Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty of Second Degree Murder, Third Degree Murder and Second Degree Manslaughter in George Floyd Trial

I happened to be up when the Wall Street Journal sent out an e-mail alert the jury had reached a verdict and it was to be read out soon. I turned on Court TV to see the live coverage. After school events have been cancelled in Minneapolis and kids are being told to go home. Court TV also reports that Minneapolis will have in-home-only instruction for the rest of this week.

The jury has just found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts: second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. You could hear the cheering outside the courtroom after the first two verdicts were read out.

The prosecution put on a devastating case but nothing is certain until the jury decides. One factor was not just the tape of Chavin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, but that the jury was also allowed to review the tape during its deliberations.

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    1. PHLDenizen

      At the risk of sounding like a blood-thirsty barbarian, nothing short of being forced into gen pop will make a damn bit of difference. The one thing cops fear more than anything else is prison. And the one thing civilians fear more than anything else are cops. I consider a long stint alongside the imprisoned the universe balancing itself out.

      As the cacophonous, fornicating geese outside my window cry: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…”

      1. Fireship

        “At the risk of sounding like a blood-thirsty barbarian”

        Then don’t say barbaric stuff. Why should prison be a pleasure center for the most depraved in society? Chauvin is going to have a miserable life. WTF is wrong with Americans? Why such an insatiable lust for cruelty? No wonder the country is so fcked up.

        1. Gerald

          Americans are obsessed with revenge fantasies, it percolates from the very top to the very bottom. Some white settler revenge on nature from the wild West days maybe? It’s what America is, myths, fables and fantasies that no longer have a toe in reality.

          1. QuicksilverMessenger

            I assure you that this sentiment is very much more widespread than just the Americans. You could even say that it’s a thread sewn through the history of the world

          2. Harry

            I dont believe in any explanation with respect to any American phenomena which does not involve the profit motive.

            Unless, of course, you offer an appropriate inducement to me.

  1. Stephen

    Super hot take…the fact that a police officer being held personably liable for his criminal acts is worthy of celebration is itself a sign that policing in America is utterly broken.

    This should be an ordinary and common event, as unworthy of national commentary as any other local murder trial would be. His profession should be as irrelevant as his hair color. That fact that it isn’t tells the whole story.

    1. PHLDenizen

      I’ve thought for a while that “defund the police” should be “deunionize” the police. The amount of power the FOP and their unions wield over municipalities and thus civilians is astounding. Look no further than the Philly FOP’s own John McNesby as the grotesque epitome. The reform minded chiefs despise him, as he’s never met a cop he wouldn’t go the mat for. There was a stretch during which the FBI had its own field office inside the city just to deal with police corruption, IIRC.

      When unionization efforts like the one in Amazon’s Alabama warehouse fail, I think a more savvy marketing ploy is to point out how successful the police unions are in extracting concessions from their employers. It’s an abominable sentiment, but “you can literally get away with murder and never lose your gig” is a powerful statement. And it’s something most warehouse workers understand on a visceral level. Certainly more effective than the more policy wonkish organizing gambits.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’m not sure this works as more than a starting point. Cops hate snitches in their own ranks. If a cop isn’t willing to sign a police report where his partner tries to lie about what he did in an arrest, that trying to be honest cop has put his life at risk. Next time he’s in a bad spot on his own and needs backup, you can be certain it won’t arrive.

        1. James

          I was a big fan of the British TV cop show ‘Between the Lines’ back in the day. It was about a British ‘internal affairs’ unit that investigated allegations of police misconduct. The thing I liked about the show was that I found it completely unpredictable – often the coppers were innocent and often they were guilty … and I had no idea how each episode was going to play out.

          Anyway – one episode in particular showed how some cops punished a female police colleague for not toeing the line by intentionally putting her in harms way. It was chilling – and very believable.

      2. fresno dan

        April 20, 2021 at 6:33 pm

        Hopefully, one thing that comes out of this is a new found awareness of the importance of municipal elections. In many jurisdictions throughout the US, local sheriffs, police chiefs, attorney generals, and other officials such as majors have substantial authority over the police. If police are getting away with murder, it is because their supervisors condone and support such conduct. If citizens want the police under control, they will be under control. If they don’t, they won’t…

      3. Paulindurham

        Unions are not the problem. The real problem is the pedestal that law enforcement/military are put upon. They are viewed as our “Warriors” out there to protect us from each other.

        Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) police have no right to strike, labors only leverage. Cities/counties continue to give police contracts that give them rights that regular citizens don’t have.

        The law for killing someone needs to be enforced for ALL citizens!

    2. Darius

      Credit should go to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. The local DA was set to throw the case, as they always do in police misconduct cases. Ellison took it over from the local DA. Unless we elect more people like Ellison, the Chauvin conviction will be just a historic outlier. For reference, see how Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron behaved to achieve the opposite outcome in the Breonna Taylor case.

      These prosecutors always use grand juries as an excuse for why cops get off for stuff like this. “The grand jury decided not to indict.” This contradicts the truism that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if it suits their purposes. Prosecutors never want to enforce accountability on cops.

      1. Nikkikat

        You are so on target. Without Ellison stepping in here, the result may very well have been like the others. In the case in Ky, the killer cop is still on the force and writing a book!

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I’m reading more about the case strategy, and the prosecution planned and prepared massively. They (multiple very fine lawyers along with Ellison) thought very hard about how not to come off as overreaching. Letting the eyewitnesses and the tape bring the emotional charge was a very important decision.

        1. vlade

          I think the video made massive difference. I’m not sure they would be able to get the conviction w/o it (which is a real shame).

          TBH I was amazed that the cops around didn’t stop her taking the video, most cops when they see someone else than them doing the video recording get really nasty and upset (which tells you someething).

    3. Harry

      But to be a glass half full person, it is definitely a sign of change. When I were a lad, very few policemen had anything to fear if his victim was black (I exclude the police officer who sodomized Abner Louima with a broom handle, and who is now serving 30years). If you remember Eric Garner’s death, the officer who choked him to death was not sacked till 2019. The times are definitely changing.

    4. Pelham

      Agreed this should be an ordinary case. But I’m not sure it’s quite like any other local murder. And the point I’m about to make touches on qualified immunity.

      While that type of immunity codified for police is probably going too far, shouldn’t there be some accommodation? For instance, in my work as a pencil-pushing desk jockey years ago, if I made a huge mistake, it could easily and somewhat embarrassingly be corrected in short order. However, if a person’s job involves fairly routine strenuous and occasionally violent contact with strangers in often seedy and hostile circumstances, an all-too-human mistake can lead to much graver consequences.

      Chauvin’s case doesn’t fall into the mistake category. But there certainly are such cases. Shouldn’t an adjustment be made for this? Or should we demand perfection in all cases?

  2. drumlin woodchuckles

    Let the sentences, if any, be consecutive; not concurrent.

    Let the police union at Minneapolis be broken and abolished. Let every officer-leader of that union be terminated. Let every officer trained by the officers who trained Chauvin to do what he did . . . . be terminated. And let the officers who gave that training be terminated. Let them all be blacklisted and rendered unemployable anywhere in the US ever again. Let them either emigrate or starve to death and die.

    That might be a start.

    1. Clark

      The convictions were “alternative theories” of guilt for killing Mr. Floyd. I’m not familiar with the particulars of MN law, but due process principles are the same everywhere. The defendant will be sentenced for the most severe crime he was convicted of, and the other counts (lesser “grades” of homicide) will “merge” into the most severe conviction. So, no consecutive sentencing. (If I’m missing something, maybe Minnesota lawyers can chime in.)

    2. workingclasshero

      crush the cops.great plan good progressives of america.maybe the goose and gander analogies will come home to roost when YOU need the police after violence is being perpetrated against you.

      1. Steve

        You make it sound like law enforcement planned to show up at a crime against people. In my northwoods location, it takes about an hour – long after the crime has been committed. The folks supposed to be on the beat simply are not doing their jobs.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Other readers with a higher level of intelligence than you have . . . . will note that I said to crush and abolish the ethical-mafia police UNIONS. The Nazi Fascist police UNIONS are a separate Third Force which actively prevents and obstructs the needed humanization of police forces and police departments.

        Of course, since you lack the basic intelligence which other readers have, you will continue to miss that key crucial point. And since there is no way I could simplify it enough for the hard-of-thinking ( such as yourself) to understand, I won’t even try.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        And another thing, the Floyd-Chauvin case was not a policeman “responding” to “reported violence”.
        And the Dante Wright case was not a policeman “responding” to “reported violence”.

        So invoking “violence” as a sauce-goose-gander thing for us to not call for the police about is a bright shiny red straw herring to diversionise the discussion with.

        Nice try.

    3. ian

      “Let the sentences, if any, be consecutive; not concurrent.”

      No. The sentences all address the same underlying crime – each just represents a different take on what that crime actually was. Choose one.

  3. Mark Gisleson

    I’m not surprised. Minneapolis cops have been bad news for decades now and people were fed up. There were no mitigating factors and plenty of cause to think Chauvin went beyond his job description and was involved in some personal payback.

    I hope this motivates the good cops in Minnesota to start pushing back against the thumpers who dominate the “union” and law enforcement culture in general.

  4. fresno dan

    When one thinks about cases of police shooting unarmed men (including plenty of white men – there is plenty of racism – but the lack of acknowledgement that the police abuse includes poor people of every race is just another scheme to obfuscate police misconduct) – just the outrageousness of the action, and the absolute injustice of no action being taken against them….Floyd was not the most innocent man killed unjustly by the police. But the circumstances and individuals when great turnings occur are often not what one would think of being the fulcrum upon which a great lever is wedged to move mountains. I think of the man in Colorado in the spoofing case, hands up, with no weapon, not guilty of anything, with inept and at the least criminally negligent action on the part of police. The guy in Las Vegas, pulling up his pants. Breonna Taylor. There really is a startling number of astounding injustices ….accepted for decades as if murder by police is just the natural order of things.
    Finally, FINALLY I think people are opening their eyes to how some individual police operate. 9 long minutes and some seconds. PREPOSTEROUS rationalizations. And that the law should operate for the police as well. I actually think the vast majority of police act individually fine, although there is an institutional blue code of silence. It really has more to do with prosecutors (and judges) kowtowing to police unions and imbecilic judicial rulings like qualified immunity.
    It also shows the political zeitgeist of the area has a lot to do with the desire for police accountability. The local city council, the police command, local prosecutor were all instrumental in not allowing the death of Floyd to be ignored. I’m sure there will be a reaction against this. The rather ridiculous assertion that police are being maliciously and unfairly prosecuted and punished when the exact opposite is reality. “Liberal” Hollywood that in 99% of mass entertainment paints police as heroes and that guns solve problems.
    Police have a difficult job. But police deserve no more rights, and no immunity from justice than anyone else.

    1. fresno dan

      One other thing comes to mind – IF Chauvin had been only a tiny bit more professional, more aware, more proportional, Floyd would be alive, and the incident never would have become the lighting rod that it did. It had to Chauvin as BRAZEN as he was for this to have the impact that it did. As I noted above, the individuals and circumstances that make the greatest changes are so unpredictable, and often so contrary to who one would suppose to be the catalyst for change. But on that day, on that street, with those police, those people, that incident, something changed. Police no longer had impunity to be above the law. I think in every jurisdiction, when there is videotape, obvious police abuse can no longer be exculpated by purposefully derelict prosecution. Only a small part of the problem is the police – now its time to look at the prosecutors and judges.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        And a teenage girl had the moral instinct he lacks and stood there and filmed it. His indifference to human life suggests someone very damaged.

  5. a fax machine

    A fair conclusion which is the most we can hope for.

    Meanwhile in the “fun house” there is growing agreement (paraphrasing) the system is rigged, that jurors were intimidated, that maxine waters is behind all this, and democrats want to turn America into an african country. Amusing (?) comment by one person I share a forum with “the Black SA standing outside the courthouse, the illegitimate Biden’s comments against Chauvin… this is a coup. Why won’t Trump do anything?”. Attention now turns to everyone that isn’t Chauvin and how their careers stand to benefit from this conflagration, either because they Are An Ally or tried to Stop The Steal. While rudimentary, these are probably the extremely base themes politics for the next decade will exploit until something new comes along. I’d love to see the Google Analytics of this from a worldwide marketing perspective.

    But the real question is: what will Biden actually do to prevent this from happening again?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      One thing that Biden could do is freeze and then abolish the program of giving military supplies to police departments. But he won’t do that, because he believes in military supplies to police departments. Biden believe in better police for a better police state. His line-of-hasbara will be that convicting this particular rare and exceptional individual bad apple shows how the system works just fine, thank you very much.

      And that’s what Biden will do.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that there was a story the other day that Biden has been actually increasing the amount of military equipment that has been flowing to police, not decreasing it. But this is after all Joe “I Wrote the Damn Crime Bill” Biden here. But I think that you have a point how this may be cover for further militarization of police departments. And if he gave Chauvin a pardon as he left office I would not be in the least surprised.

        1. none

          Biden can only pardon federal offenses and these were state charges. The MN governor might be able to pardon though (don’t know).

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      He’ll spend more money to train the cops to shoot people in the legs, rather than the chest, as per his own comments on the campaign trail.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, that does not work. You’ve seen too many action movies where the cops and military types are all superb shooters.

        In real life, only 15-20% of shots fired by police hit their target. That’s why bystanders so often get hit. Police don’t practice in high adrenaline situations with moving targets. They are trained to fire at the main body mass in order to have any hope of the shot landing kinda-sorta where intended.

        1. BlakeFelix

          You are right that it isn’t realistic, using shooting people with guns as nonlethal restraint is bananas barring contrived situations. Generally if a situation is bad enough to require shooting someone, the situation will be too dangerous and stressful for fancy trick shooting, and even that isn’t particularly safe. It’s kind of like in movies where bopping people on the head puts them harmlessly to sleep for a convenient period of time, in real life not so much.

          I think that the poster was mocking Biden for suggesting it though, which IIRC he did. Sigh. Perhaps the police could be trained in some form of soup based martial arts instead?


        2. Julian

          I have seen a video comparison between US and Brazilian cops handling knife armed, not exactly sane suspects. Brazilian cop had no problem shooting suspect in the leg. US cops? Both put around 10 rounds each in the suspect’s center of mass, or rather chest – you know, where those pesky vital organs like lungs, heart and large blood vessels are. Video is drastic, so I won’t post it here. Of course the suspects were in both cases moving slowly and they were not following orders.

          In a situation, where a suspect is moving fast and is assaulting someone, there is no doubt the need to use overwhelming force and no need to worry about the well being of the attacker. But I have seen many recordings of shootings by US police officers, and in many cases the distance, visibility and actions of the suspect made it clear, that officers could have aimed for the limbs. Instead they put multiple rounds in the suspect’s chest. That is they shoot to kill and shooting to kill should be better justified, than by “the suspect was not following orders and was armed”.

          If a Brazilian cop can do it, then US cops certainly can do it as well.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            “A Brazilian cop” is one example.

            In addition, US police are opposed to “shoot to wound” as unsound. One big difference between Brazil and the US is citizens are opposed to gun ownership and so it is much less prevalent. Cops here have reason to be worried that a perp is carrying. Shooting him in the legs does not render him unable to fire back at the officer and any hostages/bystanders

            And shooting in the legs can still be lethal. Hit a major artery and the victim will bleed out fast.

            Details here:



          2. BlakeFelix

            You are correct that there are situations where it seems clear that officers should have shot for the leg rather than the center of mass, but generally in those situations they shouldn’t be shooting guns at all, if someone isn’t posing a real imminent threat to anyone they probably have time to get backup and nonlethal equipment. We can make armor that can withstand a 15 year old chick with a knife, you might need a taser to deal with a drunk and aggressive Jackie Chan.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Yes, I absolutely do not get shooting at perps with knives. Are we supposed to believe they are ninjas and can throw the knife so as to inflict a fatal wound? Stand well back and carry or grab a bludgeon. Bludgeons are the best weapon at close quarters.

              Only exception is if perp is threatening a third party with the knife…

        3. run75441


          You point to a problem which can be changed through practicing under different scenarios.

        4. drumlin woodchuckles

          One wonders if anyone should try informing ” shootem in the legs” Biden about that. If Biden is even information-uptake capable.

  6. Tom Stone

    I am very pleased that he was convicted of Murder and not manslaughter, a mere manslaughter conviction would have let the other cops involved off the hook or at least left them in a stronger position when negotiating a deal.
    It almost always depends on the Judge’s instructions to the Jury, allowing them to review the video during deliberations was likely the key.
    Chauvin won’t be in the general population, he’ll be in a much more restrictive environment locked up with child molesters, snitches. and other bad cops.
    For years.

  7. Eric Blair

    If my pessimistic sense of how the system works is correct, the verdict is overturned on appeal.

    1. John k

      Hope you’re wrong. And there has to be grounds, right? Presumably credible ones.
      Maybe things have got to the point that courts fear the masses enough to be reasonable… or at least allow the worst offenders to go to jail.

    2. Mildred Montana

      I share your pessimism. I’m not uncorking the champagne yet. First there’s the sentencing–what’s Chauvin’s punishment going to be? Then there are the inevitable appeals. Will he be released while the justice system grinds away, and in the end will the verdict be overturned or his sentence reduced? These are possibilities.

      The powers-that-be have time on their side and they use it. They count on memories and emotions fading and other events intervening. Then, in a few years, they are able to “correct’ the “injustice”.

      Perhaps a Presidential pardon for Chauvin in 2024?

    3. IM Doc

      I think you are correct and this is all so sad.

      My assistant DA sister in a far distant state informs me just now that he has 3 very promising appeal maneuvers and she is certain this will be playing out in the next few months –

      1) The City of Minneapolis did an unheard of thing by paying the family 27 million before the trial ever started – it is one thing to do that afterwards – to do that before automatically guarantees problems with fairness in the jury members.

      2) The entire Maxine Waters fiasco of the past weekend – even the judge sounding the alarm that excellent ammunition had been given to declare a mistrial on appeal.

      3) The threat of doxing of the jury members that was going on over the weekend.

      I know these are state crimes, but it really is in times like this that it is crystal clear that a fair trial could never been done in Minnesota much less Minneapolis. We really need some kind of system in our federal country that would allow for transferring trials like this to say Idaho Falls or Pascagoula or San Antonio or Seattle – just somewhere far far away.

      What a sad day for America – that the police have become so violent that this even happened – but that we cannot even hold a trial without problems like this.

      1. polecat

        The problem I have with this and many other ‘incidents’ is that the victims are shown as virtual saints, who can do no wrong, both by the media at large .. and the protestors (upperclass white youth/BLM/ANTIFA) Democratic hierarchy .. when the victims often have major priors that are NEVER addressed. Why is that?
        I’m not for the indiscriminent shooting of Anybody, of whatever creed, and have no special affinity for law enforcers/security state types .. but the seeming criminal histories of some of these people is intentionally being glossed over.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Wowsers. Because Floyd having priors had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this case. Nothing.

          He was being held for allegedly passing a bad $20. Not a violent crime. In fact, since when have you EVER heard of anyone being arrested over a small value bill? Counterfeiters nearly always fake higher value paper.

          And the police bizarrely didn’t do what one would have expected given the allegation: search his car.

          1. Angie Neer

            Adding: arrests and even convictions may only be loosely correlated with criminal behavior, depending on your class, where you grew up, and how your community is policed. I even take convictions related to firearm possession with a grain of salt, as much as I hate guns. There are plenty of privileged people who are irresponsible with guns but need not fear a stain on their record.

          2. Xihuitl

            In Houston, at the liquor store where you get a discount for paying cash, they check the $20 bills to see if they are counterfeit. I asked the clerk what she would do if one of the bills turned out to be no good. Would she call the police? No, she said. Store policy was just to hand it back and say it was no good.

            George Floyd wasn’t guilty of anything unless and until it could be proven that he knew the bill was bad. Minnesota law requires intent. Reasonably so. Apparently the sales clerk even testified that he didn’t think Floyd realized it was fake.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Agreed. In NYC, most stores check even $20s and most certainly $50s. I am certain they’d just hand them back if they didn’t look right and ask for another form of payment.

        2. vlade

          While Floyd wasn’t a saint, there’s no sensible world where the police response was appopriate. And it seems to me, from a second & third hand accounts that the appropriateness of police response in the US depends less on the deeds than on the people.

          We’d not turn Floyd into martyr. But he definitely was a victim, and we’d have sympathy and understanding for victims.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            So many seem to have forgotten that the statue on top of a US courthouse is Justice with a blindfold. You don’t judge a police/judicial system by how it treats sweet old ladies. You judge it by how fairly it treats the least sympathetic of suspects.

            The ideal model is Norway. Anders Breivik is a nazi mass murderer, but he was treated fairly after arrest and given an exemplary trial. He was sentenced to the same jail as an ‘ordinary’ serious criminal. In doing so they ensured that he could not be seen as a martyr, but it also firmly showed the world that the rule of law mattered, and the rule of law must be both fair and seen to be fair.

            1. vlade

              Which is why I hate the idiots like Waters. Because she’s either a total idiot, or someone who wants to explcitly stir trouble (or both).

        3. Carolinian

          It’s not so much that they are sanctifying the victims but that they are attempting to sanctify our society itself by pretending that’s it’s only about cops who are often doing what society secretly wants them to do while looking the other way. The reality is that poverty does generate crime and therefore it is the poverty that is ultimately the villain and therefore our economic system which needs agents of violence both here and abroad.

          Add in a media culture that exploits violence and a rampant gun culture that provides threat inflation and the current situation is the result you get. As I’ve said here before, it would be interesting to survey how many films on my library’s shelves feature an actor holding a gun on the cover–40 percent? Let us not, on occasions like this, pretend we are all pacifists.

          1. Paul Boisvert

            Excellent points, Carolinian. We have an interlocking set of inhuman socioeconomic systems, designed to give power to small groups over the masses, that both depends upon, and in many ways simply constitutes in and of itself, violence of all sorts–physical, economic, psychological, emotional. Until those systems are addressed at their roots and replaced by democratic, just, human ones, almost all attempts at reforming one small piece of them to reduce such violence will have very limited and temporary success. The systems will absorb the reforms, but evolve in response to the desires of those who control them, to keep such violence happening in slightly altered modes and variations.

            This is not to say that efforts at piecemeal reform shouldn’t take place, but that they should always be informed by, related to, and aimed at cooperation with, larger efforts to change the entire systemic oppression of most of the population–the non-rich, women, people of color, and other largely powerless groups. While the Chauvin verdict is of course very welcome, we have a long way to go…

        4. Abi

          Yeah no one else is thinking about that because IT DOESN’T MATTER

          Yeah you should feel very ashamed and shy to ask this, you just saw a man snuff the light out of another and your worry is that his past was glossed over

          Man some of you

    4. neo-realist

      So, possibly, the really big riot gets delayed until the feds get more undercover operatives embedded for the “festivities” and Biden gets enough hardware to the local police to quash the hoedown.

      When you consider that so many cops came to the stand to testify against Chauvin’s actions, it appears to have been an institutional decision to sacrifice him to protect the backs of the MPD and whatever credibility it has left. Memories may be short for some PMC non – POC, but if there is a surprising reversal on appeal, I could still see the street action (from lefties and black americans) being as ferocious, if not more, as a hypothetical not guilty verdict.

    5. Yves Smith Post author

      Na ga happen. Prosecution case was overwhelming, Jury was sequestered during its deliberations. Odds are high they didn’t hear the Maxine Waters nonsense. That’s the only toehold.

      Chavin may try but this going anywhere. I don’t see any legal errors in how the judge handled the case. An appeal can be lodged successfully only based on an erroneous application of the law. The jury’s finding of facts stand. The “facts” presented in the case can’t be challenged on appeal.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Jury wasn’t sequestered until Monday, starting with final arguments. Judge instructed the jury not to watch the news. Waters made her comments on Saturday rally in Brooklyn Center during BLM / Daunte Wright rally.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The Minnesota Supreme Court in a very recent ruling took a pretty lenient view of what coercion amounts to versus First Amendment rights:


          Waters didn’t threaten the jury members. I don’t think any appeal on that basis will go far. I am highly confident no juror would say they were swayed by Waters’ remarks, even assuming any/many heard them. The judge likely told them to avoid news as a condition of not being sequestered during the trial proper. So you’d need to establish that 1. jurors defied his instructions and 2. they were swayed by Waters.

  8. drumlin woodchuckles

    The Minneapolis Police will probably get what revenge they can by “standing all the way down” and informing all their informants on the streets to send police-information back the other way . . . . the information being that police will spend several days responding to zero calls and arresting zero perpetrators so this would be a fine time to commit crime.

    Undercover police may also try to get massed mobs of celebrators to turn into celebration rioters and joy-looters and happy arsonists. Armed citizens of Minneapolis may want to get ready for that.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Fine, if only it were so simple, but urban Black communities could view the removal of Imperial forces as an opportunity. They could mobilize their own block committees and militias to restore and keep order, recruiting as needed from local folx, even drug gangs. Muslim immigrants have used vigilantes to keep peace and order in pockets of cities for decades now.

      *Actual* local leaders: preachers, teachers, senior nurses, even gangstas, could emerge, with their legitimacy rooted in effectiveness, not just bluster. Existing machine pols would need to actually work *for and with* their constituents

      Ah, if only it were so simple!

  9. Synoia

    I don’t think there is anything to Celebrate. There is much on which to reflect.

    Why have the police become so aggressive?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There are issues like militarization and training, but I think its a combination of officialdom saluting of the troops/police and the simple lack of accountability all these years.

      1. Synoia

        I was wondering about the War on Drugs (except those made by rich families) was a major contributor.

        It appears the US learnt noting about their mistakes about Prohibition, and used it as a template for the War on Drugs.

        There is nothing so blind as a Man who will not see.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      Our toxic gun culture. The Second Amendment even if it applies to individuals and not smaller units of government than the State (as I believe) never envisioned automatic weapons in the streets.

      And now several states are eliminating requirements for any sort of training as well as a permit/license to carry a gun?!

      Nobody is a winner here except those who have the option to emigrate.

    3. MichaelSF

      “Why have the police become so aggressive?” (emphasis added)

      Does the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention police riot ring any bells? This is not something that popped into existence a few months ago.

    4. a fax machine

      An underpaid cashier had to deal with an erratic, seemingly aggressive black man who had a fake $20. Not knowing what to do this person phoned the police, as they couldn’t think up an alternative response. At that exact moment society failed and could only loose regardless of the outcome.

      I’ve worked in retail long enough to know that $20 is not worth a cop visit. Most drugged up lunatics (what Floyd likely was – quick note that bad decisions with drugs absolutely does not justify or rationalize murder) leave and go flip out in their cars like Floyd attempted to do pending Chauvin’s arrival. Since most people would want all drug addicts dead (or worse) this is how Chauvin decided to do a neck step despite knowing the danger.

      Speaking largely, I beilive this is how much of physical retail will die. Companies could avoid this entirely by prohibiting cash and going electronic-only. They can eliminate shoplifting and organized looting (per the riots) if they separate product from customers, as they were a century and a half ago. Less liability, and all they have to do is have a Will Call window for online or app order pickup.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Making Shit Up is a violation of our Site Policies. I’ve already blacklisted two people over comments on this post. You are asking to join their ranks.

        The testimony in court and the video in Cup Foods showed Floyd was not aggressive. He was high and a bit goofy. The video and testimony of the store worker who eventually decided to tell his manager about the bad bill show four co-workers on the floor, and none seem worried about or even all that interested in Floyd. A customer walks in with a very small child, very close to Floyd and seems unconcerned about him. If he’d been afraid, he would have cut a wide berth and walked in the aisle parallel to the cashier’s area, around Floyd, and approached the checkout from the far side. Instead they are so close they almost brush up against him.

        At around 7:30. Floyd is laughing and smiling. He hugs a woman who has come to the register, and she leans into him. He’s been bopping around the store for a bit but no one seems bothered by him and it looks like a lot of people know him. At around 9:10, he waves at someone entering the store.


        I hate to resort to stereotypes, but your comment comes off like prejudice against black men. Because Floyd was big and showed off his well-muscled arms, you interpret him as dangerous even though nothing on the tape shows him making threatening gestures toward anyone, and no one in the store acted as if they were afraid of him.

        Another factoid: a prosecutor friend claims that the tape from the outside of Cup Foods shows what he says was an undercover officer giving hand signals to cops outside and cops responding when Floyd walked out. He says he’s been party to many stings and this looks like one.

        The fact that the staff engaged in some debate before calling in the allegedly bad $20 (and the staffer who decided to do so made the call based on his belief that his pay would be docked) says this was not the object of any undercover operation. That’s consistent with police not searching Floyd’s car for other bad bills.

        So if this prosecutor’s theory is correct, Floyd walked into a police operation and got snagged in something that had nothing to do with his store purchase.

        1. a fax machine

          That’s my point, Yves. At the exact moment people (or someone, the person who placed the original call) decided they needed to manage Floyd, there’s only one plausible outcome. Thank you.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Do not try to smugly pretend your initial position as accurate, or assert a superior position by acting as if you can lecture me (your use of “Yves”). I said you are asking to be banned and you confirmed my call. This is more bad faith argumentation, which is a violation of our written site Policies.

            You COMPLETELY fabricated the initial scenario and are refusing to admit your mischaracterization. Watch the damned Cup Foods 20 minute video and account of the store clerk who called the cops. He NEVER NEVER depicted Floyd as a physical threat. He says he debated with himself as to whether to call the police. What appears to have tipped the scale was that his pay would be docked if the bill was bad.

            Moreover, if Floyd had at all represented a physical threat in the store, the defense would have stressed that in their cross examination. They made no attempt to sell that idea.

            Floyd was out of the store by then. He left promptly. The later videos show he didn’t resist being cuffed at his car and sat on the pavement cuffed for a while. There was no physical threat. He struggled only when they tried loading him into the police car. The cops actually DID get him in, they pulled him through and out the other side!

            So why didn’t they just hobble his legs in the car and take him in lying down? With 4 guys, they had more than enough manpower. Or as Rev Kev suggested, wait and get a big van, since Floyd said his issue was claustrophobia (I assume the police car had a barrier between the front and back seat)?

    5. Michael Fiorillo

      Why are cops so aggressive?

      They’re the point of the spear of intensifying class war, which in this country is also bound to frequently have racial overtones.

  10. dcblogger

    truly grateful to everyone who demonstrated. I really think the massive international demonstrations woke up the prosecution that the public expected a real prosecution, not just going through the motions.

    1. dcblogger

      truly grateful to everyone who ever filmed and uploaded an incident of police brutality.

      1. EGrise

        As well as those who had the courage to testify about what they saw. That couldn’t have been easy.

  11. Carla

    Recommend to everyone, the excellent documentary “Women in Blue” about 4 female officers on the Minneapolis police force. Free to stream on PBS Passport. Do check it out. It wrapped shortly before the murder of George Floyd but includes a coda addressing it.

  12. Alice X

    A tragedy writ large and small. Will human beings recognize their comman humanity large and small. Under capitalism, under any system writ or founded
    large and/or small?

    1. Alice X

      …our common humanity large and small, under capitalism, under any system writ or founded large and/or small? What a question.

  13. Bob Hertz

    Since I live in the Twin Cities, I am greatly relieved that we should still have civil peace.

    But the second degree murder conviction seems extremely phony and senseless to me. How could Chauvin be committing felony assault, when he was restraining a person who resisted arrest, and he followed a restraint protocol that was in the police training manual at that time?

    This part of the verdict should be appealed, if it can be.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You are again Making Shit Up. You are no longer welcome here. This is the second incident in two weeks, and that follows previous warnings. I don’t have time to waste debunking clear and obvious falsehoods.

      The police testifying for the prosecution, including the most senior office in Chavin’s reporting line, that what Chavin did was a violation of his training and any approved protocols. It took me all of ten seconds to find the summary:

      Chauvin failed to follow training, used ‘excessive’ force during Floyd arrest, experts testify. The trial of Derek Chauvin continued Tuesday with an array of police experts who testified that Chauvin failed to follow his training, from use of force to CPR, during his arrest of George Floyd


      And for further detail:

      The testimony comes as a series of police supervisors and high-level officials have taken the stand to say that Chauvin violated department policies while restraining George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Foremost among them was Chief Medaria Arradondo, who on Monday thoroughly rejected Chauvin’s decision to kneel on the neck of Floyd — who was handcuffed and in a prone position — for over 9 minutes.

      “That in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy. It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Arradondo said.

      In particular, he said the kneeling violated policies around de-escalation, reasonable use of force and the requirement to render aid.


      You were already in moderation. You are now blacklisted. You were warned and yet persisted in your violations.

      1. dcrane

        That all seems convincing as long as the defense did not rebut those statements with their own witnesses. Trials often have experts on both sides. I didn’t watch the trial so do not know.

        The past several years have taught me not to assume that statements of experts and professionals are honest, particularly when intensely political issues are involved. How many professionals – even supposed intel professionals – still repeat discredited Russiagate rumors fgs.

        The words quoted in the Arradondo testimony by Yves had me thinking that there must have been nothing like the knee-on-the-neck method in the MN police methodology, and I was surprised because I had heard otherwise, and it’s not that simple according to the source below. The method was allowed, but in more limited circumstances (e.g., stop when subject is under control) and for shorter times (less than 8 minutes). Eight minutes still seems very long, and not actually that different from nine, fwiw.


        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please don’t opine on the case when you didn’t follow it and could easily use a search engine to clear up your gaps in knowledge.

          The defense did present expert witnesses and if they didn’t, that’s not grounds for appeal unless Chavin is prepared to argue he didn’t get a competent defense. That dog won’t hunt.

          Moreover, the trial court is the finder of fact. None of the factual issues, such as whether the use of force was excessive or not, are open to review on appeal. So this entire line of discussion is legally moot.

          The only basis for an appeal is errors in procedure or misapplication of the law, such as flawed instructions to the jury.

          1. dcrane

            You did not respond to my second point, which, incidentally, I did use a search engine to support. I think it matters, because you attacked the pevious poster for presenting incomplete information that was misleading, and then did the same youself. I’m not saying you intended to, but maybe the previous person did not either.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I do not owe you any response, particularly to a falsely aggrieved, out of line remark. You doubled down on exactly the sort of misinformation I called you out for in the first place, not following the trial and not using a search engine to find out what you missed. The information presented in Heavy is inaccurate.

              As the trial transcript makes clear:

              1. The neck constraint in the manner Chauvin used was NOT approved by or taught in police training

              2. Any neck pressure, given that Floyd was already cuffed behind the back, would have been appropriate for at most SECONDS.

              From Police Chief Medaria Arradondo’s testimony:

              Speaker 1: (01:06)
              Well, we read the departmental policy on neck restraints. Is this a neck restraint?

              Chief Arradondo: (01:12)
              A conscious neck restraint by policy mentions light to moderate pressure. When I look at exhibit 17 and when I look at the facial expression of Mr. Floyd, that does not appear in any way, shape, or form that that is light to moderate pressure.

              Speaker 1: (01:37)
              So is it your belief then that this particular form of restraint, if that’s what we’ll call it, in fact violates departmental policy?

              Chief Arradondo: (01:48)
              I absolutely agree that violates our policy…..

              Speaker 1: (02:56)
              Do you have a belief as to when this restraint, the restraint on the ground that you viewed, should have stopped?

              Chief Arradondo: (03:05)
              Once Mr. Floyd, and this is based on my viewing of the videos… Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped. There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds, but 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 a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way, shape, or form is anything that is by policy, it is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.


              When you are in a hole, stop digging.

  14. campbeln

    Pelosi’s use of Floyd as a political prop who “sacrific[ed] his life for justice” is as telling as it’s abhorrent.

    1. GeoCrackr

      Paraphrasing a friend of mine on that topic, Pelosi seems to be trying to become even more hated than Hillary. My spin was that she is jealous of how many people hate Hillary.

  15. Cafefilos

    I watched some of the trial, enough to see that the prosecutors were actually trying to get a conviction. They brought in police officials that said that Chauvin was never trained to behave that way, and they brought in excellent expert witnesses.

    I think the scandal is that prosecutors usually don’t charge bad cops, and when they do they don’t seem to really try to get a conviction. I think this case shows that when they try, they can get convictions.

    I hope that this opens up more trials of police brutality. Bad cops are not allies to DAs, they are a menace to society.

    1. michael99

      In Sacramento the police shot and killed Stephon Clark in March 2018. Clark was suspected of breaking car windows and a sliding glass door. The police (with a helicopter hovering above) cornered Clark in his grandparent’s backyard. The police on the ground shot Clark thinking he was holding a gun but only a cellphone was found.

      The Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and the state Attorney General at the time Xavier Becerra (now Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services) both investigated the shooting and declined to bring charges against the police. The investigations lasted a year.

      To me it seemed like the DA and AG closed ranks with the police, and there is no way the investigations should have taken a year.


      1. fresno dan

        April 21, 2021 at 1:31 am
        OH, but California is sooooo LIBERAL! Being “liberal” and being a democrat are two different things. And if police need training in anything, its distinguishing cellphones from guns (sarc – although, really they do when one looks at how many people are shot holding only cell phones).
        Again, I think it just shows the political milieu one is in determines what will happen. I am pretty sure if Floyd had happened in CA there would not have been a conviction. There is a post today about the sheriff gangs of LA. That has been going on for DECADES. People allow the police to act that way. Only went it is put into their face with video will there be push back.

  16. jeff

    Sure would be nice to do a root cause analysis/lessons learned from this tragedy. But that requires cooler heads, somber reflection and honesty. Do we have the societal stones to do that?

    1) Train police more – kinda goes against the foolish ‘defund’ movement. Can’t speak for other states, but LEOs in CA don’t get enough.
    2) Honest discussions about consequences for resisting arrest.
    3) Blunt discussions about how police unions have for too long shielded terrible policemen.
    4) LA is already doing this, but establishing trust with police by keeping them on the same beat for extended periods of time so neighborhoods can get to know them.
    5) Help police departments de-stigmatize PTSD amongst their ranks and get cops the help they need.
    6) Make it easier to fire cops who psychologically are unfit for that type of work. Chauvin reportedly had 16 complaints for his actions prior to killing Floyd.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Your #1 seems to be at odds with what I think you mean by #2. Resisting arrest is not a blank check for cops to beat a suspect up.

      Have you forgotten about the presumption of innocence? Unless the police are pursing an escaped convict or someone who jumped bail and was found guilty in absentia, anyone they stop or attempt to arrest is innocent under the law.

      Now if they resist arrest, they’ve put themselves in a different category. But how many times have police claimed a suspect was resisting arrest when bodycams or other video evidence showed otherwise?

      The police are not allowed to shoot at or apply deadly force to suspects who are fleeing arrest UNLESS they pose an imminent harm to the police or the community. Yet how many police shows do we see where the cops both run after and shoot at suspects who are not armed?

      From the American Bar Association:

      Fifty years ago in Terry v. Ohio, the court provided police officers grounds to execute stop and frisk actions without probable cause if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime and have a reasonable belief that the person “may be armed and presently dangerous.”

      Two Supreme Court decisions in the 1980s elaborated on what is meant by “reasonable” and expanded the framework for today’s legal foundation of when the use of deadly force is permissible by police and when it is not.

      In 1985 in Tennessee v. Garner,the Supreme Court struck down a Tennessee statute that allowed a police officer to “use all the necessary means to effect the arrest” of an individual whom the officer suspected was fleeing or forcibly resisting detention. The case involved a Memphis police officer who shot and killed a teenager who jumped over a fence at night in the backyard of a house that the officer suspected was burglarized, though the officer was “reasonably sure” the suspect was unarmed. “The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable,” said the 6-3 decision, written by Justice Byron White….

      This year, the Supreme Court provided additional guidance for lower courts to use in civil suits. In an unsigned opinion, the justices favored an Arizona police officer sued by a woman whom the officer shot less than a minute after arriving at an incident. When the officer fired, the woman was holding a large kitchen knife, had taken steps toward a bystander (her roommate) and refused to drop the knife after at least two commands. The justices did not address whether the officer violated the Fourth Amendment. Rather, they ruled that he was “entitled to qualified immunity” from suit because “this is far from an obvious case in which any competent officer would have known that shooting (the woman) to protect (the bystander) would violate the Fourth Amendment.”

      In the Chicago case, officer Van Dyke alone fired 16 times at McDonald, who had a knife and was walking away from a group of officers. After the verdict, one juror said the “the turning point” in the case was testimony that Van Dyke told his partner, “Oh my God, we’re going to have to shoot that guy,” before arriving at the scene. The jury found him guilty of second-degree murder — essentially rejecting the lawyer’s argument that Van Dyke had no recourse but to shoot McDonald.


      And from Nolo:

      The U.S. Supreme Court established that that a police officer who has probable cause to believe a suspect poses a threat of serious harm to the officer or others may use deadly force to prevent escape. (Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).) This might happen, for instance, if the suspect threatens the officer with a gun. The Court, however, indicated that officers should issue warnings when possible. It also held that deadly force is unjustified when the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others.


      1. Jeff

        #1 and #2 are both problems concurrently. Police need more training, specifically how to not use deadly force, either with what Chauvin did or deadly force with a gun. AFAIK, here in CA, cops get 6 hrs of training every other year on how to subdue a suspect and in that 6 hours are classroom training, weapons safety and physical restraint.

        Cops getting at best an hour a year of training on grappling and gun/taser usage seems like a terrible idea.

        As for telling people that when they’re arrested, it’s in their best interest to comply and fight the fight in court…. I have no idea on where to start with that. There’s a YouTuber, FlossyCarter, who made a video specifically for young black men, addressing this issue. It’s terrible that a video like that is necessary, but nothing good comes from resisting arrest. If memory serves, cops kill 1200 people a year when a suspect resists arrest. I’m sure a considerably higher number of suspects who resist arrest get beaten up.

        Whether it’s due to poorly trained cops, cops unfit for the job, suspects making terrible and deadly choices or some combination of these, we have to find a way to talk about this.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          They also need to be told only to pursue, and not shoot non-violent, unarmed suspects who run away. That’s the law and it seems to be seldom obeyed.

          I hate to have to play devil’s advocate, but you seem to be assuming arrests are bona fide, as opposed to mistaken identity or for reasons no white person would ever be arrested, like a broken tail light.

          If the police haul you in and hold you for a day (which they are allowed to even with zero evidence), all sorts of bad cascading effects can occur, starting with the loss of a job for a failure to show up at work. I’m not recommending trying to escape arrest, it’s asking for a world of hurt, but for at least some perps, the consequences of being arrested and spending a night in jail, even if no charges are filed, can be catastrophic too.

          1. Dagnarus

            According to https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database#

            The rate at which at which United States Police kill white people 2.9 per million, or 29 per 10 million. This is roughly 43% the rate at which African Americans are murdered, 28% the rate of Native Americans.

            To put this in context, if systemic racism were eliminated from the USA, and African Americans were murdered by the police at the same rate as white people. Then police killings in the USA would be slightly lower than in Mexico at 30 per million, but still higher than such countries as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Swaziland. With police killing rates of 28.3, 25.3, 22.1.
            Not even in the same ball park as Germany with a police killing rate of 1.3.

            That is to say, are you certain that no white person would be arrested over a broken tail light? I suspect that a lot of white people would.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              The statistics on killings by cops are totally off point to the matter of minor offenses.

              I suggest you bone up. A broken tail light is in the same category of offense as (not horrific) speeding. You get ticketed, not arrested:


              However, among people of color, the broken tail light is then often used as an excuse to search the car: “Oh, looks/smells like you have dope” whether true or not.

              1. Dagnarus

                If the cops can kill me and get away with it, I’m fairly certain that they can stitch me up for a broken tail light.

                I suspect that if you or I were pulled over for a broken taillight, yes we wouldn’t have our car searched. If we looked like white trash however?

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  My statement is correct as written. You can’t be arrested for a broken tail light.

                  And cops can pull over people for any made up horseshit, like being black while driving what they deem to be too nice a car. See here for an example:

          2. Abi

            I think American laws make it very easy to arrest and harm someone with almost no consequence

            I think it comes from how Americans culturally view criminals as less than

            That’s just my observation as I’ve seen in other countries where there is very little regard for life

            Some other places – criminals aren’t viewed as sub human so their laws generally don’t make it easy for police to use violence in their interactions

    2. tegnost

      I notice you don’t mention improve the living standards and provide real opportunities for residents of marginal communities

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      Cops with guns shouldn’t be stopping people for things like expired tags or air fresheners. That is where the defunding comes in, contra the idea of increasing community policing. Those functions should be handled by other social service workers. Hence the dollars go to employ more of them, less police.

      The more interactions between armed officials and the community, the more deaths.

  17. Alternate Delegate

    Now would be a good time for a lot of cops to resign.

    But the state has murdered so many people. We need to know much more about what actually happened.

    A Truth and Reconciliation Commission would get all of this out into the open. I know that people don’t like the idea that it involves pardoning past crimes. But that’s what it takes to get the poison out of the system. So we can deserve a fresh start.

    I’m in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and it’s dead silent outside.

  18. Mikel

    The closer it gets to actual change, the more precarious and dangerous the situation for the public and the usual targets of police violence.

    There will be lashing out at the prospect of their “world view” collapsing.

    So this is the time for activists to really watch their backs.

      1. The ReV Kev

        Which makes Pelosi just as bad as Trump. Both have proved to have a casual disregard of people’s lives.

        1. DW Bartoo

          I wonder when casual disregard turns into depraved indifference?

          Especially when “public” officials engage in “price worth paying” rhetorical deceit and euphemistic evasion.

          You know, the “few bad apples” excuse, and “it really isn’t torture,” it is merely “enhanced interrogation”

  19. Angie Neer

    This conviction is appropriate, and will send a strong message to police. But that is a very small step. Police brutality does not begin and end with police. Major portions of society at large want exactly this kind of policing. Many people are completely satisfied with “he resisted” as reason enough for a person to be executed on the spot. “He’s no angel” is American for “he is a worthless non-person who should die in the street.” Fear-mongering is one of our leading industries, and one in which we excel.

    1. dcrane

      You’re probably just joking but to me that’s more a sad comment than a funny one. After all, today’s so-called “left” has embraced most of the evil that Bush and Cheney brought ups. They own the wars, that’s for sure. Shall we treat Gitmo as a valid option now as well?

  20. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a little photo from something called ” that’s insane”. it is titled ” 73 year old woman beaten up by two officers.” Here is the link.


    Now, Social Justice Wokeness Warriors will tell us that since the 73 year old woman beaten up is just as White as the officers who beat her up, that she has White Privilege and therefore her beating Does Not Matter and should certainly not be noticed at all, let alone centered, in a “discussion” which is supposed to be about “white supremacy” and “systemic racism”.

    And that would be a demonstration of what Social Justice Warrior Wokeness is designed to do. it is designed to destroy and prevent any discussion of Blue Privilege and to carefully prevent any signs of Trash of All Races working together to dismantle Blue Supremacy.

  21. A35813

    And that would be a demonstration of what Social Justice Warrior Wokeness is designed to do. it is designed to destroy and prevent any discussion of Blue Privilege and to carefully prevent any signs of Trash of All Races working together to dismantle Blue Supremacy.

    It may be an unintended side effect, and the issue surely does go beyond race, but I don’t think that saying ‘Black lives matter’ for instance is designed to do that. Race is a factor, and ‘Blue supremacy’ falls hardest on minorities. The origins of the police are steeped in both racism and class warfare. Class warfare uses racism to divide the working class, going all the way back to slavery and all the systemic oppression of the Black Americans since then. If we want to move past that then we have to fully acknowledge it first, which is not easy. The U.S. is still coming to terms with it’s violent, genocidal origins.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      By now it has been very carefully engineered to be used for preventing a unified lower class analysis of the Blue Cossacks ( and the Czar they work for) and a unified lower class response to the Blue Cossacks (and the Czar they work for).

      That is the purpose that Rich Corporate Executive-Lords pay Ms. DiAngelo to perform with her White Privilege diversionism, and she performs it very well. Which is why they pay her very well.

      1. A35813

        I can see that perspective in play today, and certainly the idea of privilege is used in that way today. But white privilege is also not just a made up thing. It goes back to the early history of America, before the United States was formed. The ruling class of the colonies, the plantation owners, used racism and racial oppression as a tool in their class warfare. They deliberately instituted a policy and codified it into law, of “promoting” part of the working class to an elevated position, to act as a buffer between them and the rest of the working class and to head off a revolt against them. In the process this created the institution of chattel slavery for black people. This is all meticulously documented in the history “The Invention of the White Race” which I highly recommend to anyone. You can find it here on the BSA site: Link

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Thanks for this indispensable link. I am always hunting this stuff up from their tweet I first saw it in. Now I will have it handy.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Which goes to show that Class Privilege was and is first and foundational, and white privilege was secondary and engineered by the Class Privilege engineers to protect and extend Class Privilege.

          And the same Class Privilege Warriors use their White Privilege theory to protect Class Privilege today. The Class Privilege Lords pay DiAngelo very well to sell her bright shiny White Privilege squirrel diversion-object, in order to prevent no-privilege Whites and no-privilege Blacks from working together on the pragmatic goal of tearing down and destroying the Rich Privilege Class.

  22. vlade

    A good start on police violence would be Hollywood stopping production of heroic-cop-shoots-anyone-running movies and similar. Maybe starting a how-much-are-our-cops-bent series instead.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Agreed. I now wind up hearing quite a few police dramas (my mother, who used to read murder mysteries voraciously, has been reduced to watching crime shows since she refuses to have cataract surgery), like the various NCIS shows, Special Victims Unit, Blue Bloods, and Chicago PD. The NCIS shows in particular are God-awful about obeying the law. They are constantly breaking into houses and businesses without warrants and holding and questioning suspects without their consent.

      The most careful about proper searches and evidence is Special Victims Unit, since they often show cases being tried and how improper police procedure can destroy a case. My dim recollection is that show’s cops are pretty good about only shooting if threatened or dealing with legitimately dangerous suspects (although they had a multi-show subplot where a police woman being tortured over days got free and beat the shit out of her kidnapper and then lied about the necessity of her beating him. Eventually caught up with her). But as you suggest, that’s a big departure from the sorry norm.

      1. Abi

        I’m a huge SVU fan and all of the Chicago’s….I like how their episodes are basically social commentary. This season has been a lot dealing with racism and it’s very interesting to watch.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The characters on SVU are great and it also gives you a real feeling of NYC. Chicago PD is fun even though Hank is dirty in some of his methods (not evidence planting, just roughing perps up when he needs info from them). The other cops are often uncomfortable with his approach, to the show’s credit.

    2. skippy

      In a doco that examined many popular U.S. TV shows that had negative social connotations the most apt was the interview with the producer of COPS ….

      When questioned about the disparity in the ethnic back drop of the perp vs police in the majority of the shows scenes, he point blank stated, that it made him money and to do otherwise would diminish his earnings ….

  23. skippy

    The gifts of structural under-unemployment is a gift that keeps on giving to those that benefit from it E.g. Incarceration Inc.

    So much of this would all go poof with a JG with benefits from costs to social cohesion i.e. police would no longer be tasked with keeping the poor under control or at arms length from the better haves and the narrative that support the currant paradigm dissipates like a morning fog. Yet the friction comes from the better haves because its supports the notion of the right to rule, funnie how that echos throughout history.

    Anywho … my Canadian work mate [Western province and not the dole bludging (his words) French sorts] that used to listen to Alex Jones at work and was a fanboy of M. Rothbard informed me today that he has changed his mind … and thinks China is a better exemplar as compared to the U.S. exporting its degeneracy [his words]. To that point I can confirm that across the wide social strata, I interact with, is what/is happened to the U.S. This is in contrast to when I came to Australia in the mid 90s and was introduced, too a fault, back then, enviably they all said its a good thing America is now the worlds police …. my response was always be careful of what you wish for … how times change … huge sigh …

  24. a different chris

    Thanks Yves for all your effort (hopefully not wasted, but sigh…) above in debunking comments from people that seem to have viewed the events from completely inside their heads.

    Which they then conflate with a completely misunderstanding of how the judicial system is supposed to operate. Lordy.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks for noticing. This has been a frustrating thread.

      A few comments had to be trashed as too toxic or taking too much energy to refute. I don’t like doing that but I have only so many hours in a day.

  25. William Hunter Duncan

    I was near downtown Minneapolis on the north side removing a chainlink fence a slumlord had let trees swallow posts whole in, when the verdict went down. I was surprised by how relieved I felt. I had been worried more than I realized, about a middling, hung or not guilty result, and how people would react.

    I will be glad enough if Chauvin never gets out of jail. I’m glad for those who see this as a long awaited sign of accountability where there was none. I am under no illusions however, that this is going to raise wages for working class people, or provide good paying meaningful work for anyone who wants it. In fact I imagine it may have the opposite effect in that regard, elite congratulationing themselves for doing the good work on racism, maintaing the general trend toward impoverishing the many to reward the few.

    This won’t do much either about declining resources and ecological health relative to global population growth, which of course hardly a soul acknowledges, or wind down the American Empire. But at least there is no longer a chainlink fence in the “hood” with 40 years of unchecked tree growth….

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