arrived at HCMC at 8:53 or so (ER Doc cross-examination). There’s 10 minutes or more lost (in terms of reaching a doctor at the hospital) in that time when the ambulance was stalled, as a result of the mob making the area outside of cup foods untenable.

        Observer in reply to Edwardson. | April 6, 2021 at 5:42 pm

        Yep, every idiot in that crowd that was yelling threats at the cops bears more responsibility for George Floyd’s death than Chauvin does. They distracted the cops, they forced the EMT’s to have to move Floyd before beginning treatment, and they were ill-informed, ignorant dumb-asses who had no clue what they were witnessing (a fentanyl/meth overdose in a middle-aged man with severe coronary artery disease), but still insisted on throwing their two cents into the mix. Every one of them should be ashamed of themselves.

The descriptions of the proper use of force by the police creating all the guidelines sounds like micromanagement of police officers with a view to restricting them from doing their primary job, protection.

Isn’t that kind of dilution of the initiative of the officers the same kind or technical morass that Obama crated to hamstring military folks in the Near East?

How can 40 hours/year of training and review possibly prepare officers to understand all the intricacies, absorb the caveats, and put those into practice in an intense confrontation similar to that which arose on May of last year?. 20 hours a week might suffice, and even then, who know the violations an officer might commit, walking an old lady across the street, or retrieving a cat from atop a robust evergreen?

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to thetaqjr. | April 6, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Another way to say the same thing would be that the guidelines for use of force are couched in very neat language to appeal to the sensibilities of the public and for CYA in case of lawsuit, but that there is always a conditional “If it’s safe/reasonable/conditions allow” to allow officers to actually perform their duties.

This is a public service announcement. Why you shouldn’t do drugs, the end result is repulsive. He was gonna die the minute he swallowed the baggie or maybe even before that.
Legal Insurrection been going on since the OJay trial where they tried to blame Mark Fuhrman.

this is starting to remind me of a very old SNL routine

ya know, when they were funny and not a joke

    Andy in reply to REDACTED. | April 6, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    I’m cuing up Animal House. My advice to the prosecution is to start drinking heavily or ingest the drugs that Floyd was on in order to make this stop.

      lurker9876 in reply to Andy. | April 6, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Funny how the state did not want Nelson to talk about the excited delirium but McKenzie will be called back when Nelson presents his case, which it will be a very strong case.

      The state knows it.

      And if the federal tries to charge Chauvin, they still have no case so why would Chauvin agree to a plea????

Nelson has dropped multiple MOABs on the states case

Shifty Bitwise | April 6, 2021 at 3:45 pm

Wow. Defense calling the STATES WITNESS back as a defense witness.

What a baller move.

Now the State is in a real pickle. How do they impeach their own witness ? Awkward.

Man, if I ever get railroaded by my state, I want Nelson in my corner.

    BillyHW in reply to Shifty Bitwise. | April 6, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    When did this happen? Who did they call back? Has the prosecution rested already?

    this is how you keep the defense case on budget, you call a government employee to give expert testimony instead of hiring out somene from the private sector.

    While Nelson is doing a good job, prosecution is a clown car. Did these people graduate from law school or are they just playing lawyers as characters on TV. These were their witnessses!!!! It’s like the prosecution found a bunch of random people to come in off the street cold with no prep and start prosecuting.

Ah…no wonder LAPD is in deep trouble.

    lurker9876 in reply to lurker9876. | April 6, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Then Stiger is gonna say how bad Chauvin is and violated both the MPD and LAPD policies and the model.

    Then another MOAB by Nelson.

Being retired from law enforcement (DEA), I was troubled by the video showing Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck. That said, his cries of I can’t breathe were not credible because if he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t be saying all those things.

But then the defense introduces the coroner’s report, it will be very hard for the jury not to have reasonable doubt that Chauvin’s actions caused Floyd’s death.
Of course, this is no normal trial. We know what will happen if Chauvin is acquitted. God help us all as a nation to come together.

I’m sure the prosecution appreciated Stiger stating he was on vacation! lol. It showed.

Not worth 10K + 3K.

When performing a review, does he typically interview the officers involved. (Seems like a good idea.) There is no indication in his testimony thus far (unless I missed it) that he did so. Is this atypical?

A hotel worker in Mexican tourist hotspot Tulum died after cops pinned her to the ground with a knee on her neck in a case being compared to the harrowing death of George Floyd.

Victoria Salazar, a 36-year-old mother of two teenage daughters, died March 27 when four officers arrested her for disorderly conduct, with an autopsy showing her neck had been broken.

I’m surprised this story gets any attention as it differs so much from the Floyd case .. especially “an autopsy showing her neck had been broken”

I’m confused

there is an LAPD ??

When the Prosecution rests it’s case, could the Defense make a motion for dismissal from the judge if the prosecution fails to show any evidence for their claim and succeed on some or all of the charges? I know it would be a very long shot, considering the attention put on this case.

    Flatworm in reply to Xmas. | April 6, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    I think in many jurisdictions, they almost invariably do, even if it’s just for show. It’s almost never granted.

I hope other major cities prepare for the firestorm that is going to come after Chauvin is acquitted. The case does not appear to be going well for the state, and I don’ t see that it will get any better when it comes to cause of death testimony and the fatal dose of fentanyl.

It’s gonna get ugly.

Only thing I could find about Jody Stiger that predates this trial. Kinda what one would expect.

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to Grey_Man. | April 6, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks for linking that. It seems somewhat reasonable, particularly this part:

    TakePart: What would you like to see moving forward as the country continues to grapple with these issues of race, policing, and lethal force?

    Stiger: We need to stop using law enforcement to be the fix for everything. I don’t care how many classes I get to take about mental illness—I’m not a mental health practitioner. I may be able to identify somebody who is mentally ill, but if they’re violent toward a citizen or an officer, we have to do what we do to protect the community and ourselves.

    Not sure if that’d be admissible on cross, though you could argue that prosecution opened the door by talking about Stiger’s history as a consultant.

    REDACTED in reply to Grey_Man. | April 6, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    On pornhub, there is a Rod Stiger under the BBC search

Dumb and Dumber clip? What kind of bizarro world am I living in? This prosecution is a total joke.

    Valerie in reply to BillyHW. | April 6, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Oh, it is not a joke. It’s the punishment. The prosecution may not get a conviction, but they can ruin the police officer’s careers and lives.

    They cannot dazzle the jury with their brilliance because their case has serious flaws. Therefore, they will try to baffle the jury,

just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse

it does

Attorney Branca is being respectful to some readers when he writes : “unlike Floyd, the officers could have no clear idea of exactly what Floyd had shoved into his mouth.”

In fact, if not a respectful man, he would have included the officers had no idea of exactly what Floyd had shoved into (as they identified it in my Admiralty law course those many years ago) his Windward Passage.

As language changes to define deviancy down, in certain of our communities it’s now known as “hooping” (no relation to coughs).

This trial being held in Minneapolis is a travesty – Officer Chauvin might as well be thrown into a pond to see if he floats or dies – Due Process is dead in most urban areas, not to mention fundamental fairness.

Steve Richter | April 6, 2021 at 8:54 pm

defense is losing the case. Chauvin has to explain his actions in terms of trying to help Floyd. Otherwise, the extended time where was pinned down is almost classic death by indifference.

    bernie49 in reply to Steve Richter. | April 6, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Are you saying that is going to be the prosecutors theory of the case?

      Steve Richter in reply to bernie49. | April 6, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      that is how the jury will see it. Even saying the drugs are what killed him, the jury will still decide that Chauvin should have released the hold so he could evaluate his physical condition. Defense has to have sympathy for Chauvin. See him as doing what he thought was right. Then when Floyd became unresponsive he did not think there was anything he could do.

    johncena420 in reply to Steve Richter. | April 6, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    ur gonna have to wait until the defense starts bringing in their own experts

      Steve Richter in reply to johncena420. | April 6, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      I just worry that defense is not challenging prosecution witnesses enough. Ask police chief why no sergeant was on the scene, why 3 rookies were working with Chauvin.

    Mike Wilson in reply to Steve Richter. | April 6, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    what is the penalty in the state of MN for death by indifference?

      Steve Richter in reply to Mike Wilson. | April 6, 2021 at 9:27 pm

      it is what the jury decides. They will think Floyd died because Chauvin kept hold too long. Vote guilty.

        Mike Wilson in reply to Steve Richter. | April 6, 2021 at 9:52 pm

        that’s why Nelson is hammering the totality of the circumstances. even nearly brain-dead jurors (or several of them, at least) can see that there was EMS on the way, Floyd was dangerous very recently and could easily become so again, and DC was just following his training. No conviction is coming. Acquittal at best, hung jury at worst.

        Richter is nothing more than a paid operative, a democrat party provocateur. Pay not attention to them.

      BillyHW in reply to Mike Wilson. | April 6, 2021 at 9:27 pm


      Christopher B in reply to Mike Wilson. | April 7, 2021 at 8:07 am

      I’m going from memory but I believe from Mr Branca’s discussion of the applicable MN statues that there is no such thing. The mere fact that Mr Floyd died while in MPD custody does not create criminal liability for his death (civil liability is something else). The state still has to show that Officer Chauvin made overt decisions, including decisions not to act, that contributed to Mr Floyd’s death, as well as showing that those decisions were made with ‘reckless disregard’. Restraining Mr Floyd to prevent him from injuring himself or others is not reckless disregard. Neither is not starting CPR when doing so would expose the officers to possible attack by a mob.

    Elzorro in reply to Steve Richter. | April 6, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Hopefully the jury still has functional brains unlike your hypothesis. I can no longer tolerate utter compleat ignorance.

Well another by the book wrongful death scam by The Crump Scheme Team. payoff before verdict…check. Fambly strutting around in new 2k outfits after they hit the jackpot….check. The insurance company will get back te fold in new clients for this travesty.
As usual the states own evidence is exhonerating the defendant. Poor Jury. What a shame they have to be a part of it all.

No probable cause. None I can see. There is no reasonable suspect that the cop did was or would do a crime. The crimes were all done by the so called victim, his cohorts and the top dog woke leadership in that disgusting city.
Reading the autopsy report the only thing 100 % certain is Floyd was going to die by having 3 times the lethal amount of fentanyl in his system and we aren’t even taking about the other drugs he had ingested.
Also report stated no evidence of lack of oxygen to his brain so the knee to the neck/shoulder blade was not lethal.
Police should be focusing on who gave him those drugs not throw9 one of their own under the bus .
And even if he was killed by police it’s a major stretch to say it’s because of the color of his skin .
Does anyone really believe the cops were out that day looking for a black to kill ? Where is the evidence to support that nonsense.
The government giving Floyd’s family 27 million is sickening and for sure will prejudice the outcome