How about a discussion thread while I’m on the road? Here’s one possible topic, but feel free to bring up anything.
As you know, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is now on trial for the murder of George Floyd in the infamous kneeling-on-the-neck incident. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jury has a mixed racial composition, so reports the media, but that reporting itself implies that jurors will judge the case based on their race.
I’ve been loath to call the death of Floyd “murder” because there wasn’t a verdict yet, and because even the news doesn’t do that, but it sure looks as if Chauvin showed some sort of wanton depravity, kneeling on Floyd’s neck much longer than necessary.
Here’s CNN’s Van Jones analyzing the case in a seven-minute segment. Jones apparently thinks that Chauvin is guilty, and saying that “the system is on trial”: if Chauvin gets away with it, police officers across the U.S. will feel free to do the same thing. But the jurors cannot try the system: they are trying Derek Chauvin. The purpose of a trial is to see if an individual broke the law under a particular set of circumstances, not whether the American system of policing is flawed. That said, like Van Jones I can’t imagine how Chauvin’s conduct could be found acceptable.
I suspect there will be a guilty verdict on at least one of the charges.
"Today brought it all back home for tens of millions of people," says CNN's Van Jones about the first day of Derek Chauvin's murder trial in the death of George Floyd. "If this is considered legal conduct from a police officer… it will be perceived as open season." pic.twitter.com/eqgjzMiJAw
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) March 30, 2021
The coverage will be live (an unprecedented even in Minneapolis) at the site below:
Discuss your take. Should the system be on trial? Is Chauvin guilty? If so, of which of the charges?