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Tags Derek Chauvin , George Floyd , murder cases , police incidents , police issues , police misconduct charges

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Old 8th March 2021, 12:03 PM   #1
chrispy
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The Derek Chauvin/George Floyd Murder Trial

I don't know if this belongs here or in the Trials and Errors category, so feel free to move.

This trial deserves a stand alone thread. Jury selection has just begun and there have been some interesting updates, such as the following:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...trial-n1259313

I just thought that there should be one single, consolidated thread for what should be a contentious trial.
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Old 8th March 2021, 12:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by chrispy View Post
Jury selection has just begun and there have been some interesting updates
I believe the selection is on hold now due to the prosecution looking to add 3rd degree murder (the easiest to convict on in this case) to the list of charges.

As far as the trial only allowing one family member, on some level it makes sense. Though I think they should have a remote room setup for them to watch if it's not going to be televised, which I'm not sure if it will or won't be.
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Old 8th March 2021, 12:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I believe the selection is on hold now due to the prosecution looking to add 3rd degree murder (the easiest to convict on in this case) to the list of charges.
Yes. Jury selection starts tomorrow
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/08/u...ury/index.html
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Old 9th March 2021, 07:08 AM   #4
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Just my opinion, but adding the “3rd degree” charge tells me the prosecution is worried.

I fear that any way the trial goes, the result will be ugly.
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Old 9th March 2021, 07:12 AM   #5
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The biggest most divisive trial since OJ. Pretty much everyone has already decided their preferred verdict and they await that verdict before deciding to praise the court or condemn it and riot.
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Old 9th March 2021, 07:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Just my opinion, but adding the “3rd degree” charge tells me the prosecution is worried.

I fear that any way the trial goes, the result will be ugly.
One of the articles linked above said that Chauvin was ready to plead on 3rd degree, but AG Barr refused the deal (apparently the deal needed federal approval because the Justice Department had to agree not to prosecute on civil rights grounds).
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Old 9th March 2021, 07:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The biggest most divisive trial since OJ. Pretty much everyone has already decided their preferred verdict and they await that verdict before deciding to praise the court or condemn it and riot.
With the benefit of having seen full video, yes, many of us have reached a solid conclusion that, barring some really out-from-left-field bombshell, is enough. The "police are only trained poodles" defense is a no-go. That was a horrificly calloused murder
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Old 9th March 2021, 08:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
With the benefit of having seen full video, yes, many of us have reached a solid conclusion that, barring some really out-from-left-field bombshell, is enough. The "police are only trained poodles" defense is a no-go. That was a horrificly calloused murder
The question is that many feel that the police are entitled to commit murder as they see fit.
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Old 9th March 2021, 08:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
With the benefit of having seen full video, yes, many of us have reached a solid conclusion that, barring some really out-from-left-field bombshell, is enough. The "police are only trained poodles" defense is a no-go. That was a horrificly calloused murder
I think what it will boil down to in this case is the drug report from Floyd's autopsy. That's what the defense has been using thus far. That the amount of meth, fentanyl, and the underlying COVID-19 positive test were what caused the death, not the kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes.

From what I understand of MN law, the 3rd degree charge would be the easiest to get him on because it wouldn't require any intent from Chauvin. Just that his actions contributed (or maybe caused? I can't remember) Floyds death. Which is what I am most prone to side with.
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Old 9th March 2021, 08:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The biggest most divisive trial since OJ. Pretty much everyone has already decided their preferred verdict and they await that verdict before deciding to praise the court or condemn it and riot.
Seems like the trial for the Rodney King beating is the more apt comparison.

We have a moment of inexcusable police brutality caught on tape. Everyone who isn't a bootlicker understands that this was a crime committed by a cop on duty. Now the moment of truth to see if the system actually holds him accountable.

In the case of King, the officers escaped justice and the LA riots kicked off in response. Rioting seems likely should Chavuin likewise escape justice.
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Old 9th March 2021, 08:55 AM   #11
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It appears that the trial will be live on Court TV and some streaming channel through Peacock. I, for one, will be watching closely.
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Old 9th March 2021, 09:31 AM   #12
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I think adding third degree murder is smart. US prosecutors have a piss pour record on getting convictions of cops. Third degree gives the jury a compromise verdict.

As for the drugs, that's pretty powerful for the defense. I doubt it's powerful enough for a jury to get past the fact that the officer kept his knee on the guy's neck for over a minute after another officer said he couldn't find a pulse.
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Old 9th March 2021, 09:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
I think adding third degree murder is smart. US prosecutors have a piss pour record on getting convictions of cops. Third degree gives the jury a compromise verdict.
We really should have a flat charge of murder, and let the jury determine the degree after trial.

Quote:
As for the drugs, that's pretty powerful for the defense. I doubt it's powerful enough for a jury to get past the fact that the officer kept his knee on the guy's neck for over a minute after another officer said he couldn't find a pulse.
Exactly. Drugs, drunk, poor health, whatever. Chauvin willingly and knowingly kept that knee on till no pulse and far beyond. Murder.
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Old 9th March 2021, 09:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
As for the drugs, that's pretty powerful for the defense. I doubt it's powerful enough for a jury to get past the fact that the officer kept his knee on the guy's neck for over a minute after another officer said he couldn't find a pulse.
I certainly agree with you, but this is still Minnesota and all it takes is 1 juror for a mistrial.

That's why I like the reasoning to pause and add murder 3. Like you said, it's a good way for the jury to come to a reasonable conclusion that he contributed to Floyd's death, at the very least.
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
I think adding third degree murder is smart. US prosecutors have a piss pour record on getting convictions of cops. Third degree gives the jury a compromise verdict.

As for the drugs, that's pretty powerful for the defense. I doubt it's powerful enough for a jury to get past the fact that the officer kept his knee on the guy's neck for over a minute after another officer said he couldn't find a pulse.
I find it impossible to blame his death on the drugs. He was in restraints. There is no purpose to holding him down for 8 and a half minutes. That he had drugs in his system may have made it easier for him to die may be a possibility, may even be a probability. But the direct cause of his death was the treatment of the officers.
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
We really should have a flat charge of murder, and let the jury determine the degree after trial.



Exactly. Drugs, drunk, poor health, whatever. Chauvin willingly and knowingly kept that knee on till no pulse and far beyond. Murder.
That doesn't make a lot of sense from the standpoint of trying to get a conviction.
For some "murder" might necessitate an intent to kill, for others an indifference to the possibility of death could be enough.

The more specific the definition of the charge is , the more likely a conviction could result.
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I find it impossible to blame his death on the drugs. He was in restraints. There is no purpose to holding him down for 8 and a half minutes. That he had drugs in his system may have made it easier for him to die may be a possibility, may even be a probability. But the direct cause of his death was the treatment of the officers.
And I think the USA being a common law system incorporates the concept of the “eggshell skull” rule - which means that if someone is injured more than one would have expected of an “average” person in the same circumstances it is tough on the perpetrator of the crime. It is summed up as “you take your victim as you find him.”
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I find it impossible to blame his death on the drugs. He was in restraints. There is no purpose to holding him down for 8 and a half minutes. That he had drugs in his system may have made it easier for him to die may be a possibility, may even be a probability. But the direct cause of his death was the treatment of the officers.
Simply shifting the blame. We all know that this. "I didn't mean to force my knee into neck for 8 minutes until he died. It was the drugs!!"
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:28 AM   #19
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And, bonus, to get in there that he was a druggie and therefore his life didn't matter.

I am OK with 3rd degree however, even if I suspect the crime was greater. They have to assess what evidence they have to bring, and what a jury will go for reliably. It's not like they can try for 2, and say "But if you don't like that you can convict on 3".

Maybe that would be a good idea, if our court system allowed a jury the option to convict on a lesser charge. But it doesn't.
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
And, bonus, to get in there that he was a druggie and therefore his life didn't matter.

I am OK with 3rd degree however, even if I suspect the crime was greater. They have to assess what evidence they have to bring, and what a jury will go for reliably. It's not like they can try for 2, and say "But if you don't like that you can convict on 3".

Maybe that would be a good idea, if our court system allowed a jury the option to convict on a lesser charge. But it doesn't.
Maybe I'm ignorant of the law (I haven't lived in the states in years), but I thought that was the purpose of including other charges in a trial. "He isn't guilty of charges A, B, and C, but we find him guilty of X,Y,Z".
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
And, bonus, to get in there that he was a druggie and therefore his life didn't matter.

I am OK with 3rd degree however, even if I suspect the crime was greater. They have to assess what evidence they have to bring, and what a jury will go for reliably. It's not like they can try for 2, and say "But if you don't like that you can convict on 3".

Maybe that would be a good idea, if our court system allowed a jury the option to convict on a lesser charge. But it doesn't.
Actually I believe they can. It's sort of the purpose of trying him both for second and third degree murder and manslaughter. The jury can choose the appropriate charge. This is why the Defense has been fighting to keep him from being charged with the third degree murder charge which I see as maybe the proper charge.
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Old 9th March 2021, 10:50 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
Maybe that would be a good idea, if our court system allowed a jury the option to convict on a lesser charge. But it doesn't.
Originally Posted by chrispy View Post
Maybe I'm ignorant of the law (I haven't lived in the states in years), but I thought that was the purpose of including other charges in a trial. "He isn't guilty of charges A, B, and C, but we find him guilty of X,Y,Z".
Yes, they can charge on a lesser crime if they find it more appropriate. It's not an all or nothing situation.

As far as the drugs, there are said to be images of Floyd having drugs in his mouth while on the ground. Whether they effected the outcome, whether they were actually drugs instead of, say, a breath mint, etc. I'm not really sure how it will change the outcome. Just that the coroner found a healthy dose of drugs in his system, and that's what the defense will be using. The only problem with it is even if he were to have overdosed the defense would have to prove that Chauvin didn't contribute to that death under Murder 3.

I shouldn't have to say this but IANAL, so this is all me just throwing **** at the wall.
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And I think the USA being a common law system incorporates the concept of the “eggshell skull” rule - which means that if someone is injured more than one would have expected of an “average” person in the same circumstances it is tough on the perpetrator of the crime. It is summed up as “you take your victim as you find him.”

That's correct.

But it only speaks to the action. It's harder to establish BARD that the intent was to harm or kill if the action was only lethal because of some unknown vulnerability. Hence, most likely, the spreading out of the possible "degrees" of murder in this case.

For a strong conviction the prosecution should emphasize that the treatment of Floyd could have killed any healthy person (or at least, any person with various common medical conditions such as high blood pressure), not fall back on the eggshell skull principle.
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:07 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by chrispy View Post
Maybe I'm ignorant of the law (I haven't lived in the states in years), but I thought that was the purpose of including other charges in a trial. "He isn't guilty of charges A, B, and C, but we find him guilty of X,Y,Z".
They can change the charges at any time. But the jury has to convict someone of specific charges when they are given instructions before they go into deliberations.

As I understand it, the Chauvin is presently charged with second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. There is an appeal to the Minnesota State Supreme Court on whether he can be charged with 3rd degree murder.

The jury is not going to convict Chauvin of 2nd degree murder and 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter, but will choose between 2nd degree murder or 2nd degree manslaughter and maybe 3rd degree murder depending on the appeal.
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:08 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They can change the charges at any time. But the jury has to convict someone of specific charges given to them when they are given instructions before they go into deliberations.

As I understand it, the Chauvin is presently charged with second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. There is an appeal to the Minnesota State Supreme Court on whether he can be charged with 3rd degree murder.

The jury is not going to convict Chauvin of 2nd degree murder and 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter, but will choose between 2nd degree murder or 2nd degree manslaughter and maybe 3rd degree murder depending on the appeal.
Exactly as I thought. Thanks.
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:18 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
As I understand it, the Chauvin is presently charged with second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. There is an appeal to the Minnesota State Supreme Court on whether he can be charged with 3rd degree murder.
The appeal has already been decided. The appellate court reversed the original dismissal. The prosecution just added it back in yesterday I believe.

ETA: I was partially right. Source:

Quote:
The Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Cahill was wrong to deny the request and sent it back to him for reconsideration.

Nelson said Monday that he would file a petition no later than Tuesday asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals' Friday decision.
So it's been decided once, but he's asking for a review. I'm fairly positive 3rd degree murder will be put back in.
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:28 AM   #27
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IANAL (obviously). Is it common to choose a jury while not knowing the full extent of the possible charges?
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:33 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yes, they can charge on a lesser crime if they find it more appropriate. It's not an all or nothing situation.

As far as the drugs, there are said to be images of Floyd having drugs in his mouth while on the ground. Whether they effected the outcome, whether they were actually drugs instead of, say, a breath mint, etc. I'm not really sure how it will change the outcome. Just that the coroner found a healthy dose of drugs in his system, and that's what the defense will be using. The only problem with it is even if he were to have overdosed the defense would have to prove that Chauvin didn't contribute to that death under Murder 3.

I shouldn't have to say this but IANAL, so this is all me just throwing **** at the wall.
Well then I stand corrected!
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:34 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
The appeal has already been decided. The appellate court reversed the original dismissal. The prosecution just added it back in yesterday I believe.

ETA: I was partially right. Source:



So it's been decided once, but he's asking for a review. I'm fairly positive 3rd degree murder will be put back in.
You're right, it is in. But the defense appealed it at which point the prosecution asked for a delay until it was decided by the Minnesota SC. But the judge overseeing the trial said that he didn't want to delay the trial and they would proceed.
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Old 9th March 2021, 11:51 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by chrispy View Post
IANAL (obviously). Is it common to choose a jury while not knowing the full extent of the possible charges?
That's kind of the argument that's being brought forth by the prosecution. They'd rather delay the trial so that Chauvin can't use this discrepancy for an appeal.

Per that article I linked to:

Quote:
If the trial proceeds, prosecutors argued in their motion to the Court of Appeals, Chauvin is in a "Heads I win, tails you lose" scenario because he could take his chances at trial, and if convicted, can appeal by claiming that Cahill lacked jurisdiction when jury selection began.

"There is no need for this kind of uncertainty in any case, let alone a case of this magnitude," prosecutors wrote.
The judge wants to move ahead even without the ruling, and I'm not 100% sure why, to be honest.

This caught me as extremely random:

Quote:
Both sides agreed to prohibit witnesses from watching the trial before or after they testify with the exception of expert witnesses, and to prohibit expert witnesses from comparing Floyd's death to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
I'm not extremely knowledgeable on the Bible, but I can't imagine what comparisons would be used.
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Old 9th March 2021, 12:22 PM   #31
Joe Random
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
<...>
This caught me as extremely random:



I'm not extremely knowledgeable on the Bible, but I can't imagine what comparisons would be used.
W.A.G. : crucifixion often caused death by asphyxiation.
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Old 9th March 2021, 12:30 PM   #32
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Sleeper hold, compressing the sides of the neck restricts blood flow to the brain. This can be fatal, and was in the Floyd case.

The man was already handcuffed, and wasn't resisting.
I think there's a good chance of a murder conviction.
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Old 9th March 2021, 01:04 PM   #33
plague311
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
W.A.G. : crucifixion often caused death by asphyxiation.
Ok, but what would any expert witness have to gain by bringing that up? Where would the comparison between the two be? I must be missing something.
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"Circumcision and death threats go together like milk and cookies." - William Parcher

“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
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Old 9th March 2021, 01:07 PM   #34
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I'm with Plague on this one. I don't get it, either.
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Old 9th March 2021, 01:43 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Just my opinion, but adding the “3rd degree” charge tells me the prosecution is worried.

I fear that any way the trial goes, the result will be ugly.
Or they don't want to lose because a lesser option wasn't available to the jury as happened in at least one other case.
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Old 9th March 2021, 01:45 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
We really should have a flat charge of murder, and let the jury determine the degree after trial.
Didn't the autopsy report already state it was homicide?
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Old 9th March 2021, 02:16 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Didn't the autopsy report already state it was homicide?
Yes, it listed it as a homicide. The details of how it was a homicide varies between private and government autopsy reports.
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"Circumcision and death threats go together like milk and cookies." - William Parcher

“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
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Old 9th March 2021, 02:28 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I find it impossible to blame his death on the drugs. He was in restraints. There is no purpose to holding him down for 8 and a half minutes. That he had drugs in his system may have made it easier for him to die may be a possibility, may even be a probability. But the direct cause of his death was the treatment of the officers.
The officers could certainly be held responsible for their treatment. I don't blame the medical officer for finding what he/she found either. Their job isn't to place blame on a perpetrator, but to determine the probable physiological processes that caused the death.

This issue was hairsplit to death in the Jeffrey Epstein suicide "anomalies" claims.
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Old 9th March 2021, 03:07 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Ok, but what would any expert witness have to gain by bringing that up? Where would the comparison between the two be? I must be missing something.

I wouldn't have made the connection had there not been the mention that they were trying to exclude that comparison. Just about the only thing I could come up with would be a comparison to long, drawn out suffocation. But yeah, I agree that it's a pretty far reach, even for scumbag lawyers (forgive the redundancy).
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Old 10th March 2021, 04:16 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Seems like the trial for the Rodney King beating is the more apt comparison.

We have a moment of inexcusable police brutality caught on tape. Everyone who isn't a bootlicker understands that this was a crime committed by a cop on duty. Now the moment of truth to see if the system actually holds him accountable.

In the case of King, the officers escaped justice and the LA riots kicked off in response. Rioting seems likely should Chavuin likewise escape justice.
Seems worth remembering that the trial for beating King was moved from LA to Simi Valley, a suburb popular with police and police retirees. In other words, less "bootlickers" and more "blue wall".

Also, Soon Ja DU's sentence of 5 years probation for manslaughter (she accused a black girl of shoplifting, and then shot her in the back of a head when the girl placed the item she was accused of stealing on the counter and began to leave), which caused some serious though entirely misplaced anger towards Koreatown, a series of drug raids that consisted of cops knocking down doors with vehicles and tearing pretty much everything they could apart including drywall, and a rather obvious decision to just...let everyone run wild, and you get a predictable disaster.

A more multiracial protest group, but also with more riled up white nationalists/boogaloo boys, could be a rather different problem this time around.
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