Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Did Derek Chauvin Kill George Floyd?

 

If there is one thing that we all know, it is that, on 25 May, Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department killed George Floyd. This is what the newspapers say, and this is what we are told on television news. The only thing that seems to be in question is whether Chauvin is guilty of second- or third-degree murder.

Ordinarily, in the past, journalists took care to distinguish allegations from facts, but not in this case. They stuck to their claim that Chauvin had killed Floyd even when the medical examiner of Hennepin County issued a preliminary coroner’s report indicating that the latter had died of “cardiopulmonary arrest” – which is to say, a heart attack – and not asphyxiation; that he suffered “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease”; that he was at the time of death hopped up on fentanyl; and that he had recently used methamphetamines. On National Review Online, on 4 June, the LAPD veteran who writes under the name of Jack Dunphy pointed out the obvious implications, but no one in the mainstream media bothered to note that drugs of this sort can cause shortness of breath and cardiac arrest and that Floyd may have died of a drug overdose.

We now know more – thanks to a fuller coroner’s report and thanks to footage from the body cams worn by two of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest. We know that he had consumed more than twice the dose of fentanyl apt to be fatal, and we know that he had the Wuhan coronavirus. We also know that Floyd, who was 6’ 4” and weighed in at 220 pounds, resisted arrest; that the four officers involved had a difficult time subduing him; that they recognized that he was hopped up on something; and that they called an ambulance and urged that it come as quickly as possible. On 3 August, John Hinderaker laid out the evidence on the website Powerline. But, to date, no one in the mainstream media has addressed the implications.

There is no reason to think Chauvin guilty of second or third-degree murder. Indeed, there is every reason to suspect that he is not in any way legally or morally responsible for George Floyd’s death. It is, moreover, possible that he and his colleagues did everything by the book. Eventually, if and when there is a trial, we may learn the whole story. In the meantime, I doubt that we can expect any help from America’s professional journalists.

Published in Policing
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 69 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    George Floyd killed George Floyd.

    The autopsy shows no airway trauma or evidence of asphyxia.

    He had a cocktail of drugs on top of hypertension and cardiovascular disease making him a ticking time bomb which went off when he resisted arrest.

     

    • #1
    • August 6, 2020, at 4:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. MiMac Thatcher

    The recent body cam video release will complicate the prosecution. It is likely that by overcharging the officers Ellison will just ensure their acquittal and subsequent riots. The article in the medium (https://medium.com/@gavrilodavid/why-derek-chauvin-may-get-off-his-murder-charge-2e2ad8d0911) as well as the article at National review by McCarthy make very possible arguments that there will be no convictions .

    • #2
    • August 6, 2020, at 4:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Charles Mark Member
    Charles MarkJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    From local stories to global events I only trust what I see with my own eyes. 

    • #3
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Hoyacon Member

    A better question is whether Derek Chauvin contributed to the death of George Floyd.

    I’m not suggesting that there’s an answer to that question–that’s for a jury–but it’s a more nuanced version of what matters.

    Until I hear more, the initial charging of Chauvin seems appropriate.

    • #4
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    If there’s one subject I no longer want to hear anything about, it’s George Floyd.

    • #5
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:24 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We have progressed beyond the presumption of innocence. You can’t let those pesky facts get in the way of the media narrative. The Russian collusion saga should have taught us all that.

    • #6
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Bob Wainwright Member

    I remember reading somewhere on the internet shortly after Floyd’s death that he was saying “I can’t breathe” before he was on the ground. Then it was confirmed a month or so ago when reporters were allowed to view the body cam footage. The other night Tucker Carlson played some of the footage which had been leaked. As they tried to put him in the car, he was totally losing his mind and he said “I can’t breathe”.

    This is enormous. It might provide another explanation for what would otherwise seem to be total callousness by Chauvin. How could he keep his knee on Floyd’s neck when the poor guy was saying he couldn’t breathe? Could it be because he had already been saying that before he was put on the ground, that Chauvin was not exerting excessive force on his neck, and that therefore Chauvin had no reason to believe he was the cause of the difficulty in breathing? We now know Floyd was on fentanyl, which can cause death by respiratory suppression.

    If it looks like Chauvin’s lawyers are able to raise a reasonable doubt, hold on to your @ss. It’s going to make the reaction to the Rodney King verdict look like romper room. You need to be hunkered down and heavily armed, literally wherever you are. Plan ahead, way ahead. Your life will be in danger.The crazies don’t care about reality. Imagine the cognitive dissonance in believing Christians if someone proved that Jesus died of a heart attack years after the Romans were supposed to have killed him. That’s the kind of mental pain that will be coursing through their warped, self loathing minds when they realize their martyr wasn’t actually martyred… except unlike Christians, they don’t believe in forgiveness.

    • #7
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:27 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    If it looks like Chauvin’s lawyers are able to raise a reasonable doubt, hold on to your @ss. It’s going to make the reaction to the Rodney King verdict look like romper room. You need to be hunkered down and heavily armed, literally wherever you are. Plan ahead, way ahead. Your life will be in danger.

    I fear you are right.

    • #8
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Bob Wainwright Member

    Paul A. Rahe

    If there is one thing that we all know, it is that, on 25 May, Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department killed George Floyd. This is what the newspapers say, and this is what we are told on television news. The only thing that seems to be in question is whether Chauvin is guilty of second- or third-degree murder.

    And the press continually says this without using the word “allegedly”. I have even heard news anchors refer to the “murder” of George Floyd without using the word “alleged”. I’ve never heard the press forget to use the word “allegedly” in this situation before…ever. It was like a law of nature until now. Imagine being more afraid of cancel mob blowback than of a lawsuit by an exonerated police officer. 

    • #9
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:49 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve worked in avionics software. If we had ever had a failure 1/1000th as bad as that which the New York Times and the Washington Post had perpetrated for the three whole years of “Russian collusion,” heads would have bounced down the escalators. The post mortem report would have been in a set of thick binders with coffee rings and bloodstains on every page. To date we haven’t even gotten so much as a “whoops” out of those idiots.

    • #10
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    • #11
    • August 6, 2020, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Jack Dunphy Contributor

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    It may have been cruel, as you say, but it didn’t cause Floyd’s death.

    • #12
    • August 6, 2020, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The other question is, do we have any reason to think the officers’ actions were racially motivated?

    • #13
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jack Dunphy (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    It may have been cruel, as you say, but it didn’t cause Floyd’s death.

    I suspect that for a lot of black Americans watching the video, it almost didn’t matter if Chauvin’s treatment of Floyd didn’t cause his death. They saw the brutality and it reinforced in them the belief that no white man in trouble with the police is treated with the same brutality as black men are. It didn’t help that this all happened not long after Ahmaud (sp?) Arbery was hunted down and killed.

    • #14
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe

    The key fact is that the cops called for an ambulance and wanted it there as quickly as possible. By that time, they had figured out that they had a serious medical problem on their hands. My bet is that they had seen people OD on opioids before. They may come out smelling sweeter than a rose.

    The real scoundrel is Keith Ellison and those who fired the cops before investigating the incident, and the press bears a heavy responsibility.

    My piece, by the way, was submitted to a newspaper and rejected before I posted it here.

    • #15
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:17 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  16. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    If we had ever had a failure 1/1000th as bad as that which the New York Times and the Washington Post had perpetrated for the three whole years of “Russian collusion,” heads would have bounced down the escalators.

    Say, did that happen at Boeing after the 737 max problem?

    • #16
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ansonia (View Comment):
    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

    Or it was SOP for Minneapolis law enforcement when dealing with someone experiencing “excited delirium”.

    That might be a reason.

    • #17
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    If we had ever had a failure 1/1000th as bad as that which the New York Times and the Washington Post had perpetrated for the three whole years of “Russian collusion,” heads would have bounced down the escalators.

    Say, did that happen at Boeing after the 737 max problem?

    I’ve never worked for Boeing. We’re not likely to hear much until the lawsuits have run their course.

    • #18
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    You have probably never been tasked with controlling the behavior of someone in the throes of a drug over dose. There has been some speculation that Floyd swallowed a bad of drugs lest they be found on his person. I doubt Chauvin can get a fair trial in Minneapolis and you suggest why that is.

    • #19
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Re: # 15

    Well, the newspaper probably doesn’t want its building burnt to the ground.

    Re # 17

    If someone is experiencing “excited delirium”, is on his stomach on the ground, and already has his hands tied behind his back, is there a safety reason it might be SOP for the cop to put his knee on that person’s neck. By “safety reason” I mean for the safety of either the cop or the person experiencing the “exited delirium” or both ?

    Has there ever been a case in which the cop failed to restrain a person that way and the person, say, went into convulsions and repeatedly banged his head as a result ?

    • #20
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    Floyd is demonstrating sluggish movement and erratic behavior. This is often done to give officers a false sense of security. Maybe Floyd is messed up, or maybe he’s acting and three seconds later, headbutting officers and escaping into the crowd. You never assume.

    If anything, the officers should have left Floyd in the back of the car until the ambulance arrived. Because they removed him, additional restraint was required. 

    • #21
    • August 6, 2020, at 7:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    Floyd is demonstrating sluggish movement and erratic behavior. This is often done to give officers a false sense of security. Maybe Floyd is messed up, or maybe he’s acting and three seconds later, headbutting officers and escaping into the crowd. You never assume.

    If anything, the officers should have left Floyd in the back of the car until the ambulance arrived. Because they removed him, additional restraint was required.

    Well what on earth was their reason for moving him ?

    • #22
    • August 6, 2020, at 8:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Instugator (View Comment):
    literally wherever you are. Plan ahead, way ahead. Your life will be in danger.The crazies don’t care about reality. Imagine the cognitive dissonance in believing Christians if someone proved that Jesus died of a heart attack years after the Romans were supposed to have killed him. That’s the kind

    Or it was to prevent Floyd from coughing, sneezing, or spitting on the officers because he had Covid-19. 

    • #23
    • August 6, 2020, at 8:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    Floyd is demonstrating sluggish movement and erratic behavior. This is often done to give officers a false sense of security. Maybe Floyd is messed up, or maybe he’s acting and three seconds later, headbutting officers and escaping into the crowd. You never assume.

    If anything, the officers should have left Floyd in the back of the car until the ambulance arrived. Because they removed him, additional restraint was required.

    Well what on earth was their reason for moving him ?

    He was distressed in the car and had breathing issues. Calm him and give him better access to fresh air. 

    • #24
    • August 6, 2020, at 8:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    There was no reason that I can see for Derek Chauvin to keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was cruel.

    When a person is having a heart attack, does he sometimes have trouble breathing? If so, the heart attack might be why Floyd was saying “I can’t breath” before he was on the ground.

    Floyd is demonstrating sluggish movement and erratic behavior. This is often done to give officers a false sense of security. Maybe Floyd is messed up, or maybe he’s acting and three seconds later, headbutting officers and escaping into the crowd. You never assume.

    If anything, the officers should have left Floyd in the back of the car until the ambulance arrived. Because they removed him, additional restraint was required.

    Well what on earth was their reason for moving him ?

    He asked them to. He said he was claustrophobic and couldn’t breathe.

    EDIT: Sisyphused. 😀

    • #25
    • August 6, 2020, at 8:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Okay, so he asked to be moved, said he was claustrophobic, said he couldn’t breathe. So was he fighting them after they got him, at his request, out of the car ? I mean, is there video evidence of that ? Also, is there a recording of him asking to be let out of the car ?

    • #26
    • August 6, 2020, at 8:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Do people panic and get agitated when they’re having a heart attack ?

    • #27
    • August 6, 2020, at 8:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member