There is a disturbing conflict in perspectives that has surfaced around the trial and conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
Most prominently, President Joe Biden and Congresswoman Maxine Waters opined, rather scandalously in our view, that they were hoping for a conviction, in order to have a statement made on the issue of what they call systemic police racism. They said as much. And it isn’t hyperbole to suggest that the media-Democrat complex was there as their amen corner.
Curiously, though, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose prosecutorial team brought the case against Chauvin, said he didn’t think Floyd’s death was a hate crime: “I wouldn’t call it that because hate crimes are crimes where there’s an explicit motive and of bias. We don’t have any evidence that Derek Chauvin factored in George Floyd’s race as he did what he did.”
And noted legal commentator and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing in National Review, said this:
Not a shred of evidence was introduced at the trial that Derek Chauvin is a racist. There was nothing in the weeks of testimony that even hinted at such a thing. The prosecutors who aggressively urged the jury to convict Chauvin of murder never intimated that racism played any role in the crimes. They convincingly argued that he was a bad cop, not a racist cop.
The police did not hunt down George Floyd. They did not randomly happen upon him. They did not make a discriminatory choice to hassle him. Instead the police responded to a citizen complaint from a local market…based on a report from a young black cashier that Floyd had passed him patently counterfeit $20 bill.
McCarthy went on to say:
This simply was not, as the conventional narrative holds, a case of police overreacting to a trivial counterfeiting violation…. The police got involved because of a citizen complaint, they investigated because there was evidence of a counterfeiting crime, and Floyd’s impaired condition rendered it inconceivable that they would have just have written him a ticket and let him drive away. If they had done so, and if Floyd had hurt himself or others because he was impaired, the police would rightly have been blamed for that.
So how did Derek Chauvin become the poster boy for white-on-black police brutality? How did this tragic death inflame passions and prompt even the highest of our elected officials to throw respect for our legal process and its emblematic presumption of innocence to the dogs?
And while there was ample evidence to support holding Chauvin responsible for George Floyd’s death, there were four different homicide charges, each depending on the possible role several serious underlying conditions that Floyd suffered from played in his death, and Chauvin was convicted on all of them.
Yet, they required fine-tuned judgments to be made and distinctions to be drawn by the jury. Does anyone really think Chauvin got a fair and impartial trial on all of them in the rush to judgment and with the threat hanging over the jury of angry mobs burning down major cities across the country if it didn’t deliver the desired verdict? It’s something we should all ponder.