1. says

    Now this is interesting:

    “Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said Floyd and Chauvin knew each other for many years because they worked security at the same night club. Both men worked at El Nuevo Rodeo on Lake Street before their fatal encounter.”

    Not sure what to make of it but it certainly doesn’t help Chauvin’s case. With the video and multiple eyewitnesses I think this may be one of those rare convictions.

  2. robro says

    My wife just noted that there is a video showing the other officers also kneeling on Floyd. Even without that there’s the question of why the other officers aren’t being arrested.

    Cervantes @ #1 — I’m not optimistic. There was a video of the cop shooting Philando Castle almost 4 years ago. That cop was tried but not convicted. There was video of four cops in Los Angeles beating Rodney King in 1992. They were acquitted by a Los Angeles jury. They were subsequently tried by the Feds…two of them were convicted but sentenced to 30 months. Still no change.

  3. whheydt says

    In the mean time, the state cops arrested a black CNN reporter, cameraman, and producer saying they were under orders to do so (whose orders?). Elsewhere at the same time the cops didn’t arrest a white reporter. I think MN has a bigger problem than the Minneapolis PD.

  4. brightmoon says

    I just saw that video of the cops arresting that reporter. I’m speechless with shock . Reporting while black is added to the things-minorities-can’t-do-freely list I guess.

  5. says

    robro (#2) –

    My wife just noted that there is a video showing the other officers also kneeling on Floyd. Even without that there’s the question of why the other officers aren’t being arrested.

    That’s what I came in to say.

    Many places have “common purpose” and “joint criminal enterprise” laws. If one member of a group of robbers murders someone during the commission of a crime, every member is charged with the murder – accomplices, get away driver, etc. The three other cops knew what Chavin did was a form of illegal choke hold. To stand by while Chauvin murdered George Floyd makes them accomplices in the crime.

  6. weylguy says

    I’m starting to think that COVID-19 is God’s punishment on Amerika for its centuries of slavery and Jim Crow laws. This idea is undermined only by the fact that blacks and minorities are over-represented in terms of the virus’ impact on these communities. No doubt that President Trump and his fellow criminals will see this as just another example of the Curse of Ham. God damn them all.

  7. MichaelE says

    Now now, PZ, you don’t know that. The judge might give him an attaboy and a hug! There’s legal precedence for…awww, that’s not even fucking funny despite being absolutely true.

  8. nomaduk says

    Erlend Meyer@3: chief of police tried for accessory and dereliction of duty.

    In the Navy, the captain of the ship eats it if anyone misbehaves. Seems the least one can do if one is the bleeding chief of police.

  9. daverytier says

    Yea. 3 degree murder. To be honest, I didn’t even know there is such a thing. Glad there is no 4,5,6 … degree murder…

  10. John Harshman says

    I wouldn’t consider 3rd degree murder as “murder lite”. It’s defined as “without intent to effect the death of any person, caus[ing] the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life”. Sounds appropriate to me. Maximum penalty in Minnesota (one of only three states that have it) is 25 years, which sounds severe enough, unless you’re big on the death penalty..

  11. John Morales says

    John @12, elseblog here, Abe Drayton at Oceanoxia features a relevant video that I find persuasive (on top of the sidebar as I write this).

  12. John Morales says

    About the context in which the charges are being laid, and the likelihood of the maximum sentence being imposed, and (more generally) the degree of cynicism that should be applicable. Abstract stuff, not analytical.

  13. John Morales says

    Um, fake charge was not your original claim, it was “murder lite”.

    Which it is, in the sense that it’s the least possible degree in the applicable jurisdiction.

    But fine, it sufficiently satisfies your sense of justice; as I tried to intimate in my original response, not everyone (including me) shares that attitude.

  14. Artor says

    Now it appears Floyd and his murderer knew each other and used to work together. It makes me wonder if there was something personal in this. Maybe the charges will be advanced to Murder 1 if intent can be proved.

  15. says

    Here’s a Twitter thread about positional asphyxia, and the fact that law enforcement are trained about its dangers, as supported by cops in the replies.
    Not only has this cop killed at least one other man from an ethnic minority before, he was also trained in knowing that his action was likely to kill his victim. He’s not some bloke who lands a very unhappy punch in a bar fight. He’s somebody who used his knowledge about how to slowly choke somebody to death.

  16. says

    Maybe the charges will be advanced to Murder 1 if intent can be proved.

    Torture is a capital crime under US law if it results in the death of the victim. I’d love to see these guys brought up on federal torture conspiracy charges.

  17. says

    White supremacy groups are hoping to leverage George Floyd’s death into their longed-for ‘race war’

    The protests that have spread across the nation in the wake of the murder of George Floyd have attracted a diverse group of supporters that go beyond local Black communities and national organizations. At events in Washington, New York, Minneapolis, and elsewhere, community activists have been joined by allies, by groups supporting Latinos, Indian groups, and even groups of Mennonite farmers speaking out in support and showing up for protests.

    But, with dozens of buildings burned and Donald Trump preparing to bring in the military, there’s a growing sense that the violence in many cases isn’t originating from within the local Black community. In multiple instances, there have been incidents that seemed to spring up on the periphery of peaceful protests, leading to violent confrontations and property destruction. And increasingly, there are reports that these events are not originating organically from the protests or from confrontations between protesters and the police. There is a very real feeling that white supremacists are using this moment to create incidents designed to justify still more violence and suppression.

    See this post on Twitter:

    Raw footage of who started the looting in Oakland at Walgreens. Had just seen them three blocks down hitting some other businesses. All prepared with hammers. Don’t let them say different. Bystanders said things like, “Hey, what y’all doing this for? You look mighty white to me. Why are you doing this shit?”

    Here’s another one:

    […] what appears to be a young white man in camo pants and military boots paints graffiti on a federal building. […]

    Here’s another one:

    It shows the instigators clearly. They are white. Organized with walkie talkies. You can see and hear a black woman protestor pleading with them to stop.

    And here is another incident:

    I was at Downtown Oakland protests a little while ago. Let me say something; the people breaking glass, breaking into windows & starting fires were WHITE men wearing all black. They had hammers and walkie talkies. They were organized. BLM protestors did not start the violence!

    […] And, as Vice reports, far right extremists are trying to use this situation in hopes of bringing about their much-desired “race war.” That effort involves both showing up at protests with guns, initiating violence, and taking to computers to urge everyone involved toward more tragic confrontations. Even the Hawaiian shirt-wearing “Boogaloo Bois” have appeared at some of the protests. The possibility of using these protests as a precipitating incident, and calls for white supremacist militias to confront protesters, are dominating discussion boards and social media for these groups. […]

    What is absolutely clear it that white supremacists are hoping to leverage yet another example of violence against an individual Black man as an excuse to carry out a campaign of expanded violence against the entire Black community. […]

  18. raven says

    @Giliell Positional asphyxia

    Wikipedia Prone restraint
    Research has suggested that restraining a person in a face-down position is likely to cause greater restriction of breathing than restraining a person face-up.[2] Multiple cases have been associated with the hogtie or hobble prone restraint position.[3][4] Many law enforcement and health personnel are now taught to avoid restraining people face-down or to do so only for a very short period of time.[1]

    George Floyd was placed face down with a knee on his neck.
    It was meant to be a torture-execution.

    I’ve seen this once before.
    A 20’s something drug user ODed and passed out in a slumped over position in a chair. Such that he couldn’t breathe very well. And never woke up again.

  19. numerobis says

    Face-down with a knee on his neck.

    The murderer’s accomplices did suggest maybe putting Floyd on his side; the murderer refused. They all knew he was doing something deadly.

  20. ginckgo says

    And now his wife has filed for divorce while he’s in custody.
    Considering an estimated 40% of cops have some domestic abuse history, draw your own conclusions…

  21. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To Marcus in 22,
    Nicely done sir.

    To Lynna in 23
    Jesus Christ.
    Thanks for posting that and informing me.

    Can we finally get rid of qualified immunity yet? That must be one of our goals.

  22. Allison says

    “without intent to effect the death of any person, caus[ing] the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life”

    I recall a discussion I once had with my ex, who is an attorney. IIRC, NY does not have “degrees” of murder. There is something that includes the phrase “with depraved indifference to human life,” and she recounted law school hypotheticals where “depraved indifference” would be regarded as worse than “with intent to kill.”

  23. jack16 says

    A separate but important issue.

    Vitamin D efficacy

    Probably an important defense against the virus. Evidence? The death rate among non-whites. The darker the skin the higher the death rate. Dark skins are resistant to ultraviolet light. The source for the “vitamin”. What to do. Check with your physician and supplement D3. Nearly everyone who wears clothes is deficient. D3 is cheap and relatively safe. You could take 10,000 units daily safely.


  24. says

    Evidence? The death rate among non-whites.

    Definitely Vitamin D. Nothing to do with racism, less resources, more people working in “essential” jobs like retail and inadequate access to testing and healthcare.
    I want to live in your world, it must be nice there.

  25. John Morales says

    jack16, apart from your comment having absolutely zilch to do with the topic of this post, the thing about vitamins is that a deficiency causes problems, but more than enough does not grant magical prophylactic powers. And hypervitaminosis is toxic.

    (Perhaps leave the doctoring to actual doctors)

    Nearly everyone who wears clothes is deficient.


    (Also, which populations do you imagine go around naked, these days?)