Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murdering George Floyd
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- Derek Chauvin Trial Live Updates: Jury Set to Resume Deliberations
- Apr 20 2021
- Word count
- 2634 words
I honestly didn’t think it would happen, given the history of police brutality cases. But good. I honestly can’t think of a more clear cut, obvious and malicious use of force by a police officer that resulted in someone’s death.
Regardless, everyone should remember George Floyd, the victim here and let the officer’s name be forgotten.
Same.....while I'm glad the officer was found guilty, but I was totally suspecting he would get off with a slap on the wrist at the most.
That really cuts right to the heart of the matter. Simple and effective argument from the prosecution.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is 81 years old and 2nd in the line of presidential succession, right after the VP:
Cthulhu save me from this gerontocracy.
I saw this quotation earlier and could not believe how upset it made me. Characterizing his murder as a "sacrifice" is so wrong.
I feel it but I can't articulate it that well. It just feels like romanticizing the suffering of Black people under racist police officers as a way to assuage guilt about complicity up til now. It is not romantic or noble that he died, it is a tragedy and a horror and an outrage.
And I don't think there's justice here, there was one instance of accountability among thousands of instances where there were no consequences for killing a black person. He was only held accountable because there was a video, there were witnesses including children audible on the video begging him not to kill the man he killed, his police chief testified against him, and millions of people marched in support.
It's good this cop was found guilty. I hope this gives the people for whom this was a more personal fight some degree of peace. But for the rest of us, the police are still the way they are, reforms are still needed, anti-racist work still needs to be done.
This reminded me of a quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me about how we think of slavery:
edit: some legal elaboration from Emily Bazelon further into the liveblog
To further, I was looking for explanation how all three charges can be applied at the same time:
I watched this live and I think I came into it with off base expectations. I was expecting to feel good if this was the outcome, or happy. I don't. This verdict is good for George's family and their community. It's good for the rest of the nation in a way, but George Floyd is dead. George is dead and racism gets to live as an idea unshaken by this verdict. That cop is probably going to jail but the broken policing system is still free to operate unhindered.
Media outlets and pundits are going to call this a "watershed moment for the modern civil rights movement" like they are actively authoring history books during commercial breaks, but I don't believe that this verdict will change much. Believe me, I'm no stranger to fighting for racial equality and social justice. I recognize what this represents to organizers, protesters, activists and BIPOC individuals across the country. I just can't shake the idea that this is the same old cycle. I do wonder how much longer the apathetic or unaffected populace will pay attention to social justice issues on this scale, but my gut says it's not much longer.
While I do understand your point of view, every once in a while one must stop in silence and think: "something good happened, and I acknowledge that". Not only because that is true, but also because we're doomed to overwhelming darkness, sorrow, and cynicism otherwise.
I agree with this, deeply, and I try to make it a point in my life to acknowledge the good things that happen, even if I don't feel good about them. So please bear that in mind when I say that nothing good happened here. Something right happened, but nothing about this is good, and I can find no way to feel happy about this. I still feel only sorrow and anger.
This was the right outcome. This was the least bad outcome. This is still a terrible outcome, and I also dread what it might mean for our black brothers and sisters living in the USA. There's already been another black child murdered by police officers since this came out yesterday. What are the repercussions going to be?
What is the path that this moves forward towards justice? I can't see that path.
This was the right result, but being in a place where this is the right result isn't good, it's abjectly terrifying.
It is quite possible for something to be good and also not nearly enough. Beware of the false dichotomy.
Someone asked me this (it was then deleted or removed):
Yes, that is what I was referencing. I think that since police are able to take white males with AR-15s who have just killed 8 people into custody without killing them, they should be able to take a scared 16-year old child into custody as well. Having a weapon, in a country like the USA that fetishizes weaponry, should not be a death sentence. It's not illegal to defend yourself, so you shouldn't be murdered by police for attempting to do so. That's especially true for an actual child who, it should be noted was the actual person who called the police, looking for safety. Each of the accounts that I read lay it out like this:
That's not how the system is supposed to work.
After seeing the footage (https://www.wlwt.com/article/body-cam-footage-released-reveals-more-details-in-fatal-police-shooting-of-columbus-teen/36203400), I don't think the cop did something wrong here. The cop warned the person multiple times, and they shot moments after the person chased someone down and started attacking with a knife. It's a tragic situation and in general there's regularly issues with police use of force, but preventing an attack with a deadly weapon seems like the specific situation that calls for a cop to use their gun.
I'm glad that the situation was recorded so it could be reviewed. It's a huge problem how many police shootings happen without any footage taken or preserved. George Floyd was only vindicated because of footage from a bystander, which shouldn't have been necessary. Why did we not have footage from the cops in that case?
Even if the officer was justified in using his gun, and I don't think he was, there's no justification for firing 4 times.
Nothing changes overnight. These killings didn't start in the last 10 years. But I've certainly become more aware of them in the last 10 years than I ever was before. And it's because of moments like this. When it was only the occasional cop murder that actually made the news, it was easy to brush it off as, "Well, they have a hard job. It's a sad consequence of an imperfect world, but they had to make split-second decisions," or "It's just a few bad apples!" But now that it's so obvious how wide-spread the problem is, and there are communities where they're taking it seriously, it's going to make some cops think twice about how they handle these situations. Some will double-down or find other ways to keep being bad, but slowly, some will change. The job is now just a little bit less attractive to the type of people who would use it to do these sorts of things. By itself, it won't fix the problem, but as more people speak out about it and more communities successfully prosecute it this way, it will change. I wish we could snap our fingers and fix it, and it's infuriating that we even have to fix it, but this is good, and it's getting us going in the right direction.
I’m imagining what would have happened if they hadn’t convicted him. Widespread protests and calls for justice at the very least, and we would be lucky if they remained peaceful.
There’s only so much that putting one man in jail can achieve, but there is a darker timeline that I’m glad we avoided.
I don't think widespread protests are the problem, but rather what these protests are meant to address--injustices in our police system. If they hadn't convicted him, it would be one more injustice to add to the pile, and that is what would have made it the darker timeline.
People can get hurt in protests, especially if they turn into riots. They result in more dangerous confrontations. This escalation can turn a local tragedy into a nationwide one, on top of the issues that the protests are intended to address.
Or maybe it would have remained peaceful but that seems very optimistic.
People are hurt in interactions with the police. It sounds like you're more concerned over potential harm during protests than the actual ongoing harm caused by police.
While we're on the topic I think it'd be a good time to dispel the myth that BLM protests are likely to turn into riots, or that it's some ubiquitous phenomenon. Per The Guardian "...more than 93% involving no serious harm to people or damage to property, according to a new report tracking political violence in the United States.", original paper here
That doesn't make sense. Both are bad. Why would you be hoping for more?
What I'm hoping for is an end to state violence enacted on minorities. Doing nothing will not cause police to cease the harm they cause. Protest, on the other hand, has a chance to change things for the better. I prefer to accept tension in the pursuit of justice as opposed to the opposite.
Okay, I accept that you don’t actually believe this, but it seems like you’re getting uncomfortably close to an accelerationist argument, where it would be good for Floyd’s killer to go free because it would result in more protests, and that might result in something good. Or worse, that it was good that he was killed because it caused last summers’ protests and whatever police reforms that are happening because of them.
I think it’s more straightforward to say that murder is bad and it would be better if Floyd were alive and the protests last summer never happened, and also that it’s good that we got justice now. It’s just too confusing to say that the things people protest because they’re bad are actually good, because maybe that has good consequences. (I’m somewhat open to letting the ends justify the means, but not for this kind of volatile situation.)
[Edited; dumb mistake.]
I didn't say that the protests were good, or the killing of Floyd (Chauvin is the killer, not the killed) was good. I said that you seemed more concerned with theoretical harm caused by protestors than the actual daily harm done by police. Please don't put words in my mouth regarding an accelerationist argument I'm not making. I'm only saying that I disagree with how much harm protest does as compared to continuing to live with the danger of discriminatory policing.
As an aside: I think that the difference between an accelerationist and a conservative is a difference of degrees, yeah? Everyone will have their own opinion as to the appropriate rate of social change, and that opinion will mean that they think of other people as dragging their heels when it comes to necessary change or moving far too fast and endangering things in the process. Tar me as an accelerationist? Certainly, compared to you.
I think @Skybrian is saying that, in a Chauvin acquittal scenario, things become very tense, and it increases the likelihood of a riot (even if they make up ~7% of all protests, they likely get a disproportionate share of media attention). A riot increases the chances of further tragedies, and can cause a public backlash. (And ultimately “raises the temperature” in American society, making a far worse event more likely.) That isn’t to say the protesting isn’t necessary or shouldn’t be done. Protesting is vital, but it requires careful strategy to ensure it achieves its aims.
And again, this is willfully ignoring the primary danger in a Chauvin acquittal scenario; namely, it reinforces a dangerous bias in not only our justice system, but also in our policing system. To act like the protests are the biggest threat here is a privileged take. Invoking notions like accelerationism takes it down a quasi-intellectual trail that is totally unnecessary and misses the very simple point.
If a goal is “don’t let your protest turn into a riot” then that seems hard to do when there’s not a whole lot of organization. It’s based on whoever shows up, and what they do, and what the police do.
But maybe there is more organization going on that we’re never going to read about.
Okay, I think there is some ambiguity here between, for example, last summer’s protests being sparked by Floyd’s murder and that they’re also about wrongful deaths by police in general. Similarly for the scenario where this trial didn’t go the way people wanted.
It’s not like every injustice results in widespread protests (far from it) and I think we all expect that there will be more.
(Thanks for the correction for my dumb mistake.)
Onion article: Local depressed cop reminds himself that guilty verdict not representative of system as a whole
I was honestly not expecting this; I'm very glad he's actually seeing consequences. It's definitely cause for celebration.
I'd really encourage folks to check out this article by Mariame Kaba from 2014 on Ferguson. A victory is a victory but it won't stop it from happening again.
I’m glad the correct decision was made, and while this was probably fueled by racism and the man really is terrible, i wish more news outlets would focus on the fact that a police officer murdered a man in cold blood for his own purposes. No matter the victim’s race, this man should be behind bars.
And still today, literally minutes after the guilty verdict came down, cops in Columbus Ohio shot and killed a 15-year girl.
There are reports that the teen is the one that called the police for help after being threatened by adults. And yet they killed her.
And then the police had the AUDACITY to say BLUE LIVES MATTER to the crowd that had gathered in protest of this murder.
It feels like the cops are purposefully ramping up violence, especially against those most vulnerable because they feel threatened by bare fucking minimum accountability. It is like they are looking for any excuse to kill.
There will not be justice until police as an institution is reformed, if not abolished
I hate to be that guy, but after looking into this event I'm not sure it was a bad shoot. It doesn't change how tragic this is but in this case the girl did have a knife and was in fact swinging it towards another person. This seems like one of the few times that using lethal force was appropriate to preserve the life of others.
It's a hard pill to swallow when any number of white dudes with AR-15s who have actually killed multiple people can be taken into custody without being injured.
It's a hard pill to swallow when he was on the scene for ten seconds and he starts blasting.
It's a hard pill to swallow on the exact day that maybe could have felt like there was almost justice.
It's a hard pill to swallow when it's not even the first child killed by police this week.
It's a hard pill to swallow when the officer never audibly identifies himself as an officer, he just says, "hey, hey hey, hey" and then opens fire.
It's a hard pill to swallow because even if she was in the wrong, it shouldn't have been a death sentence.
It's a hard pill to swallow when there were four gunshots in rapid succession.
It's a hard pill to swallow when that officer has a tazer for just this situation.
It's a hard pill to swallow in the bigger context of the problems facing western society right now, where black people are systemically being killed by police officers.
Almost none of that has any bearing on whether lethal force was justified. re: death sentence: do you not realize that this girl was literally trying to kill someone? If attempted murder isn't a valid reason to use lethal force, what is? Do we have to wait for attempted murder to become actual murder? Tasing runs a significant risk of being ineffective and thus the victim being murdered or at least seriously harmed and Bryant being shot anyway. Why should we risk an innocent person's health and possibly life so a would be murderer can live in prison at our expense?
Just because she was a child does not mean she is harmless. The footage clearly shows that she was pursuing the girl in pink — who was unarmed at the moment — and was about to plunge a long knife into her, and the officer had only a second in the chaos to assess whether or not to let an unarmed person get murdered. It should be noted that a taser or a single shot are not guaranteed to be effective; and that tasers are only reliable at a very short range.
Children can be terribly malicious and dangerous.
Tessa Majors was murdered by a 13-year old with a knife. One summer, two preteen children pointed and "fired" a realistic fake handgun at me—then a college student—up close. I had a hunch it was a hate crime; they enjoyed my absolute terror and fear of dying. It was one of the most traumatizing events in my life: I didn't know in the moment of panic that the gun was fake. It was an extremely cruel and sadistic act on part of the two children.
It's also a hard pill to swallow that these children have been completely and miserably failed by their parents, families, and communities. Ideally, police should subdue and incapacitate them so they can be arrested and rehabilitated appropriately. But this is a rare incident where the use of force is situationally unavoidable.
I find it rather upsetting that your solution to 'people are hard to stop, sometimes' is that cops should just murder everyone instead of questioning why they need to stop someone or creating a solution which doesn't involve murdering people.
If this many gunshots isn't enough to stop someone from coming and grappling an officer, perhaps we should have more than one officer around to ensure they cannot overpower and injure an officer. Or perhaps we should not allow a suspect to get that close to an officer - use barricades or retreat to allow the potential assaulter to tire themselves out.
There are countless countries in the world which do not arm their officers which deal with very similar situations and manage not to murder civilians on a near daily basis.
Frankly, I'm incredibly upset that this kind of argument is even showing up on Tildes. Are we no better than the rest of the internet? Must we justify unnecessary use of force? Why is this discussion even happening in the first place amongst so much unnecessary black and minority death in America? Why must we excuse the behavior of cops in a thread about how massively difficult it was to get any convictions (there's been 7 total convictions since 2005) in more than the last decade of prosecution?
Does the possibility of her using the knife as self-defense not matter? If someone broke into your home, you called the police, and when the police arrived they saw you holding a knife and struggling with someone, it would be okay to shoot you?
Watch the bodycam footage starting at 0:37: https://www.10tv.com/video/news/local/columbus-police-release-more-bodycam-video-in-fatal-shooting-of-makhia-bryant/530-71b9ec52-c4e9-4ee7-86d5-b6043e79dbad
It seems pretty clear that the girl she almost stabbed (pink jumpsuit) posed no threat to herself or her property in the moments leading up to the attack. Even if the girl had broken into their house, I think it's hard to argue that this was justified self defense.
Legally, I think you easily could. The relevant principle here is the castle doctrine and it applies in Ohio (in fact, Ohio has stand your ground laws, which offer even more protections for people defending themselves). In jurisdictions where castle doctrine applies, people don't have a duty to retreat in their own home. From Wikipedia (for Ohio):
I'm totally ignorant but based on what I've seen it doesn't seem like she posed any threat of injury, loss, or risk to life/safety when she was attacked. Personally I don't think it really matters if Bryant's actions were legal.
3 days ago the columbus police department was caught writing "CPD" in their helicopter at 1am over a majority Black neighborhood.
They did that about 2 miles away from where they killed this girl.
Columbus Police Department
This was just causing a barely-relevant argument that was already completely dominating the thread while contributing nothing productive or useful.
Thanks for the explanatory comment.