Categories
Uncategorized

Guilty Verdict in Minneapolis: Open Thread

UPDATE: Guilty on all three counts. Discuss.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

71 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alan Robertshaw
5 months ago

Just got online now.

If the jury don’t convict on the major count then they were watching a different trial to me.

Alan Robertshaw
5 months ago

Phew!

Guilty on all three counts.

ETA: Sentencing in 8 weeks. Bail revoked.

Last edited 5 months ago by Alan Robertshaw
Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 months ago

This is great news. Of course, I hope it holds up on the inevitable appeal, but for now it’s great news.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
5 months ago

So happy to see this. My daughter’s school is virtual the next three days as a precaution. I hoping this means no violence tonight, but there are still demonstrations scheduled, and the local police like to mix it up with peaceful protesters when they think they can get away with it.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
5 months ago

Whew!
I was just explaining to my Spanish husband that I can’t remember a single previous case of a white cop being found guilty of the actual crime he’d obviously committed against a black person.

It’s still only once, but now all the cops know that this might happen to them too, if they’re flagrant enough.

Muscovy Duck
Muscovy Duck
5 months ago

I have… slightly more faith that the US is (just barely) beginning to make progress??? I say this because I was bracing myself for them to somehow let him off, and at least the guy who murdered someone in front of the whole world is being held to account; we’re still a nation built on blood and lies but at least the facade is crashing down.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
5 months ago

Thank gods… I never thought I’d live to see the day. I hope so, so much that this sets a precedent.

Moggie
Moggie
5 months ago

There will be a lot of angry cops looking for revenge over this verdict. Stay safe.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
5 months ago

Speaker Pelosi thanked George Floyd for his “sacrifice.”

Nancy, no. Just … no. He wasn’t Rosa Parks. He didn’t volunteer.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
5 months ago

Good, now the rest of the cops and the system that lets cops get away with abuse and murder.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 months ago

Won’t hide my satisfaction. It don’t change the world, but one good news is alway a good thing.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
5 months ago

https://twitter.com/AlexNBCNews/status/1384619869119918083

.@SpeakerPelosi
speaking at presser with CBC: Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice…Because of you and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous for justice.

What is this bullshit Nancy Pelosi?

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
5 months ago

@Victorious Parasol

Yeah, I saw that 😐 Every time I think she and the moderate Dems can’t get more heartless and tone-deaf, they manage to surprise me again.

ChelleG
ChelleG
5 months ago

I haven’t lived in Minneapolis going on three years now, but I lived there for 33 years and I’m all too familiar with how the police operate there. I didn’t realize how long I’d been holding my breath until I just let it out.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
5 months ago

Thank God. I didn’t expect this at all! I honestly thought they wouldn’t convict him.

From this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/us/chauvin-guilty-murder-george-floyd.html

For a country whose legal system rarely holds police officers to account for killing on the job, especially when the victims are Black people, the case was a milestone and its outcome a sign, perhaps, that the death of Mr. Floyd has moved the country toward more accountability for police abuses and more equality under the law.

I sincerely hope so. It shouldn’t have needed so many deaths to do so, though. It shouldn’t have needed any.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 months ago

I’m seeing some more cynical takes – that the only reason why the Chauvin verdict was guilty was due to the video. If the US is becoming a better more accountable place, it’s not because of the people, but because of the proliferation of cameras. It could go either way, really.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
5 months ago

https://twitter.com/addysbaird/status/1384625270770962432

the exact Pelosi quote is actually somehow worse than this tweet: “So again, thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom, how heartbreaking was that, call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe.'”

Bruh. Just, bruh

Moggie
Moggie
5 months ago

How could Pelosi fuck this up so badly? Does she have zero empathy for PoC?

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
5 months ago

https://twitter.com/MayorFrey/status/1384619597576474625

The Mayor is also as bad.

Mayor Jacob Frey

@MayorFrey

George Floyd came to Minneapolis to better his life. But ultimately his life will have bettered our city. The jury joined in a shared conviction that has animated Minneapolis for the last 11 months. They refused to look away and affirmed he should still be here today.

Dalillama
5 months ago

@Moggie

How could Pelosi fuck this up so badly? Does she have zero empathy for PoC?

Yes, she has zero empathy for PoC. On the available evidence she has less than zero empathy for PoC, in fact. This is the principal reason she has spent her career preventing any changes to the deep structural racism of US policy.

Contrapangloss
Contrapangloss
5 months ago

I did not expect this. I am glad to have been wrong.

Edit: To clarify, the case seemed clear cut to me. But it only takes one person on the jury to change the outcome, and we have such a bad history.

Last edited 5 months ago by Contrapangloss
GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
5 months ago

I was sure this was going to go the other way, and am relieved.

@Sheila Crosby: the white cop who killed Oscar Grant (with the old “can’t tell gun from Taser” bullshit) was found guilty, but only of involuntary manslaughter and did less than a year in prison. And only because of video a lot of bystanders took.

Between that murder and the trial, I was on the BART and we stopped at Fruitvale Station (where Grant was killed, and the title of the great movie based on it), and the large young Black man sitting next to me (who would terrify Karens) looked up at the sign and sighed “Fruitvale…” I replied “Oscar”, and we nodded at each other. (And then we both went back to ignoring each other, because that’s what you do on public transit.)

But things have changed a bit, because we all saw Rodney King get the crap beat out of him on video and those cops got off on the excessive force charges.

Also, Nancy, learn to read the damn room. Or just shut up.

Dalillama
5 months ago

So, while the Chauvin verdict was being read, police in Columbus murdered a 15 year old girl who called them for help against domestic violence. they yelled “Blue Lives Matter” at the witnesses. The entire institution must be destroyed.

Last edited 5 months ago by Dalillama
Robert Baden
Robert Baden
5 months ago

Here’s hoping Amber Guyger’s conviction is upheld.

numerobis
numerobis
5 months ago

Dalillama: BCI is on the scene conducting an independent investigation . . .— as they do with all CPD-involved shootings

I “love” how the Columbus mayor points out they have a well-practiced system for dealing with police shootings.

In brief: never ever call the police for help if you aren’t white and even if you are white, probably still don’t call them. Which inevitably leads to self-defence groups, aka gangs, which are moderately more accountable until they get too powerful.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 months ago

Off topic, but relevant: I’ve seen discussions which people have suggested that the police ought to have a higher level of entry requirements. A common basis of comparison is the FBI. You almost never hear about FBI abuses. Granted, there are a lot fewer FBI agents than police officers, and much of what they do is less visible to the public, but there’s also the fact that most FBI field agents have more police training than most police officers, plus a law degree.

That’s in addition to the fact that there exist emergencies for which none of the traditional emergency services are trained to deal with, and most of the time it gets handed off to the police – who often shoot the distressed people who they’re supposed to be helping/saving out of fear for their own safety. We need some sort of “emergency social crisis” service.

Robert Baden
Robert Baden
5 months ago

Not hearing about FBI abuses doesn’t mean they don’t happen. COINTELPRO.

Dalillama
5 months ago

@Snowberry

who often shoot the distressed people who they’re supposed to be helping/saving

…because they’re murderous bigots. “I feared for my life” is like “I saw a gun” and “Stop resisting!” It’s a thing they’re trained to say as a talisman to get fellow bigots and gullible chumps to defend their utterly inexcusable actions, as you have done above. Which category are you in? What the fuck is it going to take for you to stop uncritically accepting the word of a group of proven liars* and murderers? How the fuck hard is it to just come out and say that people who respond to a call for help by murdering the person who called need to not be in a position to ever do something like that anymore, i.e., all of these murderous fuckers need to be off the public payroll, disarmed, and not acting under colour of law.

*Fun fact: the less actively vile DAs maintain files of cops who’ve lied in court so often they can’t testify anymore. Not prosecute them for perjury and a host of related crimes, just eventually start considering that they lie a whole lot.

PS: Functional mental health response teams do exist in a few places, and work very well, and never kill anyone whatsoever. There’s no excuse for a trained emergency responder of any description to “fear for their life” in any type of mental health crisis that doesn’t involve active gunfire. Or for anyone most anyone else, but really especially for emergency responders. Speaking, incidentally, as someone who’s had numerous people in mental health crises physically attack me, and still managed to talk them down without anyone at all getting seriously injured, let alone without killing them, by the way. No training or anything.

Crip Dyke
5 months ago

While discussing the killing of Ma’Khia Bryant, let’s not forget that the mayor called her a “young woman” who “lost her life”.

NOTE: Ma’khia was 15 years old, a girl, not a woman. And her life was taken, not lost.

This is in keeping with the racist tradition that calls the legally adult Kyle Rittenhouse a “teenager” and ‘ “child” while Tamir Rice (12!) and Trayvon Martin (17!) were “young men”.

Black children are denied their childhoods because childhood comes with a presumption of innocence that US society will not grant to its Black residents.

Xennial Dot Warner
Xennial Dot Warner
5 months ago

People have been saying that this is not so much “justice,” per se—a man is dead, and there was a distinct chance that his murderer would walk—as a single instance of basic accountability. And for all that said instance was entirely merited: I’m inclined to agree.

ETA: And Speaker Pelosi may have meant well; still, she put her foot in it.

Last edited 5 months ago by Xennial Dot Warner
Waywatcher of the green
Waywatcher of the green
5 months ago

I’m watching this from the UK, and I have to describe the profound sense of relief that something, anything, has happened in consequence to this horrible murder. Anyone who has seen or heard that video will find it is seared into their brain forever. I can’t describe this sensation as hope exactly, but it is at least something, perhaps the smallest sign that society can finally be re-oriented and these events stop being a constant refrain.

Mogwitch
Mogwitch
5 months ago

@Snowberry
Yes, I think better training would help. In Germany, armed police are trained for about 2.5 years, and encouraged to get a degree in police work if they stay on long term. I think the job still tends to attract right-wing, racist and unpleasant people, but the ones that have trouble controlling themselves or are too *stupid to function don‘t get to the point where they are given a gun. If you want to be an unarmed auxiliary it’s only a few months training, but you will be expected to stay out of physical altercations and call the police for help in anything of an actually criminal nature.

*Stupidity in this case being a trained mindset, eg. what the Republican base has been training itself into.

So there have been scandals, such as the police overlooking a gang of neo-Nazi murderers because they kept on trying to link their victims to Turkish criminal gangs. They did shoot and kill a mentally ill man threatening people with a sword in a crowded place a few years ago, and it was all over the news with a lot of soul-searching articles about what else could have been done. But the police rarely shoot anyone, they use de-escalation tactics and call social workers, and while I‘ve no doubt abuses go on, even immigrants and mentally ill people would normally be safer calling them in a crisis. This is the case for most policing in Europe.

I should note that Germany, like almost everywhere, has less guns around than the US, but it’s not the UK. It’s not that hard to get a gun license, but it’s also quite easy to get illegal guns from Eastern Europe and organised criminals do have them.

I think the reason training works is not because it makes cops better, though it does select out the truly incompetent. It makes them less panic-driven. Police in the US are known for doing stupidly dangerous things, like engaging in high-speed chases without seat belts, and firing wildly at suspects heedless of others in the vicinity- police in the US actually have less work-related deaths than farmers or petrol station attendants but a surprisingly huge number of those deaths are from car accidents and even friendly fire. US police and bystanders die because police underestimate how risky car chases are, because they believe stupid myths, like wearing a seatbelt has led to cops being shot because they couldn’t get their gun quickly. Police fire wildly, because they aren’t confident ( justifiably) in their poorly trained shooting skills. They don’t really know whats legal or not, so they resort to blustering about their authority. A lot of their stupid machismo and authoritarianism serves to hide their lack of confidence, and the cowardice that comes from having little understanding of the actual risks.

Police in every country tend to be bad. Police in the US are bad and dangerously incompetent.

Last edited 5 months ago by Mogwitch
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 months ago

@mogwitch: I know a french policemen. (national police, who have good training, not the municipal one, who is … less so, but still decently trained)

I would say the better training help, but fundamentally french police still need to be torn down and law enforcement remade. They still have fundamental issues of systemic racism and mentality of “we are alone and hated but we are the only rempart against barbary”, which both are big problems.

They do seem to follow procedure more than the american one, and they are a bit less murder happy, but I know at least four count in recent years of french policemen killing suspects when they really should have defused the situation and just captured them.

For the german one, I don’t know much on how they operate, but I do know they regulary find neonazis cells in it. Which is never a super good sign.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
5 months ago

@ Xennial Dot Warner,

this is not so much “justice,” per se—a man is dead, and there was a distinct chance that his murderer would walk—as a single instance of basic accountability

THIS THIS THIS, so much. And the fact that we didn’t believe that even that “basic accountability” would happen says so much about the culture of racism and police brutality.

I don’t think my first post adequately expressed my cynicism — although I sincerely hope that this verdict is a good sign, it’s taken far too long to get even this MOST BASIC level of justice, and far too many deaths (even one death would be too many).

And also, as the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant shows, no one seems to have learned anything.

Fuck.

@Dalillama,

I feared for my life” is like “I saw a gun” and “Stop resisting!” It’s a thing they’re trained to say as a talisman to get fellow bigots and gullible chumps to defend their utterly inexcusable actions

YES. I think this is something that won’t be changed by having cameras; police know they can shout their magic-spell words, the cameras will record the words, and just like that they can quite literally get away with murder.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
5 months ago

For the german one, I don’t know much on how they operate, but I do know they regulary find neonazis cells in it. Which is never a super good sign.

True, but is this a case of it being reported on because the german police actively trying to root out such groups rather than tacitly ignoring them or because there is a higher than average neo-nazi infiltration going on in german police?

Last edited 5 months ago by Battering Lamb
Who?
Who?
5 months ago

First congratulation,
that one was freaking necesary.
Re German Polics(disclosure I know some policemen personally):
The question if the police is attractive to certain groups or if Germany is vigilant. The answer is both.
They want to take over the staate, so the police is a logical target. (Btw, You can only become a teacher/policeman/etc if you are democratic in the german sense, membership in certain groups is forbidden).
For the police there is a plusside to that. General speaking Germans trust the police a lot more than Americans. Of course we have prejudice, but if that means beeing controlled more by the police most people see it as a leser problem than having to fear for your life when you get in contact with a policeman.
If someone dies this is a big deal, (we have generall less dead because of polics shoots in a year, than the US has in a workweek), so there is an investigation.

Alan Robertshaw
5 months ago

People have discussed the main point about how the video played such a part in this; and of course things won’t really have changed unless and until justice can be done even when things aren’t on camera from multiple viewpoints.

But whilst that is the case, here’s a brief something I did on the practicalities of filming. It was just a Facebook comment; but some people asked to share it. So FWIW I reproduce it here in case it is of use to anyone.

Couple of practical points from a legal perspective.

Obviously film if you can. Try to keep view as wide as possible to incorporate all elements of the scene; but if there is something of particular relevance, say someone’s body position, then make sure that is clear. It’s a bit of a compromise as both the wider context and the specific details are important. If there are other people with cameras, divvy up the work. Literally say “You film that bit, I’ll do this guy”.

Try to avoid personal commentary. There are legal and practical reasons for this. If the commentary is seen as ‘argumentative’ (in the legal sense) rather than descriptive, there’s a risk they’ll remove the sound in any court proceedings, and that can lessen the impact.

Also there’s a risk that relevant conversation between the people involved may either be missed; or contrary someone may claim something was said (like a warning or threat) but it must have been drowned out by the comments.

However descriptive comments can be helpful. Like if something is occurring off camera you can say “Another car has just pulled up across the street”. That sort of thing.

And of course, don’t let the above considerations get in the way of pleading or trying to persuade someone to stop doing something if that is appropriate. The vicim’s safety is the priority and worrying about subsequent legal proceedings is secondary.

For Brit mammotheers, here’s an app some friends came up that can assist with filming incidents. Also available for Android.

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/legal-lifelines/id1532312759

numerobis
numerobis
5 months ago

One technical legal question: how do you get three homicide charges from one killing?

(And another: how is this not first degree murder?)

Alan Robertshaw
5 months ago

@ numerobis

I was wondering that too. Normally lesser offences are included in the greater ones. So if you get a conviction on the main count you might not ask for a verdict on the lesser ones.

However it appears to be protection from appeal. They get a verdict on each count. And the court imposes a separate sentence for each offence. That’s what that Blakely hearing is about. I can expand on that if anyone wishes. The multiple sentences will be served concurrently i.e. all at the same time not one after the other.

But let’s say there’s an appeal, and the appellate court decides that there was something wrong with a greater offence (like the judge gave the wrong direction on one particular element of the offence.) and overturns that; one; the lesser offences, and sentences, still stand. So you only have to have a retrial (assuming that’s what the court orders) on one offence, not all of them.

As for why not 1st degree. It seems Minnesota has a particularly narrow interpretation compared to some jurisdictions. 1st degree requires intention to cause death. In most places it’s death OR an intention to inflict serious harm. Whereas in MN they use ‘during the commission of a felony’, which is wider (and would include serious harm) but they call that 2nd degree.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/609.185

Last edited 5 months ago by Alan Robertshaw
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
5 months ago

how is this not first degree murder?

First requires premeditation. Second does not.

numerobis
numerobis
5 months ago

Yup. And there was lots of premeditation. Arresting Floyd violently and starting to sit on Floyd isn’t the crime (probably should be a crime, but since there’s worse that happened let’s ignore it for now).

The crime was choking him to death. Chauvin thought about choking him to death before it happened.

But I’m responding in reverse order and Alan answered that question, as well as the three counts of homicide for one killing. OK; seems odd but I guess?

Last edited 5 months ago by numerobis
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 months ago

For what it’s worth, on my morality compass, the situation look more like a blatant disregard for life than a premeditated murder. I don’t have the impression he is actively trying to kill him, more that he wanted to show his power and don’t care if the final result of it is a dead body.

I am not sure it’s not worse than a premeditated murder tho, especially for a cop. But laws are often written on the reasoning that actively wanting to kill someone is the worse possible state.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
5 months ago

Re: Pelosi’s inane comment

I recall that in the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, The Onion ran a headline along the lines of “Black man goes about his day, blissfully unaware that by the end of week his name will be a trending hashtag”

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
5 months ago

@Ohlmann

Oh come on, IDK about the legal def of “premeditated” but we know it’s murder. Nobody puts their full weight on somebody else’s neck for almost 9 minutes and doesn’t expect the other person to die. Especially not in the context of a White cop attacking a Black person.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
5 months ago

Yup. And there was lots of premeditation.

Unfortunately, not enough to be provable in a court of law. Without that proof – no guilty verdict.
Prosecutors picked rightly. Better three “smaller” guilty verdicts than having a “not guilty” headlining the reporting.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

I’m relieved the murder charge went through, at least.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
5 months ago

In Minnesota, you basically only see 1st degree murder charged if someone is killed during a robbery, or if there is clear evidence of planning the murder (to show premeditation). Even if it appears there was likely premeditation, the state will only charge second if premeditation is not obviously provable.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
5 months ago

@numerobis and ohlmann

It was unquestionably premeditated murder. Chauvin is a serial killer with a pattern of escalation: he’s been involved in three police shootings (all of minorities, the last of which was fatal) when most police are involved in zero in their whole careers, and he crushed the neck of another boy (14) and that boy lost consciousness, complaining he couldn’t breathe, but it was ruled inadmissible in court (for some reason? Alan?). The boy lived.

I don’t know the legal delicacies of proving such a thing though. It may be that he was got on second degree murder because they could secure the verdict and he would be sentenced for the rest of his natural life anyway, whereas people would not believe that his history of worse and worse crimes amounted to any kind of pattern because… reasons? Dunno.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
5 months ago

@Snowberry My take is that the proliferation of video cameras has got a couple of facts into some reluctant skulls. 1) Police kill black people an awful lot and 2) They lie about it afterwards.

This is a particularly egregious case, but white jury members are a bit more likely to believe their own eyes after all the other cases.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
5 months ago

I admit I wasn’t actively following the trial, partly because I haven’t the time and partly because I was afraid he wouldn’t be found guilty. So now I’m relieved, I guess.

@ Mogwitch

I think the job still tends to attract right-wing, racist and unpleasant people, —

I seem to remember a study (done here in Finland), where they found that even people who were relatively left-wing or progressive when they started their police training veer towards the right and become more conservative during training. This is interesting, because apparently the police have been trying to recruit more diverse people, but that’s not a magical fix if something about the school or work environment enforces that sort of conformity.