Wednesday, June 03, 2020
All Four Cops Now Charged in George Floyd Killing
That's not to say an American jury will convict them but all four Minneapolis police officers present at the killing of George Floyd will stand trial.
Derek Chauvin, the cop who held his knee to Floyd's neck well after his victim lost consciousness has his charge upped from 3rd degree to 2nd degree murder. That increases his jeopardy from 25 years to 40 years on conviction.
The other three, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, are charged with aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder and aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder manslaughter with culpable negligence.
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I won't be surprised if Kueng's charges get upgraded to murder. Video shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, Kueng on his back and Lane on his legs. Kueng's weight compressing Floyd's chest would certainly lead to difficulty breathing, which the autopsy identifies as contributing to Floyd's death.
The NY Times did a very good incident reconstruction using available video and police scanner recordings: https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000007159353/george-floyd-arrest-death-video.html
It's not for the faint of heart.
Thanks for the link, Cap. BTW, do you think a jury will convict those cops?
Absolutely, a properly instructed jury will convict, and in my view the cops would be better off opting for a bench trial. A judge alone may be subject to persuasion by a police union donation to a reelection campaign.
Just like in the Forcillo case in TO, the video evidence will be a huge hurdle for the defense to clear. While police notebooks will state that Floyd refused to comply with a order to get in the car, the video shows that 1) he was cuffed and already in the car when he was dragged out of it by Chauvin, and 2) he was later unable to comply because three officers were kneeling on him. Indeed, the officers' taunting establishes malice, which goes straight to the mental element needed for a murder conviction.
When a fascist ghoul like Pat Robertson calls for the cops to be charged with murder one, the defense must know they're in trouble.
It's been my understanding, Cap, that American juries have been unduly sympathetic to cops.
Not just American juries, Mound. Canadian ones are quite sympathetic too, and all it takes for a hung jury is one idiot out of twelve. Prosecutors are also known to take a dive, even when there's solid evidence of police guilt, bad faith and lying, see e.g. Dziekański, Robert.
But I remain confident that the videos here will be the great equalizer. They can be played over and over in the jury room, and they're damning. This isn't a "the accused said, the cop said" situation, where the cops' contemporaneous notes can be given great deference. Assuming the prosecutors do their jobs and the cops aren't able to tamper with the jury - I know, big assumptions - a jury should be able to convict.
I so hope you're right, Cap.
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