Ben Shapiro, editor emeritus of The Daily Wire, slammed the media over its coverage of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial.
Chauvin is being tried over the death of George Floyd in May of last year. Shapiro accused the media on Wednesday of “ignoring the prosecution’s difficulties” and giving a one-sided view of the trial to the public.
“If you watch the actual Chauvin trial and then watch the media coverage of the Chauvin trial, the gap is stunning. The media are paving the way for riots by ignoring the prosecution’s difficulties – and his acquittal is not a remote possibility based on those difficulties,” Shapiro said.
“WaPo headline: ‘Trial to resume after training officer says an unauthorized neck restraint was used on George Floyd.’ This ignores the actual takeaway from the use-of-force expert’s testimony,” he continued.
“The use-of-force officer admitted that Chauvin’s procedure (use of body weight and pressure) was a LESSER use of force than adopted in the past, that it wasn’t a chokehold, that use of force standards change based on drug use or physical stature of a suspect, that he had personally restrained suspects until EMS arrived, that some suspects quickly regain consciousness and thus sometimes suppression is necessary despite appearances,” he said.
Shapiro was referencing testimony by Minneapolis Police Department Use-of-Force trainer Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, whose testimony undercut the prosecution’s case on several points during cross-examination, according to Law of Self Defense attorney Andrew Branca.
Prosecutors are attempting to make the case that Chauvin and three other officers killed Floyd through excessive use of force, while the defense alleges that Floyd’s drug use and heart problems played crucial roles in Floyd’s fate.
The defense is attempting to establish that Chauvin’s actions, restraining Floyd with a knee on his upper body for nearly nine minutes, would not have resulted in Floyd’s death without complications from those existing drug and heart problems. Prosecutors have admitted that Floyd had a history of substance abuse, but are arguing that Floyd’s past drug use would have built up his immunity enough so the drugs in his system at the time of his arrest would not have had a major effect on him.
According to earlier testimony, under oath, from Floyd’s girlfriend, Floyd had a history of drug abuse and addiction and was traveling with a man he had previously purchased drugs from at the time of his arrest. As The Daily Wire reported:
Later in the trial, Ross confirmed that Floyd was with Morries Hall, who had sold both her and Floyd drugs, at the time of Floyd’s arrest in May. She said that the pills she and Floyd got in May reminded her of some she took in March that kept her up all night and left her feeling jittery, and that she believed they came from Hall, but was she was not sure, according to the Star-Tribune.
Earlier, while talking to the FBI, Ross had said that those pills she and Floyd got had left her feeling like she was going to die.
This piece has been updated to reflect that Shapiro was referencing testimony by Mercil, not Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger.