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The Trial of Derek Chauvin


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State's opening was brutal for the defendant. Very heavy emphasis on "What does someone look like when they're ODing on opiates? Asleep"

Defense counsel is up now. He's pounding on reasonable doubt. Strange emphasis on number of investigators on the case, number of documents, and number of witnesses. Sounds like "victim was under the influence and died from it" will be their primary claim.

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13 minutes ago, GopherRock said:

State's opening was brutal for the defendant. Very heavy emphasis on "What does someone look like when they're ODing on opiates? Asleep"

Defense counsel is up now. He's pounding on reasonable doubt. Strange emphasis on number of investigators on the case, number of documents, and number of witnesses. Sounds like "victim was under the influence and died from it" will be their primary claim.

I assume that this is an attempt to make it appear to be more complicated than old boy sat on his head for 10 minutes, so the jury doesn't focus solely on the video.

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59 minutes ago, GopherRock said:

State's opening was brutal for the defendant. Very heavy emphasis on "What does someone look like when they're ODing on opiates? Asleep"

Defense counsel is up now. He's pounding on reasonable doubt. Strange emphasis on number of investigators on the case, number of documents, and number of witnesses. Sounds like "victim was under the influence and died from it" will be their primary claim.

I don't understand why this is even admissible, never mind the focus.  Even assuming it's true, it doesn't matter what preexisting conditions the victim had if you put your knee on his neck for 10 minutes, whether it's drug abuse, stroke, etc.  Doesn't that make it worse?  He's not well because he's overdosing, and instead of calling for an ambulance, Chauvin put his knee on his neck for 10 minutes.

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yeah, is there some kinda drug you can take where if a 200 pound man puts all his weight on your neck for 10 minutes...you don't die?  Because I'd like to be on that drug.  

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17 minutes ago, lemonlime said:

I don't understand why this is even admissible, never mind the focus.  Even assuming it's true, it doesn't matter what preexisting conditions the victim had if you put your knee on his neck for 10 minutes, whether it's drug abuse, stroke, etc.  Doesn't that make it worse?  He's not well because he's overdosing, and instead of calling for an ambulance, Chauvin put his knee on his neck for 10 minutes.

If you were tasked with defending a murderer who we all saw murder a guy, you don’t have a lot of options. You can’t argue, “Well, duh. Of course my client murdered the guy.” Blaming the victim is all they’ve got.

And it will probably work. 

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If you were tasked with defending a murderer who we all saw murder a guy, you don’t have a lot of options. You can’t argue, “Well, duh. Of course my client murdered the guy.” Blaming the victim is all they’ve got.
And it will probably work. 
I don't see it working, but I agree you'd have to go down every path the judge would allow.
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22 minutes ago, lemonlime said:

I don't understand why this is even admissible, never mind the focus.  Even assuming it's true, it doesn't matter what preexisting conditions the victim had if you put your knee on his neck for 10 minutes, whether it's drug abuse, stroke, etc.  Doesn't that make it worse?  He's not well because he's overdosing, and instead of calling for an ambulance, Chauvin put his knee on his neck for 10 minutes.

Causation of death is an issue for the jury to determine.  I haven't done a deep dive on Minnesota law, but the act complained of generally has to contribute proximately to the death for there to be a homicide.  In a criminal case, they're not going to exclude evidence of other possible contributions and the jury gets to sort it out.

 

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I don't understand why this is even admissible, never mind the focus.  Even assuming it's true, it doesn't matter what preexisting conditions the victim had if you put your knee on his neck for 10 minutes, whether it's drug abuse, stroke, etc.  Doesn't that make it worse?  He's not well because he's overdosing, and instead of calling for an ambulance, Chauvin put his knee on his neck for 10 minutes.
It's admissible as an alternative explanation for the death, right? They'd argue that yes, it looks bad, but the cause of death was an OD, not lack of oxygen, and the knee to the throat did not have anything to do with the death.

Which we all know is 100% bullshit. But how else do you try to raise a reasonable doubt?
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3 minutes ago, Mikey4 said:

It's admissible as an alternative explanation for the death, right? They'd argue that yes, it looks bad, but the cause of death was an OD, not lack of oxygen, and the knee to the throat did not have anything to do with the death.

Which we all know is 100% bullshit. But how else do you try to raise a reasonable doubt?

Fair enough.  it just seems so prejudicial.  And the probative value should really be limited to something beneficial for the prosecution---if true Chauvin should have been putting Floyd in an ambulance, not choking him, and his intent to kill Floyd is even more obvious.

But maybe I'm hung up on the fact that a theory that something else killed him than the knee on his neck for ten minutes is patently absurd.

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6 minutes ago, Mikey4 said:

It's admissible as an alternative explanation for the death, right? They'd argue that yes, it looks bad, but the cause of death was an OD, not lack of oxygen, and the knee to the throat did not have anything to do with the death.

Which we all know is 100% bullshit. But how else do you try to raise a reasonable doubt?

What an AMAZING coincidence that he died from an OD exactly after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes. What are the odds?

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Fair enough.  it just seems so prejudicial.  And the probative value should really be limited to something beneficial for the prosecution---if true Chauvin should have been putting Floyd in an ambulance, not choking him, and his intent to kill Floyd is even more obvious.
But maybe I'm hung up on the fact that a theory that something else killed him than the knee on his neck for ten minutes is patently absurd.

It really comes down to a but-for test. But for what Chauvin did, would Floyd have died at that moment (and yes, timing matters. If a person would have lived a minute longer, then you ended their life. Go into a hospice and smother a dying old person with an estimated hour to live with a pillow, and see if you get charged with murder - hint, you will).

And even if he had preexisting airway issues, if your action exacerbated that and caused death, you’re guilty. Imagine that the cops take someone into custody with a bad head cold - can’t breathe through his nose at all. And the suspect yaps at them and pisses them off, and they duct tape his mouth shut. His eyes get big, he yells “I can’t breathe” through the tape. Cops ignore his cries, he suffocates and dies. Their defense of “but he had a bad cold” should not work as a defense. But among the cop apologists on this board, it absolutely would.

That’s why Chaivin has a good chance. It only takes one of those people on the jury.
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46 minutes ago, WhatTheBuck said:

What an AMAZING coincidence that he died from an OD exactly after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes. What are the odds?

"What?  He was dying for years?"

"Sure, but the end...was very, very sudden."

"He was OD'ing for eight weeks."

"Yeah, but I mean...the very end when he actually died.  That was extremely sudden." 

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obviously we aren't doing a pbp of the trial, but the defense's cross examination of the mma dude doesn't seem to be going as well as he thinks it is, in my opinion. he's trying to paint this dude into an angry corner and is borderline treating him as a hostile witness (is that a real thing) to try and set him off, but this dude is pretty chill from what i can see.

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26 minutes ago, hayden_horn said:

obviously we aren't doing a pbp of the trial, but the defense's cross examination of the mma dude doesn't seem to be going as well as he thinks it is, in my opinion. he's trying to paint this dude into an angry corner and is borderline treating him as a hostile witness (is that a real thing) to try and set him off, but this dude is pretty chill from what i can see.

I only watched a few minutes of it, and I'm biased, but I'm not sure how accusing a witness of becoming angry as he was watching his client murder someone is somehow helpful to the defense, even if true. 

My favorite question, though, is "Did you tell him (the officer--can't remember if it was Chauvin or the one who was watching) you hoped he killed himself"?  Answer:  No.  I didn't use the word "hope."  I said he would kill himself, because he wouldn't be able to live with what he had just done.

Also, he is a "hostile witness."  But being an asshole to a witness who watched your client choke a man to death is probably not a good way to earn credibility with the jury.

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Here's an actual jury instruction under MN law for homicide offenses.

Causation is established by proof that the defendant‟s conduct was a substantial factor in bringing about [the victim‟s]death, but it need not be the sole cause.


The  pre-existing  medical  condition  of [the  victim] at the time of the assault does not excuse the death if the assault accelerated  or  contributed  to  the  death,  even  if  the  pre-existing   medical   condition   may   have   made   him   more vulnerable to injury or death; even if [the victim] would have inevitably died from the pre-existing medical condition.
 

https://law.justia.com/cases/minnesota/court-of-appeals/2009/opa081663-1020.html

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Another line of argument being advanced by the defense is that "the crowd was so distracting that chauvin forgot he was strangling a man to death". Jesus fucking fuck these fucking pigs think that if their day is hard they have carte blanche to strangle someone?

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19 minutes ago, Incredulity said:

Anyone have any update or opinion on the timeline to verdict from here?

I keep seeing 4 weeks of testimony, 2 weeks a side, then closing arguments and deliberations.

The teen that shot the video is now on the stand. Defense is going to have a hard time on cross.

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39 minutes ago, lemonlime said:

I only watched a few minutes of it, and I'm biased, but I'm not sure how accusing a witness of becoming angry as he was watching his client murder someone is somehow helpful to the defense, even if true. 

My favorite question, though, is "Did you tell him (the officer--can't remember if it was Chauvin or the one who was watching) you hoped he killed himself"?  Answer:  No.  I didn't use the word "hope."  I said he would kill himself, because he wouldn't be able to live with what he had just done.

Also, he is a "hostile witness."  But being an asshole to a witness who watched your client choke a man to death is probably not a good way to earn credibility with the jury.

The defense is playing poker with a 2-7 off suit, the flop was QKA, and they’re all in.  

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24 minutes ago, Captainant said:

Another line of argument being advanced by the defense is that "the crowd was so distracting that chauvin forgot he was strangling a man to death". Jesus fucking fuck these fucking pigs think that if their day is hard they have carte blanche to strangle someone?

If anything, I’d say he became defiant of the crowd telling him to stop killing the man and thought, ‘Fuck you, you’re not going to tell me what to do.’

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30 minutes ago, Captainant said:

Another line of argument being advanced by the defense is that "the crowd was so distracting that chauvin forgot he was strangling a man to death". Jesus fucking fuck these fucking pigs think that if their day is hard they have carte blanche to strangle someone?

I mean, on the one hand, I get that a large crowd can distract you from certain things.

But on the other hand, when the crowd is sending you the singular, and repeated message of "you're choking him to death," it's pretty hard to argue that "them yelling at me 'stop choking him' distracted me from the fact that I was actually choking him."  I dunno, maybe that's just me and my wacky thinking.

5 minutes ago, WhatTheBuck said:

If anything, I’d say he became defiant of the crowd telling him to stop killing the man and thought, ‘Fuck you, you’re not going to tell me what to do.’

And definitely this.  That's a pretty easy read from the video.  It had a very strong "oh yeah?  Tell me not to do something, civilians?  Then you're just gonna make me do it more, because I'm the boss, capiche?" vibe.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, the defense questioning of that young girl was bizarre.

there’s something off about that attorney’s cadence, he thinks he’s guiding.   

Christ; now there’s a nine year old on the stand who went to get candy that night who has to be told for the next 70 years of his life to respect police authority despite one of his earliest childhood memories is watching an ethnic slaying in broad daylight in plain sight  

but hey, we gotta back the blue!

Edited by Lobo
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The whole theme the Defense was trying to build about the neighborhood being a dangerous one is kind of blown out by a picture of a 9 yr old girl laughing with her friend on the sidewalk heading to get a snack at the local grocer. If he was that scared of a neighborhood, why be a cop? 

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Despite having both of their hands out and visible to 4 uniformed police that day (albeit one of the four hands holding a terrorizing cellular telephone), You could tell by the way the 17 and 8 year old girls broke down repeatedly on the stand during even friendly questioning, that they are absolutely menacing figures that would terrify four male police officers armed to the teeth, to their very cores. 

That Chauvin and the other 3 police officers were able to subdue and arrest George Floyd while these two intimidating girls stood several feet away speaking out loud, is an absolutely testament to their professional character and iron constitution.  There is an old saying in Minneapolis amongst the boys in blue..."You don't make it home at night to your family until you've stared down Ms. Frazier and her 8-year old cousin on a nice sunlit late spring evening."  

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2 hours ago, Captainant said:

The woman who shot the video just testified that she observed chauvin leaning in harder in response to the crowd saying things to him. That's a pretty strong piece of evidence of malice

I watched that video several times and it sure as shit looked exactly like that was what he was doing.  

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The defense questioning of these witnesses is terrible.  I don't understand after listening to a witness describe how they stood there watching Chauvin kill a man, you would ask the witness if he/she was angry.

It's clear the cops and their attorneys are so used to a criminal justice system that swallows whatever bullshit they spew out, they don't know how to actually respond to real questioning.

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Posted (edited)

A paramedic firefighter who was on the scene is being interviewed right now. She's tearing up about not having had an opportunity to assist Floyd while he was in distress. Seems pretty bad for the defense. 

ETA: She was out of uniform and off duty (only caught the tale end). She's now being cross examined.

Edited by bolverk
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Posted (edited)

NYTimes commentary of her testimony.

March 30, 2021, 4:23 p.m. ET54 minutes ago
54 minutes ago

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Reporting from New York

Now testifying is Genevieve Hansen, 27, a Minneapolis firefighter and emergency medical technician. She was off-duty when she came upon the police arresting George Floyd last May and yelled for the officers to take his pulse.

author-tim-arrango-thumbLarge-v3.jpg
March 30, 2021, 4:24 p.m. ET53 minutes ago
53 minutes ago

Timothy Arango

Reporting from Minneapolis

She also made a 911 call from the scene. This will be the third time now that the jury hears from a witness who called the police on the police.

March 30, 2021, 5:12 p.m. ET5 minutes ago
5 minutes ago

Timothy Arango

Reporting from Minneapolis

For Derek Chauvin and his lawyer, this phase of the trial, with witnesses describing their fear and frustration as they watched the former police officer restrain George Floyd, is mostly about sitting there and absorbing emotional and damaging testimony. Not much they can do about it. We’ll see Mr. Chauvin’s defense emerge more clearly when witnesses testify about police use-of-force polices and the medical evidence about the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/03/30/us/derek-chauvin-trial-live

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1 hour ago, lemonlime said:

The defense questioning of these witnesses is terrible.  I don't understand after listening to a witness describe how they stood there watching Chauvin kill a man, you would ask the witness if he/she was angry.

It's clear the cops and their attorneys are so used to a criminal justice system that swallows whatever bullshit they spew out, they don't know how to actually respond to real questioning.

Or asking a hypothetical question of a firefighter about what if there were twenty people standing around questioning how you’re fighting a fire. 

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Yeah, the defense attorney badgering the witness earlier today, "Why'd you call the police, there were four officers right there in front of you...why not just ask them for help?"

That was a weird strategy, Cotton.  If I came upon a lifeguard holding a limp person's head under water with their leg, and three other lifeguards were just watching it asking the other swimmers to stay back...I might consider calling a fifth lifeguard over for help.  

The defense is using the witnesses to paint a different vibe at the scene that night.  And then they're gonna swing back around to why Floyd had other circumstances in his death, cops feared for lives, earlier footage of cuffing, etc.  We all get that.

But all around the country, police are doubling-down on their support of Chauvin thinking that, based on some shit that's leaked out in the last several months, that he has a chance to beat this thing.  but i were police, real police...I'd look at the long-game.......not every brother in blue is worth saving.  I know that goes against the mantra of "no man left behind."  But in this case, Chauvin is a murderer and he liked taking life for no reason.  Let this one go fellas, let the wolves have him, see what you can do to help the other three avoid jail time (they'll probably never get to wear a badge again).  Going all in for Chauvin isn't going to help the Police of this nation, it'll only hurt you.  Let justice have him, and live to fight another day on some other front.  I'm not gonna ask that you stop killing unarmed black people, because we both know that ain't gonna happen...but you can at least buy some time to continue the discussion on police-community relations, funding, politics, race issues, etc.  You can probably get back to the status quo if you're smart about Chauvin.  Let this one go, it doesn't make you disloyal...it means you're smart enough to see the next steps.  

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Posted (edited)

She kind of walked into a trap stating that 5 minute response times by ems is completely out of the ordinary. I think that’s a minor W for the defense. Prosecutor gonna have to pull call stats to refute lol

Edited by George
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8 minutes ago, WhatTheBuck said:

Or asking a hypothetical question of a firefighter about what if there were twenty people standing around questioning how you’re fighting a fire. 

yeah.  The analogy doesn't even make sense.  It's more like the crowd of 20 people yelling at you that you were trampling a baby in the fire, and you choosing to ignore it.  The crowd wasn't telling Chauvin how to arrest people.  It was telling him to stop killing a man.

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Genevieve Hansen, a 27-year-old firefighter and emergency medical worker, was on a walk when she saw flashing lights and approached to see if she knew the officers or could help. When she saw George Floyd on the ground, unresponsive under the weight of several officers holding him down, she approached Officer Tou Thao. In her testimony, she said she was “distressed” by his response:

He said something along the lines of, if you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved. … First, I was worried that he wasn’t going to believe me and not let me help. And I also … that’s … that’s not right. I mean, that’s exactly what I should have done. There was no medical assistance on scene. And I got there and I could have given medical assistance. That’s exactly what I should have done. … I would have requested additional help. I would have wanted someone to call 911 for the paramedics and fire to come. … I would have checked his airway. I would have been worried about a spinal cord injury because he had so much weight on his neck. I would have opened his airway to check if there are any obstructions, and I would have checked for a pulse. And when I didn’t find a pulse, if that was the case, I would have started compressions.”

She said she eventually made the decision to call for help:

I should have called 911 immediately, but I didn’t. And when things calmed down, I realized that I, I wanted them to know what was going on. I wanted to basically report it.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, lemonlime said:

yeah.  The analogy doesn't even make sense.  It's more like the crowd of 20 people yelling at you that you were trampling a baby in the fire, and you choosing to ignore it.  The crowd wasn't telling Chauvin how to arrest people.  It was telling him to stop killing a man.

And Chauvin’s life wasn’t in any danger, unlike a firefighter in a burning building. 

Edited by WhatTheBuck
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26 minutes ago, Atxracer said:

This officer should be so fucked. If he's not, I am definitely worried about the aftermath toward our police force and justice system.  

If he's not fucked, the police will deserve every ounce of shit that will be rained down on them.  They need to stop defending this shitstain.

3 minutes ago, WhatTheBuck said:

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen anyone be killed but it’s upsetting.”

Which is why the defense focusing on whether the witnesses were angry is fucking stupid.  Because the jury has to be thinking that answer, even when the witnesses aren't vocalizing it.

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19 minutes ago, George said:

She started to get cross with him too lmao. 

I would have loved for her to tell the judge, "Sorry if I got emotional, Your Honor, it's just that I get really upset when I have to talk about the time I watched that guy right there commit a murder."

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