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Douglas Andrews / Jun. 4, 2020

Keith Ellison's Gamble on Charging Police

The radical race-baiting Minnesota AG may be setting up the system for "failure."

Some day next year, if, after a long and agonizing trial, a Minneapolis jury fails to convict Officer Derek Chauvin of second-degree murder, all this rioting will begin anew.

And if that happens, would Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison consider it a long-game “win”? Would his failure to secure a conviction be offset by a second wave of mayhem, a more pronounced case of white guilt, and an ever-louder chorus for tearing down our nation’s “white supremacy” power structure? Ellison’s long history with Louis Farrakhan and other haters has us wondering. And if the trial moves quickly, he could be stirring that noxious stew before the November elections.

Ellison announced yesterday that he’d upgraded charges against Chauvin from third-degree murder and manslaughter to second-degree murder without intent, in addition to charging the three other officers at the scene of George Floyd’s death with aiding and abetting. In a moment of honesty, Ellison also announced, “Trying this case will not be an easy thing. Winning a conviction will be hard.” And this is what has us worried. If there were ever a case where a slam-dunk was needed, it’s this one. But the upgraded charges make an easy conviction less likely — and future rioting more so.

No one has yet weighed in with a vigorous defense of Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force, and his fellow cops. But, rest assured, one is coming. Indeed, our system of due process demands it. Anything can happen in a jury trial, and only a single juror must be plagued with reasonable doubt. How many times during Chauvin’s career had he neutralized a suspect with a knee to the neck? And how many times had it resulted in death? Those who think a conviction is a fait accompli would do well to remember the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore.

As for Ellison’s upgrade, we could see it coming ever since he took control of the case earlier this week from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Obviously Ellison harbors a strong anti-cop bias, at least during his dinner-table conversations. Earlier this week, the attorney general’s own son pledged his allegiance to antifa and declared his commitment to “keep focusing on stopping the white power terrorist [sic] THE [sic] ARE ACTUALLY ATTACKING US!”

Regardless of whom Ellison’s son believes is attacking him, and regardless of the righteousness he sees in these riots, one thing is certain: Minorities are being hit hardest. As Brad Polumbo points out in the Washington Examiner, “We do know that these riots are occurring in heavily urban areas, which are disproportionately populated with minorities compared to the rest of the country.” Thus, “It’s reasonable to conclude that the long-term economic costs of this vandalism, rioting, and looting will disproportionately burden minorities — the group this radical activism ostensibly purports to support.”

Setting aside the economic devastation being meted out by both black looters and white anarchists, every ounce of energy spent on this mayhem is one less ounce spent on the legitimate cause of justice for George Floyd.

Let’s hope — all of us — that Keith Ellison doesn’t simply see the prosecution of Officer Derek Chauvin as a race-baiting means to a larger end.

(Updated)

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