Unfortunately, I doubt that the justice system today has such integrity when it involves racial issues.
The lawyers for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after his white knee appeared to be the proximate cause of black petty hood George Floyd in May 2020, have filed an appeal brief.
Let’s see, what have they got…
- His lawyers argue that Chauvin never had a chance to receive a fair trial. Ya think? How could anyone claim otherwise?
- They argued that the nationwide riots poisoned the jury pool. Yes, they did. How could they not?
- The well-publicized threat that the rioting would resume and escalate Chauvin were found not guilty virtually guaranteed Chauvin’s conviction. Well, I know I assumed it would. Didn’t you? The brief argues that no circumstance could be “more prejudicial … than that of a juror discovering that the City he or she resides in is bracing for a riot … in the event the defendant on whose jury you sit is acquitted.”
- The brief says that the news media and law enforcement tainted the proceedings by glorifying Floyd and demonizing Chauvin. That’s a fair description.
The brief condemns the state’s expediting the legal process against Chauvin instead of permitting a “cooling period.” “It is not mere speculation to anticipate that allowing a longer, reasonable duration of time would allow the community to feel less of the pressure from fallout from the Floyd riots,” the brief states. That states the obvious. It is also obvious that Black Lives Matter, activists and anti-police groups wanted Chauvin’s head on a pike so they could claim a victory. (No one ever had produced any evidence that Floyd’s death arose from racial bias.)
The brief objects to the fact that juror Brandon Mitchell lied on the pre-trial jury questionnaire “regarding his views of the case and the extent of his activism.” Mitchell checked “No” when asked whether he had ever advocated for police reform or demonstrated “about police use of force or police brutality,” but Mitchell actively participated in at least one George Floyd-themed demonstration and was photographed wearing a t-shirt that read, “BLM : Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.” Mitchell says he “forgot.” Right.
I have no liking for Derek Chauvin, but he was railroaded and sacrificed to a national race freak-out. It was an outrageously unfair trial, and he deserves a new one. Unfortunately, that one will be unfair too, and if he were to be acquitted, naturally there would be riots.