Derek Chauvin is the former officer who was charged with charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter following a bystander video showing Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.
Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane – the other officers on the scene – are each charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. Kueng and Lane helped restrain Floyd while he was on the ground while Thao looked on and failed to intervene, according to a criminal complaint filed June 3.
Today (June 29) Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill agreed that public commentary on the case has reached inappropriate levels, specifically noting that people aligned with the prosecution are pushing it toward a change of venue.
“It’s in everyone’s best interest” that no public statements about the case be made, Cahill said, noting that they’ve come from family, friends and law enforcement officials. “What they’re doing is endangering the right to a fair trial. They need to understand that.”
A look at the video shows actions by the police that are undoubtedly reprehensible, disgusting.
But is this a slam dunk case? Proving intent to murder is difficult in the court of law.
Today’s read is not meant to persuade or take a side. It is, as the title suggests, highly interesting.
One news outlet details the inherent problems with the Minneapolis case. In an article titled “Why Derek Chauvin May Get Off His Murder Charge,” Medium reports:
The video is unquestionably horrific.
But in our rush to condemn an aggressive use of force and pursue justice for George Floyd, we have ignored crucial information which is necessary in judging the conduct of the officers. While nothing can absolve George Floyd’s death, these facts do cast doubt on the appropriateness of a murder charge for Chauvin, and paint a more nuanced picture of the events leading up to the tragic encounter.
There are six crucial pieces of information — six facts — that have been largely omitted from discussion on the Chauvin’s conduct.