This week, the eyes of the legacy media are squarely focused on the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with killing George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.
The response to the trial has been predictably heated, with many dubbing it as a trial not to determine Chauvin’s guilt or innocence, but to judge America for its “systemic racism.”
However, despite the understandable frenzy surrounding this case, there are some uncomfortable, yet crucial truths which people are either unwilling or too afraid to say.
For many, this isn’t about Derek Chauvin
Floyd’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump said this case was “a referendum on how far America has come in its quest for equality and justice for all,” while Al Sharpton said “Derek Chauvin is in the courtroom but America is on trial.”
Both men are dangerously and spectacularly wrong.
Trials are about specific accusations leveled against specific people. The specificity of court trials is what separates our system from the witch trials of the past. By diluting — or even removing — Derek Chauvin from the case, Crump and Sharpton are trying to alter the question posed to the court.
Chauvin is not on trial in place of America, and cannot be sacrificed as such by bypassing the structure of our lawful justice system.
There is still no evidence of racism
Beyond the fact that George Floyd was black and Derek Chauvin was white, there has been no evidence presented publicly that Chauvin is a racist, or that he targeted Floyd in a racist manner, or that any of the subsequent events were motivated by racism.
The existence of racism — though often reported as fact — has simply been assumed.
George Floyd’s autopsy
Central to the accusations leveled against Chauvin is the claim that he caused Floyd’s death. As noted by Ben Shapiro, Floyd’s “autopsy report shows that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system and had a serious heart problem, and that Chauvin’s neck hold did not in fact cause damage to Floyd’s trachea.”
“That means that while Chauvin’s neck restraint may have contributed to Floyd’s death by ratcheting up his blood pressure, for example, it’s uncertain that it caused Floyd’s death more than, say, the excited delirium from which Floyd may have already been suffering,” Shapiro noted.
These medical facts are critical components of the case both against and in defense of Chauvin, and any argument which disregards them is either ignorant or deeply cynical.
Minneapolis Police Department policy may have included the knee hold Chauvin used
While Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Chief Medaria Arradondo has argued that “officers are not trained to place their knee on a suspect’s neck like Chauvin did to Floyd,” former MPD officer Thomas Lane produced department training materials which included “information on a restraint called the ‘maximal restraint technique,’ and a photo of an officer with his knee to a suspect’s neck similar to the hold used by former officer Derek Chauvin on Floyd.”
“The training materials specify: ‘the maximal restraint technique shall only be used in situations where handcuffed subjects are combative and still pose a threat to themselves, officers or others, or could cause significant damage to property if not properly restrained,’” the report adds.
The charges leveled against Chauvin are hard to prove
Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
In order to find Chauvin guilty of second degree murder, the prosecution will need to demonstrate one of the following:
- That Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd intentionally but without premeditation.
- That Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd without intending to kill him while “committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence.”
- That Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd without intending to kill him “while intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon the victim,” while Floyd was “restrained under an order for protection and the victim is a person designated to receive protection under the order.”
In order to find Chauvin guilty of third degree murder, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that “Chauvin’s action (or actions) were ‘eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind,’ and displayed a disregard for human life.”
In order to find Chauvin guilty of second degree manslaughter, the prosecution will need to demonstrate that “George Floyd’s death was the result of Chauvin’s culpable negligence and that Chauvin created an unreasonable risk and consciously took chances of causing death or great bodily harm.”
Of these charges, second degree manslaughter is the only conviction which seems likely given the clear existence of reasonable doubt. Given that it appears that the knee hold in question was part of MPD training materials, the argument that Chauvin’s actions were lawful — not moral — examples of culpable negligence is increasingly thin.
The Left have constructed a “win-win” scenario
The brutal reality is that the Left have constructed a “win-win” scenario regarding Derek Chauvin, by disregarding the facts of the case and billing it as a referendum on more than Chauvin’s alleged crimes.
If Chauvin is convicted, then Crump, Sharpton and the Black Lives Matter movement can celebrate a victory in the battle against systemic police violence.
If Chauvin is acquitted, then this will be used as further evidence of the depth of the problem of systemic police violence and racism, providing figures like Sharpton with further ideological ammunition.
The purpose of the court system is to pursue and achieve justice. By ignoring these uncomfortable facts, true justice — both for George Floyd and Derek Chauvin — is becoming ever more unlikely.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.