Douglas Andrews / Mar. 11, 2021

Can Derek Chauvin Get a Fair Trial?

The case for conviction on second-degree murder isn’t nearly as strong as the mainstream media had us believe.

If there’s one thing the mainstream media would have us all know, it’s that Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd. After all, that’s what it told us every time it played that endless loop of video with Floyd handcuffed and lying prostrate on the ground crying “I can’t breathe” while Officer Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nine interminable minutes, well past the point of Floyd losing consciousness.

So a second-degree murder conviction in the trial whose jury selection began Monday should be a slam-dunk, right?

Wrong. There’s plenty of reasonable doubt as to what killed George Floyd.

And plenty of evidence, too. It’s just that we haven’t seen it. As Tucker Carlson said last night, “The effort to hide that evidence began immediately after George Floyd died. Everyone saw the footage of Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was horrible. It is also confusing. When you watch it, you ask yourself ‘Why would a police officer act like that? Of course, it must be illegal.’ No one in the media thought to tell us that, in fact, using a knee to restrain an uncooperative suspect is the official policy of the Minneapolis Police Department. In fact, it’s taught at their academy.”

Think about it: If Chauvin were doing something he knew to be illegal or even merely at odds with official policy, would he have done it in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses? And would he have looked up so calmly at those who were capturing the whole thing with their smartphones?

It’s tough to see Floyd complain about not being able to breathe and to see Chauvin simply ignore those complaints. Why didn’t he listen, and why didn’t he take his knee off Floyd’s neck?

Because, as Roger Kimball notes in The Spectator, “A look at the police bodycam footage shows that Floyd was complaining that he couldn’t breathe before he was restrained by the police. Why? Because, as the FBI’s interview with the local medical examiner on July 8, 2020, revealed, Floyd was suffering from pulmonary edema, i.e., his lungs were full of fluid. And why was that? Partly because of an underlying heart condition, partly because Floyd was full to the gills with fentanyl, a drug known to affect respiration and cause pulmonary edema.”

Fentanyl. The same drug that killed Prince, Tom Petty, and tens of thousands of other Americans in recent years. Floyd had 11 nanograms of fentanyl per milligram of blood in his body. As the autopsy report states, “Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and death. In fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 nanograms of fentanyl per milliliter of blood.”

Whatever considerable distress Chauvin caused Floyd by putting his knee on his neck, it paled in comparison to the distress Floyd caused himself with that massive overdose of fentanyl.

But still, that knee to the neck must’ve kept him from breathing, right? Wrong. As Andrew Baker, the chief Hennepin County medical examiner, also made clear, “The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation.”

Suddenly, then, that slam-dunk case for second-degree murder isn’t quite so convincing. Because if Floyd didn’t die from asphyxiation, then he didn’t die from Chauvin’s knee. Maybe that’s why prosecutors put in a last-minute request — that the judge granted just this morning — to add a third-degree murder charge. Maybe that will stick, they’re saying.

If only Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison had played it straight and shared that bodycam footage immediately. Had he done so, he might’ve saved South Minneapolis and countless other communities across the country from the mob.

Instead, as our Thomas Gallatin wrote last week, “Ellison has overcharged Chauvin, making the prospect of conviction far from a given. Then, should the state fail to convict, Ellison and the ‘social justice’ Left will spin the narrative as yet more ‘evidence’ of their false ‘systemic racism’ claims, and the BLM mob will be ready.”

And so, downtown Minneapolis braces for a trial. And if, as it seems, a racially motivated conviction is the only thing that can keep us from another wave of arson, looting, and rioting, we’re in a terrible place as a nation.


UPDATE: Regarding our quote of Tucker Carlson above, what isn’t taught at the academy is to apply that knee restraint for nine minutes. As Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in testimony during the trial, “Once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to in person, proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy, is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics.”

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