Independent autopsy: George Floyd died of asphyxiation

Well, this isn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the exculpation of the cops by the state’s medical examiner, especially in view of that video showing a man repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe. CNN reports the results of an independent autopsy (click on screenshot):

An excerpt:

An independent autopsy found that George Floyd’s death was a homicide and the unarmed black man died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”

The autopsy says compression to Floyd’s neck and back led to a lack of blood flow to his brain.

Floyd was essentially “dead on the scene” in Minneapolis on May 25, said Ben Crump, attorney for the Floyd family. Multiple videos of Floyd’s death show former police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, along with other officers kneeling on his back.

Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total and two minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

“The ambulance was his hearse,” Crump told reporters Monday. “George died because he needed a breath. He needed a breath of air.”

“There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death,” said Dr. Michael Baden, one of the independent medical examiners. “Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That’s not true.”

The state’s coroner, of course, had a different result:

The independent autopsy’s findings come after the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,” according to the criminal complaint.

Preliminary autopsy results cited in the complaint said combined effects of being restrained, any potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, probably contributed to his death. Toxicology results can take weeks.

You know what? I don’t even care if the state’s autopsy results are correct (I doubt they are), as they still show murder.  If Floyd would have lived had the cop not had a knee on his neck, I don’t care much about other “contributory factors”. The knee made him die when he wouldn’t have died otherwise, and that’s all there is, folks. The charges might be less, but I don’t trust the state’s results.

I am also wondering whether, if the cop gets convicted, he’ll get a more severe punishment than if Floyd was murdered by a civilian. Pondering this, I think he should, for the cops have the authority to detain people, and nobody can stop them if they choose to put a knee on someone’s neck, even if it’s uncalled for. This means that for reasons of deterrence alone, cops need to learn the consequences of such behavior. With the power they have, they need a strong incentive to use it responsibly and humanely.

Of course if the perp, Officer Derek Chauvin, goes to jail, he’s going to have a very rough time of it.

And these autopsy results will energize the protests. So long as they’re not violent, that’s fine with me.

It’s beyond belief that that cop would kneel on a protesting man for over eight minutes and then not let up when the man became unresponsive. What kind of monster would do that?

 

126 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    sub

  2. Brujo Feo
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    “What kind of monster would do that?”

    One who knew that he could get away with it.

    BTW, I’ve engaged Baden’s services before, and would not do so again. He’s a “celebrity coroner,” mostly interested in the glorification of Michael Baden. Which is not in any way to impugn his findings here.

    • Paul Pickering
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      These pathologists were hired by the family and are therefore not entirely independent. One appears to be a “hired gun”.

      Mr. Floyd likely has underlying medical conditions–not that this exculpates the officer or mitigates the horror of that video. How many of us have no underlying medical conditions in our mid-forties?

      The EtOH and drug test results have not been made available; though again, it’s still too much force for too long.

      The Hennepin County pathologist’s report may be the best and most accurate. We should take these family-retained pathologists’ reports with a few grains of salt.

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:15 am | Permalink

        You are quick to accuse the hired examiner to be a “hired gun” but not so quick to accuse the county medical examiner as “defending the state”. We don’t know about the underlying medical conditions here–the two reports differ and you have simply bought the state’s conclusions. Yes, we must await furhter reports, but in both cases the death was ruled a homicide.

        It’s interesting that you take only one report with a “grain of salt”. Why is that–do you have 100% confidence in what the county report said?

        • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          Seems to me that the two reports aren’t actually in conflict.

          I think a medical examiner would be negligent if they didn’t look into:

          Underlying health conditions
          Intoxicants
          Evidence of physical trauma

          It will be interesting to read the second autopsy and compare it to the County’s autopsy (which I don’t think has been fully released, I will check).

          Neither of the reports (IMO) exonerates Chauvin of third degree murder.

          1st and 2nd degree really aren’t in the cards: Both require intent to kill, which is unsustainable in a jury trial (and I think was not the case: This was a (very, very bad, consequential) screw-up).

        • jay salhi
          Posted June 4, 2020 at 4:22 am | Permalink

          “You are quick to accuse the hired examiner to be a “hired gun” but not so quick to accuse the county medical examiner as “defending the state”.”

          Lawyers know how to find paid experts who will say exactly what the lawyer wants them to say. The expert was hired by Floyd family attorney Ben Crump.

          The bigger problem is that Crump is actually aiding the defense. The prosecution cannot go to trial on the basis the the paid expert’s findings so they are irrelevant to the prosecution. By undermining the credibility of the findings of the Medical Examiner, Ben Crump has given the defense a big gift. It is an inexcusable mistake on Crump’s part.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      “What kind of monster would do that?”

      One who, at least at that moment, had a, “depraved disregard for human life.”

      I’m fairly sure he didn’t intend to kill Floyd. But he (they) effed-up really, really badly. And there will be consequences, we all hope.

      • Posted June 3, 2020 at 2:57 am | Permalink

        I’m not convinced that he didn’t intend to kill Floyd. The way he looked at the person who was filming him looked as though he had no intent of getting up off Floyd’s neck regardless of what was said by Floyd or any of the other people who tried to intervene and whether or not there was a film record.
        I think he deserves 1st or 2nd degree, whichever is more applicable. I think the two officers kneeling on Floyd’s back also should be charged with murder, sentenced and convicted. The officer who stood by and did nothing deserves some form of punishment also, but I don’t know what it might be. He’s guilty of not aiding a citizen being killed by a fellow cop.

        • Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          See my lengthy comment at 18 which summarizes the MN codes for murder.

          You may think that Chauvin’s actions indicate intent to kill Floyd; but I would be amazed if a trial jury would agree with you. They have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt in an assertion of intent to kill is virtually certain.

          Third degree murder in MN, as noted, demonstrates a depraved disregard for human life (without intent). I think this fits the facts well.

          • Posted June 3, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

            You could be right as you obviously know far more about Minnesota law than I do. However, given past history of Chavin’s 12 instances of abuse, including some killings, I hope that would be considered in this case. I am certain an effort will be made to include the video of Floyd’s murder with Chauvin’s vicious face displayed. How long are we the people and we the jury going to accept this behavior. Oh, oops, my bad!! Again!!

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          This officer has a litany of complaints against him.

        • Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          I find it hard to believe that anyone, no matter how depraved, would intentionally kill someone while he is being videoed doing it. I see callous disregard, not intent.

        • Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          I find it hard to believe that anyone, no matter how depraved, would intentionally kill someone while he is being videoed doing it. I see callous disregard, not intent.

          • Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

            Why did that duplicate?

            • GBJames
              Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

              You were typing in an echo chamber.

  3. EdwardM
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    If he isn’t convicted the last week will seem by comparison a peaceful, quiet, happy time.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    He was unresponsive for almost 3 minutes as the cop continued to kneel on his neck. This is just awful. I know the whole thing is awful but why would you kneel on someone like that after they were unresponsive if you didn’t want to harm them?

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      The second he became “unresponsive”, artificial respiration and CPR should have been carried out immediately. Presumably police are trained in these techniques in the US.

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Unresponsive is not the same as not breathing and not having a pulse. CPR itself can cause injury, which is why you always practise on a dummy, not a real person.

        Of course the knee hold should have been released as soon has he became unresponsive. IMO the automatic response should have been to call paramedics and then perform CPR if necessary.

        By the way, despite the R standing for “resuscitation”, CPR isn’t a procedure that is designed to resuscitate people but to keep them alive until the medics arrive.

        • Posted June 3, 2020 at 4:43 am | Permalink

          Thanks Jeremy. I understand that an early report stated “no pulse” rather than “unresponsive”, which would make a difference. I should have been more specific.

    • sugould
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Jujitsu has numerous techniques that require kneeling on a neck, as well as ones restricting blood flow and air flow. They are done carefully, only for a few seconds at time, and they stress the importance of applying them correctly and tapping out when you feel the technique.

      Most who have been in the military, or have police training, knows this. Most people who contact sports like judo, wresting, mixed martial arts know what this can do. Or anyone who has seriously roughhoused with brothers.

      Have not watched, nor will watch the entire 10 minute video— of a public execution.

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        I would take issue with the use of the word “execution”. That implies some sort of judicial process and state approval. I’d rather say “murder”. Either way, I also have not watched the whole video for much the same reason.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Exactly. I’ve been choked and have choked others in sports (jujitsu) and standard training everywhere includes how dangerous choke holds are, the time frames till brain damage and death and the responsibility to release at any sign of adverse effects. Training in these sorts of techniques for police officers can only be more stringent than for sports.

        There is no way this can reasonably be framed as an accident. There is no way this veteran police officer wasn’t aware of all of this. Yet he calmly, like he was posing for the cameras, held this knee hold for nearly 3 minutes after Floyd was non-responsive. This is beyond irresponsible, beyond an ignorant mistake and lends credence to the suspicion that in the moment he was okay with killing Floyd.

  5. max blancke
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    The exact mechanism of death might be of interest to the jury, to help determine sentencing, I suspect it matters not at all to the rest of us. The cause of death is fairly obvious to any reasonable person.

    This is one case where it seems like everyone agrees that it was murder, even the police union. It might have been an excellent time for people on all sides of the political spectrum to get together and enact real police reform. Unfortunately, the protest has devolved into senseless violence and chaos.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      “This is one case where it seems like everyone agrees that it was murder, even the police union.” I’m sorry, but wherever did you get that impression? The union chief has written, and it was reported Herehere, “Kroll said all four officers are represented by defense attorneys, and labor attorneys are fighting for their jobs. He said the officers were fired without due process.
      Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey condemned the letter Monday morning.”

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        You could agree that it looks like murder and also fight for officers’ rights to due process at the same time.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          Did someone suggest he would not get due process under the law? Nobody I’ve heard has recommended lynching him. There is argument over what the charge should be but none about whether he should receive a fair trial.

          • sugould
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            +1

          • Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Read the post to which I was responding

            The union chief has written, and it was reported Herehere, “Kroll said all four officers are represented by defense attorneys, and labor attorneys are fighting for their jobs. He said the officers were fired without due process.”

            And it’s not “he” but “they”. There was the one asphyxiating Floyd and three others standing around not stopping him.

            • Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

              Not 100% sure yet; but one or two of the other officers was also apparently restraining Floyd (out of sight to the video, behind the police car).

            • GBJames
              Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

              I realize that I was responding to Kroll, not to you, Jeremy. Kroll is just wrong. The idea that employer’s can’t summarily fire employees who appear in video killing someone is the kind of preposterous privilege that police unions routinely hide the worst of their members behind.

              In my working life I, on occasion, needed to fire someone for not doing the job. Killing people in your custody seems to me to be about as clear a case of not doing your job as one can find.

        • Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          I think they will get due process (in the courts).

          I think immediate termination was justified. (I tend to lean heavily towards the rights of workers in most cases.)

  6. Mark R.
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    The U.S.’s entire way of hiring and training police officers needs to be scrapped and revamped. There is always talk of “bad apples”, but it’s much more systemic and complicated than that. Like our criminal justice system, much of our law enforcement is corrupt, biased and desperately needs an overhaul. We need to identify those who go into law enforcement because they want to “kick ass” and weed out the violent people and bigots. We could learn a lot from European countries in how they hire and train police officers and how they deal with the incarcerated. Our country (especially now under Trump) sees every societal problem as a nail that needs pounding. Just as Trump called on governors today to use force against protestors and dominate them…I think he said dominate a half-dozen times.

    The illusion of American “exceptionalism” blinds our leaders to the successes of other countries (healthcare is another area where we don’t want to learn from others).

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is the central cluster of issues: very little interrogation of people’s motives for wanting to join the police, resulting in police forces that regularly look, and act, like uniformed, well-armed thugs, or vigilantes with a badge, rather than public servants; police forces operating under a hotch-potch of different jurisdictions, with no hint of anything close to national standards for their training and codes of behaviour; and the inevitable result of those two factors: individual officers who time and again resort to arms, or inappropriate levels of force, at far too early a stage, always escalating the level of violence rather than defusing it. In Scandinavia police forces put enormous emphasis in training recruits not only how to use firearms responsibly but how to reduce the tension in a situation and make it less likely that someone (including themselves) will get hurt.

      • ritaprangle
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget: supplying police departments with military equipment increases the tendency to escalate violence on the part of the police.

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 1, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Many US city’s police forces are para-military. They get all the hand-me-downs from the military and even similar kit. It’s scary for me, seeing military vehicles policing American streets. Not cool. And it adds to the bravado and carelessness of the foot soldiers…aka police officers, many of whom joined the force because they relish violence and know that being a cop nullifies their chances of being held responsible. And that ups the ante for the protesters who are cornered more and more and their desperation grows. This fucking murdering cop is the perfect example of someone who is the exact opposite of what we as citizens should demand in a law enforcement officer. And this was not the crime of one bad cop…there are three others who were either complicit or helped in the harassment of Mr. Floyd.

          • darrelle
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            I agree with all you’ve said in both of the above comments.

            A significant number of people join a police force because they want to play tactical and be badasses. It has become routine to train police to use force rather than accept the slightest risk. It has become routine for police to be excused for using force even when there is no risk. The attitude that it is right and proper for police to exert authority over civilians as a matter of course has become normalized among law enforcement organizations.

            To serve and protect has long since fallen by the wayside.

  7. Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    “[maybe] if the cop gets convicted, he’ll get a more severe punishment … I think he should, … for reasons of deterrence alone, cops need to learn the consequences of such behavior.”

    This is why Robert Sapolsky’s comparison of a criminal to a broken car does not work. This is why changes to the justice system, owing to determinism, would not be as radical as incompatibilists sometimes suggest.

    It amounts to saying that the cop did indeed have a “choice” about whether to keep the knee on the neck for 9 minutes, in the sense that he “could have done otherwise” if the likelihood or severity of punishment had been greater, or if his colleagues had remonstrated with him, or if police culture were different.

    When one fully accepts determinism and implements it in real-world social interactions, it necessarily turns into compatibilism.

    • Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      No, I don’t agree. The cop could not have done otherwise, but we can prevent future incidents by changing people’s brains. In what sense is that compatibilim?

    • Vaal
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      (My only comment here…)

      I agree Coel.

      Even if you just shelve the debate over whether anyone can be “Morally responsible” or “deserving of blame,” you still have to have a concept of “the person could have done otherwise” in order to identify bad actors/criminals and make sense of any justice system.

      If John is driving his car down a steep hill and runs through a crosswalk killing a woman crossing, it’s an entirely different situation if someone had sabotaged his steering and breaks without him knowing to have his car become unresponsive, vs whether he was in control of the car and chose to race through the crosswalk.

      In the first scenario John COULD NOT HAVE DONE OTHERWISE IF HE HAD WANTED TO – stopped the car. He didn’t have that option or choice.

      In the second scenario he COULD HAVE DONE OTHERWISE IF HE HAD WANTED TO and avoided hitting someone. (He was physically capable of stopping the car instead of running over someone).

      Now we need to think of John as a criminal – because of what he CHOSE to do given “he could have done otherwise IF he’d wanted to” tell us about his character, that he may choose to do these things again, and we need to stop him and punish him.

      Same with the cop – it’s only by recognizing the cop “could have done otherwise” in the compatibilist sense – avoided killing Mr. Floyd IF he’d wanted to” that identifies the cop as a bad actor who needs to be brought to justice – even if for purely deterrence purposes.

      Again, that is the case even if you reject the idea of moral responsibility or moral blameworthiness, and want a justice system based on deterrence or whatever.

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:09 am | Permalink

        That’s enough; you keep making the same argument over and over again. In both circumstances you can adjudicate the matter without any notion of “if he had wanted to”. Someone was killed, in both cases it was determined, but you punish the person in one case rather than the other because he had a brain that was unresponsive to legal strictures and thus needs remedition. In the other case he did not have that kind of brain (although you don’t know, really ‘if he wanted to’. You don’t have to even consider “I could have done otherwise had I wanted to.”

        I cant levy punishment in both cases without any notion of “the person could have done otherwise if he had wanted to”. You just ask “why did the accident happen.”

        I would advise you not to keep repeating your argument as if we’re somehow stupid and can’t comprehend what your saying.

      • Tim Harris
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        A simple response to Vaal’s point might be to ask why the cop did what he did or why he did not refrain from doing what he did, and try to answer with serious reasons, without having recourse to some a-historical mannikin somewhere sitting above the fray and making choices. (The negative approach might be more fruitful.) Or to go further, why did he want (to use Vaal’s language) to do what he did or why did he not not want to do what he did, which begins to lead towards some sort of regress. And, again, try to answer with serious reasons, without recourse to some spiritual non-entity who sits above the fray making ‘rational’ or ‘moral’ choices.

        I think ‘because the man is monster’ is a perfectly reasonable way of describing Chauvin in the circumstances and then the question arises as to how Chauvin became what he is. Why is he what he is? Did he choose to be what he is – was there some little mannikin there all the time that chose the probably unpleasant parents that he had and the class they belonged to, that chose what may have affected him during conception, gestation, in childhood, at school, and that chose his occupation for him, an occupation that has a certain culture and is also part of a wider culture with an unhappy history? Is he ‘morally’ responsible for what he is? If he is not ‘morally’ or ultimately responsible for the way he is, then he is not responsible for the way he acts.

        Or, if one wishes to believe in some special part of the self that somehow sits above the fray, makes choices and is wholly uninfluenced by the self’s personal history and nature (which includes as well as biological factors the pressures and influences of the wider world), then one could ask why, in this case, the mannikin made this choice, or, to complicate things a little more, why he chose to make this choice? Presumably because of the way this mannikin is. But how did the mannikin come to be what he is – that is to say, a monster? Is the mannikin morally and ultimately responsible for being a monster? Or does the mannikin have another mannikin inside him who makes choices? And so on…

  8. Kevin
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/may/22/g8-italy

    Individual policemen rarely get punished, I think. Sometimes compensation gets paid in return for retraction of charges against the State.

  9. John Conoboy
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Floyd was not fighting and there is no reason he could not have been handcuffed, in which case, there was no reason to continue to “restrain” him. There is another video that shows some of the other officers on top of Floyd, and they did not handcuff him as far as I know, they allowed the situation to continue and are accomplices in the murder. And, police are not taught, or should not be taught if this guy was, to restrain a suspect by kneeling on their neck. I was in law enforcement for 22 years, and never did anyone in any training course advocate kneeling on someone’s neck.

    • jwwalker
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      The security camera video from earlier shows that Floyd was already handcuffed while standing, long before he ended up on the ground with a knee on his neck.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      He was handcuffed.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Putting a leg on someone’s neck is permitted by the MPD manual: However, only until restraint is achieved. Floyd was handcuffed; and, as far as we can tell, not resisting.

      That means the knee is not allowed.

      But, regardless, they should not have been pinning him to the ground is he wasn’t continuing to resist.

  10. Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    The thing that gets me is why this incident became confrontational to begin with. Floyd tried to pay for cigarettes with a counterfeit twenty. Big deal. Maybe he didn’t know it was counterfeit. Why were four cops called in? And why was there any need to restrain Floyd at all? This should have been a leave the cigarettes and walk away incident. Instead it is tearing the country apart.

    • Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes, a tragedy out of nothing. Like Eric, the previous detainee whose last words were “I can’t breathe” – he was selling cigarettes at the wrong place or something like this.

  11. W.Benson
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Trump has gone full $$$. It may be time for a million citizen march on Washington and the White House.

    • Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I think the time to act on Trump will be in late autumn, and by significantly more than a million citizens.

  12. tomh
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the original charging document that paraphrased the prelim autopsy. The most recent document, from the Hennepin Medical Examiner, shows:

    Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
    restraint, and neck compression
    Manner of death: Homicide

    It says nothing about a comination of factors, or potential intoxicants. It does list “other significant conditions” but doesn’t list them as any part of cause of death. Which makes sense, since they weren’t causing his death before the “restraint and neck compression” specified.

    • Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the conclusions seem to have been updated.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      It says:

      Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
      restraint, and neck compression

      Manner of death: Homicide

      How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)

      Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use”

      Fentanyl is an (extremely) powerful opioid drug (which depresses the human bodily systems). If he were intoxicated with fentanyl, then that would certainly be signficant. Fentanyl killed Price with no other “help”.

      None of this exonerates Chauvin (I’ll say again and again). If the police had let Floyd sit up against the car or in the back seat of the police car, he’d be alive right now. The police killed him, full stop.

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Prince, not Price, obviously.

      • tomh
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        “None of this exonerates Chauvin”

        And none of it is included in ‘Cause of Death’ so I don’t know what your point is.

        • Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          That fentanyl can contribute to a cardiac arrest. (Are you denying this?)

          • tomh
            Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            A lot of things “can” happen, I’m looking at the report which doesn’t include it in cause of death.

            • Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

              They consider it a[n] “other significant condition”.

              Enough fentanyl to be “intoxicating” is clearly a significant finding.

              Nevertheless, Chauvin (and probably the other officers who were restraining Floyd) caused his death. He might not have died without the fentanyl; but (in my opinion) that doesn’t make the officers any less culpable. They still killed him, full stop.*

              Chauvin’s actions fit the MN statue for 3rd degree murder in my opinion (and possibly one or more of the other officers too; I can’t be sure, based on the evidence I’ve seen).

              (* It’s sort of like age, fitness, other factors. They are there, they can contribute; but they don’t exonerate.)

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the Hennepin County Medical Examiner will now revise his opinion to claim cause of death was a gunman on a grassy knoll.

  14. Posted June 1, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Do I understand correctly that tRump is declaring Marshall law?

    • Posted June 1, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Oh, he is just threatening. His forte.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 1, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Whiny little bitch. ®

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        And he will back down, tail between legs — again.

        • darrelle
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          We hope. There are plenty of other people in positions of power in the government who have demonstrated many times that they are willing to help put Trump’s declarations into action.

          I can imagine the CF that would happen if any military units (not National Guard) were ordered to take action against protesters or even looters. Given Trump’s unhinged behaviors, his enablers in the Executive, the craven Republican senate and the various Trump fan boys such as Boogaloo bois it seems to me that we are dangerously close to historically momentous events, even up to a hot civil war. This is getting serious. If the Republicans had any grasp of decency or even pragmatism Trump would be removed from office right now.

          • Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            I agree; but I think almost all governors would refuse to the federal troops deploy (unasked) in their state. Though the Trump ass-kissers might be exceptions.

            That would surely bring on a CF.

            • Posted June 3, 2020 at 3:49 am | Permalink

              For some reason, I had always understood that U.S. military could not be used on U.S. soil. Now, I’ve had to learn that isn’t true. I find it very interesting that tRump was so generous in leaving almost all of the Covid-19 material acquisitions and critical decisions to the states, but is so hot to get U.S. military involved on our own soil. The man doesn’t have a brain or an ounce of leadership.

              https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/trump-united-states-military-deployment-rioting-looting-threat-20200602.html

              • Posted June 3, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

                It’s possible, but requires very extraordinary circumstances.

                It is very fraught politically.

                I doubt tRump will pull that lever. He will posture for the cameras (like that church photo from Monday) and act tough (his usual blather); but retreat and blame others when opposed (as he most surely will be if he did this).

                This is his normal pattern.

  15. eric
    Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m less cynical about police than I think some of the posters here. However I think it is very easy for reasonable people to go completely overboard when they have – consciously or not – adopted an ‘under seige’ mentality where every possible ambiguous act is interpreted as a potential threat. I expect the police at the scene had this sort of ‘us vs them, if there’s any threat to us at all we must deal with it’ thinking too, which is why they didn’t try and stop it.

    They should all be charged and prosecuted. And I fully agree with calls for police reform. But when looking for the ’cause of the disease’ here, I’d look at police acculturation that so heavily emphasizes officer safety that the safety of the public whom they serve and, yes, apprehend, takes such a distant back seat as to be practically invisible. They’re probably not monsters who joined the force because they wanted to hurt people. They’re probably regular people who, after joining the force, came to see the safety of their fellow officers as so paramount that it is worth risking the lives of the public to secure it. And that thought process is what we need to root out and destroy. They need to see us as part of that team; to see the public’s safety as so paramount that violence against them becomes the absolute last resort, to see kneeling on a person’s neck to be the same as kneeling on their partner’s neck, and to see shooting a member of the public to be like shooting their partner.

    • Greg Esres
      Posted June 1, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, it strikes me as the social psychology “Fundamental Attribution Error” to think this cop’s actions are solely due to his character.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      The world you describe is a better world, but I don’t think it is accurate. Your views here seem biased towards the nicer aspects of human nature. I’ve no doubt that your view here are accurate with respect to some segment of law enforcement officers. I’m also quite sure that they are very wrong with respect to a significant percentage of others.

      And, that us vs them mentality? That’s on law enforcement not the public. They created that. I agree with you, it’s a huge problem. The fix is not for the public to change their attitudes. The problems that need to be fixed are problems with law enforcement.

      I’m sort of speechless that you would characterize Chauvin’s motivations as “regular people who, after joining the force, came to see the safety of their fellow officers as so paramount that it is worth risking the lives of the public to secure it.”

      • Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        In general, I agree with you Darrell.

        I just read Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. I think groups of people engaged in dangerous situations do bond into tight groups of comrades and develop a protective (tribal) attitude. They tend to trust their group above all others. They tend to value the safety of their group members above all else.

        I think this kind of thing does play into police behavior (and gang behavior, military unit behavior, etc.).

  16. Posted June 1, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    The question is not whether it was murder, it’s what degree murder it was. That’s why the reliability of the autopsy results are crucial. Or is this a case where science becomes irrelevant?

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I think (my opinion) the County autopsy supports a murder charge. It says the cause of death is “homocide”.

      1st degree Murder requires premeditation and planning and a specific target. These are unsupported by the facts.

      2nd degree murder requires that the the person intended to kill. I am certain that would not stand up in court.

      3rd degree murder in Minnesota means “depraved” indifference to human life. Seems to me that fits the facts. See my lengthy comment at: 18.

  17. Posted June 2, 2020 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I officiate sports, a lot of sports and a lot of games (almost all youth or adult). In sports, you are dealing with emotional people, people with a great deal of skin in the outcome and with scholarship dreams and for some coaches, getting rehired the next year.

    One thing they beat into our heads is that if you get excited, the fan/coach/player will get excited. Most people just want to be heard. You listen, you explain, you calm the situation down. You don’t make it about you. Yes, I know a cop’s job is more dangerous than my work but the same principle applies, work with people. Officials who are on a power trip don’t last very long. It should be the same for cops.

  18. Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Here is the release from Hennepin County.

    Summary:

    Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
    restraint, and neck compression

    Manner of death: Homicide

    How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)

    Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use

    It’s not the full report, which may not be public until entered as trial evidence (I’m not sure; Ken K.?).

    I can’t find a link to the private autopsy. Only summaries.

    Here are summaries of the Minnesota statues on murder:

    First Degree (Minnesota Statutes Section 609.185)
    Second Degree (Minnesota Statutes Section 609.19)
    Third Degree (Minnesota Statutes Section 609.195)

    FIRST DEGREE MURDER

    First Degree Murder is unique in that it is a crime that is only chargeable by grand jury. This means that a county attorney’s office must assemble a grand jury in the county where the crime was allegedly committed and present evidence to the grand jury. A prosecutor alone cannot charge a person with First Degree Murder.

    At the close of evidence before a grand jury, the grand jury with either return a bill of indictment or refuse to return a bill of indictment (the latter is called a “no bill”). If the grand jury returns a bill of indictment, the defendant is charged with First Degree Murder. If convicted, the defendant will face a mandatory term of imprisonment for life without the possibility of release. In Minnesota, the following acts constitute First Degree Murder.

    – Causing the death of a human being with intent and with premeditation.

    – Causing the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit First or Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with force or violence.

    Causing the death of a human being, with intent, while committing or attempting to commit Burglary, Aggravated Robbery, Kidnapping, First or Second Degree Arson, Drive-by-Shooting, First Degree Witness Tampering, Escape from Custody, or any felony drug crime involving the sale of a controlled substance.

    Intentionally causing the death of a police officer, prosecuting attorney, judge, prison guard, or jail guard while they are engaged in the performance of official duties.
    Causing the death of a minor while committing child abuse, when the perpetrator has engaged in a past pattern of child abuse upon a child and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.

    Causing the death of a human being while committing domestic abuse, when the perpetrator has engaged in a past pattern of domestic abuse upon the victim or upon another family or household member and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.
    Causing the death of a human being while committing, conspiring to commit, or attempting to commit a felony crime to further terrorism and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.

    If a person is convicted of any of the above crimes of First Degree Murder, the laws of Minnesota require that the person be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the remainder of the person’s life without the possibility of release (formerly called “life without parole”).

    SECOND DEGREE MURDER

    The crime of Second Degree Murder includes intentional murder and unintentional murder. Unlike First Degree Murder, a charge can be made where a defendant has taken the life of another intentionally but without premeditation. To do an act intentionally, all that needs to be shown is that the defendant intended to accomplish the act that is alleged to have occurred. This can be something as quick as the mental process necessary to pull a trigger. In Minnesota, the following acts constitute Second Degree Murder.

    Causing the death of a human being with intent but without premeditation.
    Causing the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit a Drive-by-Shooting when the person recklessly discharges a firearm at a person, a motor vehicle, or a building.

    Causing the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than First or Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with force or violence, or a Drive-by-Shooting.

    Causing the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon the victim, when the perpetrator is restrained under an order for protection and the victim is a person designated to receive protection under the order.

    If a person is convicted of Second Degree Murder, the maximum punishment is up to 40 years in prison. Keep in mind that the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines will apply in instructing the appropriate sentence.

    THIRD DEGREE MURDER

    The crime of Third Degree Murder is restricted to certain acts that result in death to a human being where the defendant did not specifically intend to cause death. In Minnesota, the following acts constitute Third Degree Murder.

    Causing the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others while evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.

    Causing the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II. This includes, but is not limited to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other common drugs.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      html fail, apologies

      Summary:

      Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
      restraint, and neck compression

      Manner of death: Homicide

      How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)

      Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use

      It’s not the full report, which may not be public until entered as trial evidence (I’m not sure; Ken K.?).

      I can’t find a link to the private autopsy. Only summaries.

      Here are summaries of the Minnesota statues on murder:

      First Degree (Minnesota Statutes Section 609.185)
      Second Degree (Minnesota Statutes Section 609.19)
      Third Degree (Minnesota Statutes Section 609.195)

      FIRST DEGREE MURDER

      First Degree Murder is unique in that it is a crime that is only chargeable by grand jury. This means that a county attorney’s office must assemble a grand jury in the county where the crime was allegedly committed and present evidence to the grand jury. A prosecutor alone cannot charge a person with First Degree Murder.

      At the close of evidence before a grand jury, the grand jury with either return a bill of indictment or refuse to return a bill of indictment (the latter is called a “no bill”). If the grand jury returns a bill of indictment, the defendant is charged with First Degree Murder. If convicted, the defendant will face a mandatory term of imprisonment for life without the possibility of release. In Minnesota, the following acts constitute First Degree Murder.

      – Causing the death of a human being with intent and with premeditation.

      – Causing the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit First or Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with force or violence.

      Causing the death of a human being, with intent, while committing or attempting to commit Burglary, Aggravated Robbery, Kidnapping, First or Second Degree Arson, Drive-by-Shooting, First Degree Witness Tampering, Escape from Custody, or any felony drug crime involving the sale of a controlled substance.

      Intentionally causing the death of a police officer, prosecuting attorney, judge, prison guard, or jail guard while they are engaged in the performance of official duties.
      Causing the death of a minor while committing child abuse, when the perpetrator has engaged in a past pattern of child abuse upon a child and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.

      Causing the death of a human being while committing domestic abuse, when the perpetrator has engaged in a past pattern of domestic abuse upon the victim or upon another family or household member and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.
      Causing the death of a human being while committing, conspiring to commit, or attempting to commit a felony crime to further terrorism and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.

      If a person is convicted of any of the above crimes of First Degree Murder, the laws of Minnesota require that the person be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the remainder of the person’s life without the possibility of release (formerly called “life without parole”).

      SECOND DEGREE MURDER

      The crime of Second Degree Murder includes intentional murder and unintentional murder. Unlike First Degree Murder, a charge can be made where a defendant has taken the life of another intentionally but without premeditation. To do an act intentionally, all that needs to be shown is that the defendant intended to accomplish the act that is alleged to have occurred. This can be something as quick as the mental process necessary to pull a trigger. In Minnesota, the following acts constitute Second Degree Murder.

      Causing the death of a human being with intent but without premeditation.
      Causing the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit a Drive-by-Shooting when the person recklessly discharges a firearm at a person, a motor vehicle, or a building.

      Causing the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than First or Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with force or violence, or a Drive-by-Shooting.

      Causing the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon the victim, when the perpetrator is restrained under an order for protection and the victim is a person designated to receive protection under the order.

      If a person is convicted of Second Degree Murder, the maximum punishment is up to 40 years in prison. Keep in mind that the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines will apply in instructing the appropriate sentence.

      THIRD DEGREE MURDER

      The crime of Third Degree Murder is restricted to certain acts that result in death to a human being where the defendant did not specifically intend to cause death. In Minnesota, the following acts constitute Third Degree Murder.

      Causing the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others while evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.

      Causing the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II. This includes, but is not limited to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other common drugs.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        I’m not an expert in MN state law. But, under the 5th and 6th Amendments, the full autopsy report will have to be furnished in discovery to Chauvin’s lawyers, who (absent some type of gag order by the trial court) will be free to make it public or not as they see fit.

        In the meantime, it may be available publicly pursuant to some type of public-records request under MN state law. I’m sure the media will make such a request through whatever mechanism is available.

  19. Cookie Rojas
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Jerry you’re very inconsistent. Isn’t it kind of harsh to call the guy a monster if he had absolutely no choice to do other wise. Considering how you say no one is “morally responsible” for their conduct, why bestow the “monster” name on Mr. Chauvin or blame him at all. Or request any accountability from the department? They were all just doing what they were doing without any opportunity to have done otherwise, right? Unless you somehow believe in free will now!

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Umm. . . no, you suffer from not having read what I wrote, or not understanding it if you did. Opprobrium or approbation can alter people’s brains in a way that can affect their future behavior. That’s the reason we determinists still favor praising people for good acts and shaming them for bad ones. It’s the same principle that you can use when you hit a bad dog–the behavior changes. (I do not recommend hitting animals!).

      Clearly you need to bone up on determinism and its relationship to praise and blame.

      And, by the way, your first post here was rude. Not only rude, but ignorant as well. I don’t mind someone asking a question or pointing something out civilly, but you come in here with all guns blazing. Sadly, your gun is a toy gun.

  20. Adam M.
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    While I lean towards the assumption that Chauvin acted with reckless and callous disregard for life and should be prosecuted, this whole thing appears to be to be yet another example of the racial double standards permeating American life. What are people really protesting and why?

    If they’re protesting police brutality, why is it that nobody cares – certainly not the mainstream media – when unarmed whites or Asians or (for the most part) Hispanics are killed by police? The people killed by police are primarily white. They also don’t seem to care when black police kill blacks (and black police are more likely to do so than white police). It’s only the particular combination of a white officer and a black victim that gets coverage and causes widespread anger. What is the principle here? Surely not an opposition to police brutality in general.

    Nor is it a general opposition to violence against blacks. As everyone knows, thousands of blacks – including innocent children – are murdered every year by other blacks with nary a peep nor murmur of unrest.

    Nor is it an opposition to horrible crimes, terrible injustice, etc. A black man can literally shoot a baby in the face, deliberately, because its mom didn’t have enough money when he robbed her, and it gets no coverage or national sympathy or conversation, let alone riots and statements from presidents and ex-presidents.

    Obviously it has to do with the interracial angle, but only one particular and relatively uncommon combination. Why? Interracial violence between whites and blacks is overwhelmingly black-on-white, both in absolute numbers and even moreso in proportion, but somehow people believe that it’s the other way around. That people can with a straight face say that it’s “open season on blacks” when reality is if anything the opposite – blacks choosing whites as victims of violent crimes the majority of the time whereas whites almost never choose blacks as victims of violence – is one of the weird conspiracy theories of American life, just like the idea that this is some kind of “white supremacist” nation.

    There is no lofty principle being advanced here, no ideal of justice, just a narrow and partisan racial grievance, and so I find it hard to sympathize. I’m with anyone who’s outraged by violence, horrible crimes, or police brutality in general, but it seems that almost none of the people or media outlets jumping on this bandwagon are.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      (You’re stepping into perilous terrain.)

      Yes, black-on-black violence accounts for 90%+ of black homicides.

      What people are protesting is that the police should be held to a much, much, higher standard. Police killings of unarmed people should be scrutinized, and have CAPA procedures systematically applied to the event and police procedures, to drive the numbers to zero.

      That’s what people expect. It hasn’t happened yet. Progress; but not nearly enough.

    • Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      A lot to unpack in Adam M.’s post but I think I’ll tackle a few of the points.

      “… why is it that nobody cares – certainly not the mainstream media – when unarmed whites or Asians or (for the most part) Hispanics are killed by police?” Who says nobody cares? What percentage of whites versus blacks were unarmed? Answer: 6% of whites and 15% of blacks. Race who are shot: White 49%, Blacks 27%. Using 2017-2020(1Q) data, that’s 105 blacks shot, 76 whites shot who were unarmed. Blacks are 12% of the overall population while whites are 63%. Do you see some disparity there?

      “They also don’t seem to care when black police kill blacks (and black police are more likely to do so than white police)”. Why is that? Maybe because in areas where blacks are a larger percentage of the population, they also make up a larger percentage of the PD? Chicago’s PD is 50-50 white-non-white (21% black). I’ve never seen a black cop on the force in my town, a Chicago suburb. Perhaps the 15% of unarmed victims are primarily killed by white police officers? And it’s the unarmed ones that bring out the cries for justice, not the justifiable ones that involved an armed perpetrator.

      “As everyone knows, thousands of blacks – including innocent children – are murdered every year by other blacks with nary a peep nor murmur of unrest.” Apparently, what you know is extremely limited. Otherwise you would be familiar with the marches, rallies, education programs, and the like run by blacks in their own neighborhoods trying to stop violence in their neighborhoods. I guess you just weren’t aware.

      “Obviously…..” “Interracial violence between whites and blacks is overwhelmingly black-on-white, both in absolute numbers and even moreso in proportion, but somehow people believe that it’s the other way around.” 84% of white homicide victims were killed by whites. 93% of black homicide victims were killed by blacks. “….blacks choosing whites as victims of violent crimes the majority of the time whereas whites almost never choose blacks as victims of violence….” NCJRS statistics say that 77% of white victims were victims of other whites while blacks were involved about 17% of the time. For blacks, it was 77% blacks and 14% whites. That doesn’t look like anybody seeking anybody out.

      “……one of the weird conspiracy theories of American life…”. Adam M., I’m afraid that your entire post is full of misinformation and misinformed opinion. You need to educate yourself some more beyond the right wing talking points that you are regurgitating here.

      Apologies to PCC(E) for taking up so much room in this response.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Unpacked and put away in the armoire, I’d say. Nicely done.

      • GBJames
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, greenpoisonfrog for that.

      • Adam M.
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Blacks are 12% of the overall population while whites are 63%. Do you see some disparity there?

        Your comparison to the general population assumes that blacks commit crime at the same rate as whites, have the same rate of interactions with police, etc. That 12% commits the majority of violent crime in the nation. They’re the most likely to resist arrest and to attack and kill police officers. It’s no surprise that they’d have more, and more dangerous, interactions with police. It’s not at all clear that police are out to get them.

        Perhaps the 15% of unarmed victims are primarily killed by white police officers?

        Maybe, but that’s pure speculation.

        Otherwise you would be familiar with the marches, rallies, education programs…

        I’ve read about them (mostly vigils and anti-violence programs; marches and rallies seem comparatively rare), but I’d hardly call them unrest. A few dozen blacks can be shot every weekend in Chicago alone, but where’s the rage?

        NCJRS statistics say that…

        First, you’re presenting the numbers incorrectly. If you’re talking about absolute numbers, you have to multiply by the number of instances, and if you want to talk about rates, you have to consider the different population sizes. Second, it sounds like you’re talking only about homicide, which is the violent crime that shows the least interracial skew (and is a relatively uncommon crime), rather than interracial violence generally, which is what I was referring to. In absolute numbers in 2018, according to the NCVS, interracial violence between blacks and whites was 89.1% black-on-white. Among all incidents, blacks chose whites 49.5% of the time. (That number is often above 50%.) Meanwhile, whites chose black victims 2.4% of the time. Homicide alone has a similar, but smaller, skew.

        The narrative we’re supposed to believe is that blacks “live in fear” because “it’s open season on blacks” whereby whites (either police or civilians) can kill or attack them “just for being black”. I don’t know whether they live in fear, but if they do it’s a fear not founded in reality. People of all races have far more to fear from blacks, by orders of magnitude, than blacks (especially innocent ones) have to fear from police or people of any other race. Now, that is what it is and I don’t want to harp on it, but to turn the facts on their head and present the very group that’s the cause of the most brutality (by far) as the victim of the most brutality (by far), and to present the relatively rare cases when they’re the true victim as the norm while ignoring the vastly more common cases when they’re the victimizers, is only possible due to a pervasive double standard. Report on violence or don’t. Riot, or don’t. Wring your hands, or don’t. But do it honestly.

        • sugould
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          “That people can with a straight face say that it’s “open season on blacks” when reality is if anything the opposite…”

          The reality is, being white in America has always come with built in bonus points for whites, or built in negative points for blacks. And hasn’t even changed that much since the 60’s, my generation, and even being rich and famous, will not protect you from it.

          Neil deGrasse Tyson was stopped on suspicion of shoplifting at a trendy store, and the actual white shoplifter knew that if he exited at the same time, Tyson would be the automatic suspect.

          The reality is, to be black is to automatically be a suspect, to automatically have a target on your back. Which white people take advantage of— and expect to be able to do so — all the time.

          But it’s nice we can argue statistics.

          • Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            +1

          • Adam M.
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            Well, my belief is that if we lived in a world where whites committed crime at 9x the black rate, then whites would be more often suspect. I.e. that people aren’t profiling blacks “just for being black”, although surely some people go overboard.

            Asians aren’t white, and they commit crime much less often than whites. Do whites still get more “points” than Asians, or is it the other way around? I don’t know, and I suppose it’s hard to quantify, but by most commonly stated measures of “white privilege”, Asians are doing better. I don’t think these issues can be simply blamed on racism and privilege.

        • Posted June 3, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          “That 12% commits the majority of violent crime in the nation. They’re the most likely to resist arrest and to attack and kill police officers.” The first sentence is true. The second sentence, where is your evidence for that? And regardless of what their proportion is of crimes committed, that’s completely irrelevant when we are talking about outcomes and it is a fact that innocents who are killed by police are disproportionately black, that sentences for crimes, even with similar records and backgrounds are harsher for blacks than whites, and that blacks are far more likely to receive non-lethal force attacks from the police.

          “It’s not at all clear that police are out to get them.” Oh, I think that it’s very clear. Statistics and numerous studies back that conclusion and only willful blindness can make you think otherwise. Reports by the Department of Justice have also found that police officers in Baltimore, Maryland, and Ferguson, Missouri, systemically stop, search (in some cases strip-searching) and harass black residents.

          A 2013 ACLU report found that blacks were “3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.” This in spite of the fact that “blacks and whites use drugs, including marijuana, at similar rates.”

          A 2014 study over 34 years in Connecticut reported “that minority defendants who kill white victims are capitally charged at substantially higher rates than minority defendants who kill minorities… There is also strong and statistically significant evidence that minority defendants who kill whites are more likely to end up with capital sentences than comparable cases with white defendants.”

          A Marshall Project report from 2017 reported that killings of black men by whites were far more likely to be deemed “justifiable” than killings by any other combination of races.

          A 2017 report by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) found, “after controlling for a wide variety of sentencing factors” (such as age, education, citizenship, weapon possession and prior criminal history), that “black male offenders received sentences on average 19.1 percent longer than similarly situated White male offenders.”

          I said, “Otherwise you would be familiar with the marches, rallies, education programs…”
          You replied, “I’ve read about them (mostly vigils and anti-violence programs; marches and rallies seem comparatively rare), but I’d hardly call them unrest. A few dozen blacks can be shot every weekend in Chicago alone, but where’s the rage?” So according to this logic, if every death is not followed by a riot, I guess nobody gave a shit.

          You then quoted a lot of information saying that blacks perform crime on whites more than on blacks. Given that whites are nearly six times more numerous, I suppose I should be surprised if it were otherwise. Also, as Wllie Sutton said, he robbed banks because that is where the money is. I should imagine we’d find some similar motive.

          “The narrative we’re supposed to believe is that blacks “live in fear” because “it’s open season on blacks” whereby whites (either police or civilians) can kill or attack them “just for being black”. Yeah, because white people are killed all the time jogging down the street. More importantly, when it happens, the white perpetrator frequently GETS AWAY WITH IT.

          “I don’t know whether they live in
          fear, but if they do it’s a fear not founded in reality. People of all races have far more to fear from blacks, by orders of magnitude, than blacks (especially innocent ones) have to fear from police or people of any other race.” Adam M. leaves the rails here. This whole discussion can be loaded with statistics, but it comes down to this: Should law abiding individuals fear that the police will target them for special enforcement? Because the reality is that this is what happens. The sad reality is that black people have way more to fear than white people do. No amount of your hand waving can make that not a true statement. No one should fear a law enforcement officer. No one.

  21. Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department, and has launched an investigation following the death of George Floyd.

    Link.

  22. Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I would ask readers to comment with their experiences with police.

    My experience has been: Almost universally good with small town police, state troopers, local sheriffs. Polite, calm, helpful, very consistently, even when pulling me over for speeding (when they say, I clocked you at xx mph, I always agree: That sounds right. I was speeding, I’m sure.)

    And: Almost universally bad with big-city police officers (primarily Seattle and Minneapolis). Aggressive, suspicious, unhelpful.

    One of my friends from “the block” when I grew up, a black man, has been harassed repeatedly by the police. He drives a fancy car and has been pulled over because of that.

    A couple of years ago, I drove around for 4 months with expired tabs. My friend asked, do you think you could have done that as a black man? Of course not! (Unfortunately.) This tells the tale.

    • Posted June 3, 2020 at 4:30 am | Permalink

      As I mentioned somewhere else in this post or the previous one, what I hear from black or brown males is that they are targeted by police and treated differently, often very badly. I have an Hispanic male friend who was held outside his car for three hours at a Wyoming rest stop without having done anything and without being charged. Just being brown in Wyoming. My husband used to tutor Hispanic boys in the L.A. area back years ago when he was in college. He and a car full of the boys got pulled over by a cop and they and the car searched for no apparent reason. A black male from a wealthy governmental family in a Central American country who was used to a high level of deference, was so disturbed by the way he was treated in the U.S when he was in school here in Southern California that he left. Fortunately, I don’t personally know anyone who was killed by police officers, but within the last several years I have been made aware of the killing of two Marshallese teenagers by police officers. One occurred this week in Texas. None of the white males I have known have been treated similarly. Change is needed
      sooner rather than later. It has gone on way too long.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      My experiences with police have been a mixed bag. I’ve ridden sport bikes for years and sport bikes are targets for police. I’ve had many interactions with the police in that context. Several entirely justified of course, but many not remotely so.

      For one example, I’m sitting at my kitchen bar eating lunch when my mother in law opens the door with a man I don’t know pushing in behind her. This man takes a few steps into the house, sees me and starts telling me to “come on” and gesturing to me to come to him. I’ve got no clue what is going on except that there is a strange man in my house who came in uninvited. I got up and carefully walked towards him. If he had touched me I would definitely have laid hands on him. He leads me out the door. In the street in front of my drive way are 3 marked and 1 unmarked police cars all pulled up at different angles with lights going (no sirens) like a scene out of Kojak.

      Turns out the police got a report from a State Trooper about a motorcycle doing 105 mph on the interstate near our town about 45 minutes earlier. Whenever there is a motorcycle incident around town the police send a car by my house, this time they went full monty. It was ridiculous. Of course they spent the next 30 minutes trying to get me to confess, threatening me with arrest if I didn’t. The strange man was of course a plain-clothes police officer. He came into my house without my permission and never identified who he was. And for the record, no, it wasn’t me. It still ended up costing me about $1,000. My reputation with my local police is based solely on 3 minor (+10 or less) speeding tickets over a number of years and the fact that I have several bikes.

      Of course, my unpleasant experiences with law enforcement are nothing compared to other groups such as blacks and Hispanics (and others).

      On the plus side, I have a nephew who is a police officer and SWAT team. He is one of the best people I know. Level headed, capable, kind and in it to help people. Especially those less fortunate.

      • Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Thanks Darrell. You write very well. 🙂

        BTW, I tried your black beans recipe and it was great! We are repeating it. (And I bought some dry black beans too.)

        • darrelle
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          Thank you, but I don’t believe you! I hate going back and reading something I’ve written. It seems so clumsy. Usually way to many words!

          Glad to hear the beans worked out. Now I’ve got a hankering for them. Might have to make a batch this weekend.

      • Posted June 3, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        How did it it end up costing you $1000?

        • darrelle
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          I didn’t confess and they didn’t take me jail but they did write a ticket. I hired a lawyer. The one thing I really wanted to know is what evidence they had. I specifically asked the lawyer to find that out. He didn’t but between court costs and lawyer fees it was about $1K. If I had the money and time to do my proper duty as a good citizen I would tried pursuing things further. Particularly the plain-clothes officer. He really pissed me off. What trouble would I have been in if I had tried tossing him out of my house? How far could that have escalated?

          • Posted June 3, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            Wow, scary. I understand. I had a bad neighbor (and a renter, not even the property owner) imposing on my property and it cost me about $1000 for nearly nothing in lawyering.

            • darrelle
              Posted June 3, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

              Yeah. Without any intent to disparage lawyers as a group, especially some of the fine examples that comment here like Ken and Brujo, hiring a lawyer is about the quickest way to get rid of money for nothing in return.

    • Adam M.
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      In most of my interactions with police, I’ve found them to be rude, on a power trip, and unwilling to admit error.

      For example, my car was once stolen. I called the police and filed a report. Two months went by with no progress, but by chance I found my car some blocks away from where it was stolen. So I took it back, and called the police to report that I’d recovered it and they could take it off the list of stolen cars. The guy on the phone started screaming at me that they would have shot and killed me if they found me driving a stolen car. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes because if they couldn’t find it after two months, they weren’t going to find it during the two minutes I spent driving it home. Anyway, that wasn’t the worst of it.

      They sent an officer to look at the car for whatever reason, and I felt that I should mention that the thief replaced the stereo with a new one. Suddenly she began yelling at me that “You can’t keep that! It’s not yours!” – if I’d wanted to keep it I wouldn’t have said anything – and began trying to yank out the new radio with brute force. Radios are screwed in and she clearly didn’t know how to remove it, but in her attempts she was tearing off the dash board and console and causing all kinds of damage. I timidly asked “Are you sure you know how to take it out? Don’t you have to unscrew it first?” and she replied “Shut the fuck up! Stand over there! Of course I know how to remove it!” and she tore the console off further, gave the radio a few more futile yanks, gave up, took the face plate (rendering it useless), and left. I didn’t want to go through the ordeal of filing a complaint about the damage, but I felt like “sheesh, I’m supposed to be the victim here”.

      Another time I was stopped for a burned-out tail light. Although I’d known nothing about it and was glad to be alerted, I felt it was completely unnecessary to yell at me “You have to get this fixed! It’s illegal to drive like this, and if you don’t we can arrest you!”

      A couple police have been friendly, but most have been unnecessarily rude at best. The few times I’ve been stopped while driving, though, they were always right that I’d done something to warrant it, even if I thought it was minor and completely safe under the circumstances.

      I followed a police blog at one point and read that they feel they “have to” become cold, hard jerks to insulate themselves from the people who scream abuse at them every day, because if they don’t they won’t last long on the force, but surely there must be a better solution…

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        … my car was once stolen. I called the police and filed a report. Two months went by with no progress, but by chance I found my car some blocks away from where it was stolen. So I took it back, and called the police to report that I’d recovered it and they could take it off the list of stolen cars.

        Sure hope they left the Credence tapes:

        • Posted June 3, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          I am an old enough, white female that I was raised at a time when my parents emphasized police were my friend. If something happened to me, I could go to them and they would help. I have been one of the more fortunate citizens whose experiences with police generally affirm my parents’ teaching. Highway patrol persons have been exceptionally good to me.

          But, my husband and I have had several home break ins and robberies in which city police came out, wrote it up and, did nothing. Too minor incidents to waste time on. However, they weren’t abusive.

          I, personally, have never (yet) had bad experiences happen with police other than the inactivity associated with the robberies.
          My personal experience with the police has been almost exclusively positive.

  23. Posted June 3, 2020 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been able to find the specific article I read that said Chauvin received training outside police overview. I seem to recall them referencing “warrior” training and the impression was that Chauvin paid for it himself. The following article, if relevant to Chauvin, would make it seem that “warrior” training was provided to Minneapolis police officers by the Minneapolis Police Union with the disapproval of the Minneapolis mayor.

    https://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-police-union-offers-free-warrior-training-in-defiance-of-mayor-s-ban/509025622/

  24. Posted June 3, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    People are calling for change, and I agree. For sure. Long overdue. As I told my wife last night: Obviously, the MN Human Rights Commission needs to investigate the Mpls. PD.

    We have a model of self correction in vital systems: The CAPA system, which is required in all US regulated industries (that I am familiar with).

    A CAPA system requires that when errors occur and rise above a threshold (harm/risk + occurrence based), then a new issue is opened and must be investigated, root cause(s) determined, and solutions identified and implemented. Then, a measure of effectiveness must be determined and tracked to determine if the solution was actually effective (these criteria are often tricky to define).

    All of this has strong time limits (you can’t just open the issue and then sit on it) and metrics that are closely followed. Failing metrics causes further issues and corrections.

    This type of system works. It’s what has driven the safety of the US and EU air transport systems to the highest safety of any transport system.

    A CAPA system should be implemented in police departments, in my opinion.

  25. jay salhi
    Posted June 3, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The Floyd family should find a new attorney. Ben Crump is doing them no favors and is God’s gift (pardon the expression) to the defense.

    1. Crump wants first degree murder. No competent attorney would bring this case to trial as first degree murder. If that happens, the cop walks. Pressuring the prosecution to bring unrealistic charges does the prosecution no favors.

    2. Second degree murder is the appropriate charge (the current third degree charge is a bit of a mystery but will likely change).

    3. The defense need only show reasonable doubt. The prosecution must remove reasonable doubt. The prosecution has the tougher job. Ben Crump has gone out and hired a medical expert whose findings contradict (or at least are not perfectly consistent with) the findings of the Medical Examiner and is publicizing those findings. Casting doubt on the Medical Examiner’s findings does the prosecution no favors. It does not remove reasonable doubt but rather gives the defense ammunition to create reasonable doubt. This is professional incompetence on Ben Crump’s part. Also, although JC doesn’t like the hired gun argument raised by another commentator, it was a foregone conclusion that any medical expert hired by Crump would deliver the findngs Crump wanted. The prosecution cannot base its case on findings made by Crump’s expert so no good comes out of this irrelevant report.

    4. Ben Crump’s primary goal is likely a large payout to Floyd’s family. That will happen in any event. The last time a Minneapolis cop (Mohamed Noor) murdered someone, the city paid a $20 million settlement. The Floyd family will likely get more and Crump will claim the credit even though it will have little to do with him.

    5. Crump has already started trying this case in the court of public opinion. That is tactic defense attorneys use when their client is in serious trouble. It is not a tactic that helps the prosecution. The last thing the prosecution needs is political theater or a circus-like atmosphere. But that is Crump’s mojo.

    • Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      See my long comment at 18.

      2nd degree murder in MN requires proving an intent to kill.

      Do you think the evidence supports, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd? I think a reasonable doubt is more or less guaranteed in this case.

      Third degree murder fits the facts (in my opinion): The perpetrator demonstrates a “depraved disregard for human life” without intent. This can be proved in court, in front of a jury.

      The County’s autopsy report (we’ve only seen the summary so far) states Manner of death: Homicide.

      Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
      restraint, and neck compression.

      They say he died from murder and it was caused by the police actions. Seems pretty clear to me.

      I agree on Crump. Much of what he is doing is political posturing.

      • Posted June 3, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        It was Chauvin’s intend when he did NOTHING even after one of the other three told him to move Mr. Floyd to his side on two occasions. If that’s not intent, I don’t know what is.

        • Posted June 3, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

          They didn’t tell him to move him because he was killing him and in fact my understanding is that the question was asked if they should and the answer was no, he was somehow still causing them issues. I think that if they charge him only with 2nd degree, he will not be convicted. There’s way too much of a lane for the defense to argue against intent. Depraved indifference looks easy. If they do not convict him, what has happened for the past week will look like nothing.

      • jay salhi
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 2:24 am | Permalink

        “2nd degree murder in MN requires proving an intent to kill.”

        No, it does not.

        “Do you think the evidence supports, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd?”

        No, I don’t. Which is why first degree murder is not the appropriate charge. Second degree murder is.

        “Third degree murder fits the facts (in my opinion): The perpetrator demonstrates a “depraved disregard for human life” without intent. This can be proved in court, in front of a jury.”

        No, under Minnesota case law third degree murder is not applicable where the defendant’s actions were directed at a particular person. Chauvin’s knee to Floyd’s neck was clearly directed a specific person.

      • jay salhi
        Posted June 4, 2020 at 4:15 am | Permalink

        “2nd degree murder in MN requires proving an intent to kill.”

        Elaborating on my previous reply, under subdivsion 1, yes, under subdivision 2, no. Chauvin will be tried under subdivision 2, often referred to as felony murder. See below.

        609.19 MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.

        Subdivision 1. Intentional murder; drive-by shootings. Whoever does either of the following is guilty of murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years:

        (1) causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation; or

        (2) causes the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit a drive-by shooting in violation of section 609.66, subdivision 1e, under circumstances other than those described in section 609.185, paragraph (a), clause (3).

        §Subd. 2. Unintentional murders. Whoever does either of the following is guilty of unintentional murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years:

        (1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting; or

        (2) causes the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon the victim, when the perpetrator is restrained under an order for protection and the victim is a person designated to receive protection under the order. As used in this clause, “order for protection” includes an order for protection issued under chapter 518B; a harassment restraining order issued under section 609.748; a court order setting conditions of pretrial release or conditions of a criminal sentence or juvenile court disposition; a restraining order issued in a marriage dissolution action; and any order issued by a court of another state or of the United States that is similar to any of these orders.

        • Posted June 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          And M2 will fail in this case, just as it did in the Noor case. But it’s required from a political standpoint.

          • GBJames
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            If it fails, and I hope it does not, there will be a lot of outrage.

            There really should be one question that determines this. If the crime was done by a civilian, what would the result be?. (IMO)

  26. Posted June 3, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    AG Ellison has charged/arrested the other three as well as elevate the charge to Chauvin to 2nd Degree Murder. He has a great reputation and track record. As one who lives in Minneapolis, this is fantastic news.

    • Posted June 3, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      I just posted about that (see most recent post).

    • jay salhi
      Posted June 4, 2020 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      Ellison has a great reputation and track record? According to whom? Louis Farakhan? Antifa? Local gang leaders?

  27. Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    It really is crazy how one could conscientiously kneel on someone else’s neck while they beg for a breathe of air. It beats human imagination.


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