How the Left Turned Chauvin Into a Racist Killer - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
How the Left Turned Chauvin Into a Racist Killer
New Yorkers respond to jury’s verdict on Derek Chauvin, April 20, 2021 (Ron Adar/

Although he made up his mind before jury did, President Joe Biden quickly went public once he learned that the Minneapolis jury had, in fact, convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on all charges.

“It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the vice president just referred to — the systemic racism that is a stain on our nation’s soul.” So said the only president to have given a eulogy at the funeral of an Exalted Klan Cyclops, and that just 10 years before Floyd’s death.

The comments by Biden, endorsed by the media, frame the Overton window on George Floyd’s death and Derek Chauvin’s verdict. The only acceptable public opinion is that Chauvin intentionally caused Floyd’s death. If proof were needed, former NFL great Brett Favre was tarred and feathered on Twitter for haplessly suggesting otherwise.

The officers called for EMS within one minute of putting Floyd on the ground. Seeing Floyd’s distress, they called for a stepped-up response 90 seconds later at 8:21. Joe might want to ask himself why would a murderer call a Code 3 on a man he intended to kill.

The only question for debate really is whether Chauvin was a bad apple or a symptom of a rotten barrel. Ignoring the fact that three of Chauvin’s fellow officers will soon face trial for the same death, Biden, Harris, and their media allies came down firmly on the side of systemic rottenness. To confirm their suspicions, the White House sent Attorney General Merrick Garland to Minnesota to root out the rot.

Before weighing in further on the issue, however, Biden and his ventriloquists need to ask themselves one fundamental question: How exactly did a city with a liberal mayor and a black police chief in a state with a liberal governor and a black liberal attorney general breed a crew of racist killers, three of whom are non-white?

In the way of background, sometime in mid-May 2020 I heard screams outside my urban office. Going out to check, I saw a male cop kneeling on the shoulder/neck area of a prone, handcuffed woman. He was white. She was too, thank God. This story had no news value. Our city was spared.

After about 10 minutes of her struggling and screaming, backup arrived. I did not see what the woman had done to deserve her predicament, but the arriving officers promptly placed a Hannibal the Cannibal mask over her head. I presumed the offense must have been serious.

A week or so later, when I saw the George Floyd tape, I was not shocked. I had seen in person the same restraint applied to a woman. It does look awful. Given what I had seen on my street, I chose not to prejudge the officers. I needed the prosecutors to convince me “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the two facts they would have to prove to the jury.

The first, as defense attorney Eric Nelson phrased it, was that Chauvin had “an intent to purposefully use unlawful force.” The second, just as important, was that “the defendant’s actions caused the death of Mr. Floyd.”

For the record, Chauvin had nothing to do with Floyd’s passing of a counterfeit $20 bill. Two rookie cops, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, were summoned to the scene by the store manager. They pulled in at 8:08 p.m. At about 8:16, Park Police Officer Peter Chang arrived.

After receiving a call that officers needed assistance, Chauvin and his partner, Tou Thao, arrived at 8:17. Chang pointed to the car where Kueng and Lane were struggling with Floyd. “Go over there,” said Chang. “They need your help.” Floyd — 6 feet 4 and 223 pounds at the time of his autopsy — was aggressively resisting arrest. The two rookie officers could not get him into the police car.

At the request of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers, Chang was monitoring the scene. The crowd was “very aggressive, aggressive toward the officers,” he testified. Unlike the other four officers, Chang was not charged.

After assessing the situation for about one minute, Chauvin joined in the struggle to get the handcuffed Floyd seated. He did not use any racial slurs. Nor did he curse Floyd or call him names. Although authorized to use higher levels of force — including punches, kicks, elbows, or Taser — he chose not to. He heard Floyd repeat the refrain “I can’t breathe” and saw the foam around his mouth, suggesting a drug overdose. He engaged Floyd in a conversation:

Chauvin: You need to take a seat right now.

Floyd: And I just had COVID, man. I don’t want to go through that. 

Chauvin: Okay. I’ll roll the windows down. Hey, listen. You need to take a seat right now. 

Floyd: Dang, man. 

Chauvin: Listen. 

Floyd: I’m not that kind of guy.

Chauvin: I’ll roll the windows down if you put your legs in, all right? I’ll put the air on.

Roughly six or seven minutes before Floyd took his last breath, Chauvin had shown no signs of racism or brutality, let alone the potential for murder. To this point in the interaction, he had been polite, professional, and, if anything, too patient. “I’ll put the air on” — are those the words of a racist killer, Joe?

As Chauvin understood, attempting to subdue a drugged suspect a half a foot taller than he and 80 pounds heavier was not going to be easy. Finally acknowledging the futility of their collective efforts, Chauvin let Floyd leave the car at 8:19. “Thank you. Thank you,” said Floyd. When ordered to hit the ground, he sighed, “I want to lay on the ground, I want to lay on the ground. I’m going down, I’m going down. I’m going down.”

Rejecting the more aggressive but legal hobble restraint — cuffed hands and legs connected behind the suspect — Chauvin used the same restraint I saw applied on the sidewalk outside my office: knee on the area where the shoulder meets the neck. In addition to the officers’ body cams, Chauvin could see bystanders recording the scene. If he were intentionally violating the law, he knew he would be found out.

As to whether Chauvin’s method of restraint was authorized, the testimony of prosecution witness Johnny Mercil, Chauvin’s MPD trainer, spoke to the maddening imprecision of police work. Mercil said, “We’ve cautioned officers that [they] be mindful of the neck area and to look for the shoulder for placement.” Shown numerous freeze frames of Chauvin’s knee, Mercil had to agree they were on the shoulder, not on the neck. The following exchange should have been enough to guarantee Chauvin’s acquittal:

Nelson: And sometimes an officer may hold a person using their body weight to restrain them awaiting the arrival of EMS, correct?

Mercil: Yes, sir.

Nelson: You’ve done that yourself?

Mercil: I have.

Nelson: And sometimes you had to … Or was it fair to say that you’ve had to train officers to use their body weight to continue holding them until EMS arrives?

Mercil: As long as needed to control them. Yes.

Nelson: You would agree that a scene where force has been used and a crowd congregates and is voicing their displeasure or their concern or whatever you want to say, that can be a chaotic situation for an officer, right?

Mercil: Yes, sir.

Nelson: And you would agree also that what you train Minneapolis police officers to do relevant to their use of force is to consider the totality of the circumstances, agreed?

Mercil: Yes, sir.

Nelson: And you train officers that the decision to use force is from their perspective.

Mercil: Yes, sir.

The debate as to where Chauvin placed his knee is almost irrelevant in that the autopsy found no evidence of asphyxia, and, as Nelson argued, “no bruising to the neck or back above the skin, under the skin or into the subcutaneous muscles of the neck and back.” During the course of his restraint, Floyd was able to turn his head and move it around.

“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interaction with Mr. Floyd,” said Barry Brodd, the one use-of-force expert called by the defense. Following his testimony, vandals in California smeared blood on the home Brodd formerly occupied and left behind a pig’s head as a memento.

Every person who testified in that trial, including the State’s witnesses, knew the hell they might face if their testimony supported Chauvin. The MPD officers and the EMTs were particularly compromised. To defend Chauvin was to kill their careers.

The officers called for EMS within one minute of putting Floyd on the ground. Seeing Floyd’s distress, they called for a stepped-up response 90 seconds later at 8:21. Joe might want to ask himself why would a murderer call a Code 3 on a man he intended to kill.

For the first two of the legendary “9 minutes and 29 seconds” Floyd spent on the ground, he was lying on his side. He continued to kick and continued to talk. As he did in the patrol car, he continued to insist he could not breathe.

Chauvin: You’re talking. It takes a lot of oxygen.

Floyd: [inaudible]

Chauvin: Relax.

Floyd: I can’t breathe!

Chauvin: You’re fine. You’re talking fine.

Speaker 9: Deep breath.

Floyd: I can’t breathe! Please. I can’t breathe, officer!

Chauvin: … talking. A lot of yelling too.

The officers had reason to believe EMS would arrive within three or so minutes. Onlookers, not knowing Floyd refused to stay in the car, demanded the officers put him in the car. They also did not know Floyd had been pleading breathlessness even when sitting upright. They grew angrier and more menacing. Chang testified that he was “concerned for the officers’ safety.”

After voluntarily spending 150 hours reviewing the video and other evidence, Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist and arguably the State’s best witness, concluded that Floyd drew his last breath at 8:25:16. At almost exactly that same moment, the crowd had grown sufficiently threatening that Chauvin pulled his Mace can and shook it as warning. He was authorized to use it. He didn’t.

Chauvin and his colleagues did not have the luxury Tobin did. It was in the next three minutes that Chauvin and his crew turned from professional police officers to, from Joe’s perspective, racist murderers. If Tobin knew Floyd stopped breathing at 8:25, the officers did not.

As the officers searched for a pulse, they could barely be heard above the din saying to each other, “I think he’s passed out,” “Breathing right now,” “He might be a little stressed. He’ll survive.” At 8:28, the EMTs arrived. They chose not to do what the onlookers demanded the cops do — administer CPR on the scene. EMT Derek Smith testified that it was “an unwelcoming environment.” They loaded Floyd into their vehicle and drove to a safe spot several blocks away. Officer Lane accompanied them.

Again, to convict Chauvin of second-degree murder, the State had to convince the jury not only that Chauvin purposefully used unlawful force but also that the force he did use caused Floyd’s death.

A New York Times headline captured the nut of the State’s case: “Expert Witness Pinpoints Floyd’s Final Breath and Dismisses Talk of Overdose.” That witness was the Irish-born Tobin. The media expressed wonder that such an esteemed Chicago doctor would volunteer 150 hours of his time.

“Well, when I was asked to do the case, I thought I might have some knowledge that would be helpful to explain how Mr. Floyd died,” Tobin testified in the way of explanation. “And since I’d never done this type of work in this nature before, I decided I didn’t wish to be paid for it.”

When “asked” to do the case? Why, one wonders, would the State “ask” a doctor who had “never done this type of work” to serve as their star witness? My suspicion is that Tobin, upon seeing the video clip, made the State aware of his potential usefulness.

The Times subhead fleshed out his testimony: “A pulmonologist told jurors that Derek Chauvin pressed 86.9 pounds onto the neck of George Floyd, who tried to push himself off the pavement with his fingertips.”

As Nelson made embarrassingly clear, Floyd was lying on his side during the time he was allegedly pushing himself off the pavement. That was a minor problem for the State. More problematic was Tobin’s professional myopia. Presuming his motives were pure, one senses in Tobin’s testimony a touch of the syndrome known as Maslow’s hammer, usually shorthanded as, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

To reach his conclusions, the pulmonologist had to “dismiss” a lot. Among the complicating factors cited in Floyd’s death by the one man who examined his body, Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, were arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication, and recent methamphetamine use. Floyd had 90 percent blockage in one artery and 75 percent in another, and he was recovering from COVID. He also had three times the fentanyl in his system needed to kill a healthy human, and healthy Floyd was not. Tobin dismissed all of this. For the State to make the charges against Chauvin stick, he had to.

Testifying for the defense, former Maryland Chief Medical Examiner David Fowler argued, as summarized by Nelson, that “putting a subject in the prone position, even with officers on top, even with weight on top of the person is…. not an imminently dangerous act.” Citing numerous legitimate studies, Nelson added, “There is no evidence to support the notion that it was highly likely, that’s the standard, highly likely to cause death.”

If the media treated Tobin like a hero, they had no such affection for Fowler. For his troubles, Fowler was greeted with this headline from the Washington Post: “Maryland officials to launch review of cases handled by ex-chief medical examiner who testified in Chauvin’s defense.”

In the final analysis, it mattered little what Fowler or any other witness said. As an alternate juror in the trial told local media, “I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again, and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.”

Incredibly, in its coverage of the juror’s comments, the New York Times did not bother to mention her freely expressed fears. Legitimately frightened and deeply propagandized, the jurors found Chauvin guilty on all counts with unseemly speed. In their haste, they called to mind Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s caution about Leo Frank’s Atlanta trial a century earlier, “Mob law does not become due process of law by securing the assent of a terrorized jury.”

To justify $2 billion of damages and dozens of lives lost, the Democrat-media complex needed a cause as epic as the damage. The State and its allies had to overcharge all four of the officers. They had to turn Chauvin from a veteran cop, who may or may not have made an error of judgment in the final moments of Floyd’s life, into a villain. They had to turn the career criminal George Floyd into a secular saint. And, finally, they had to elevate an unintentional death into a racist murder.

If there was “stain on a nation’s soul,” Joe, it was the trial.

Jack Cashill’s latest book, Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply, is now on pre-sale. His recent book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency, is widely available. See for more information.

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