George Floyd's rotten friends
The defense turned the tables this week in the Derek Chauvin case, getting the star prosecution witness, the police chief, to admit that the videos appear to show Chauvin kneeling on George Floyds' shoulder blade, not his neck. The prosecution has also paraded a bunch of police witnesses to say knee-on-neck has never been allowed as part of police training, except it most certainly was. Yet another police witness admitted that a knee to side-of-neck pin should render a person unconscious in ten seconds, yet Mr. Floyd famously resisted for nine minutes.
Add to that the autopsy showed bruises not on his neck, but on his shoulders, right where Officer Chauvin is going to insist, and the video shows, he was restraining George Floyd in a distinctly non-lethal place. In fact, a similar kind of knee to the shoulder pin happens every day on high school wrestling mats without fatalities.
So, we have the prosecution witnesses potentially perjuring and gravely contradicting their own case. In a normal trial, that would be enough to find Officer Chauvin innocent of criminal charges. He simply would not have the intent to injure Mr. Floyd. Some have objected that the defense is confusing the issue by bringing up the crowd distracting the police, saying this shows that the defense is not certain it can prove the police acted by the book, by staying on top of Floyd too long. Well, it certainly looks as though Chauvin and the others lost track of time, partly having to deal with the hostile crowd. But that's a case of civil negligence, not criminal intent.
This is no ordinary trial, and the jurors are being sufficiently frightened to bring in a guilty verdict. BLM is threatening riots if Chauvin is not convicted, and they will likely be worse than those last year.
But this also leads me to what I think is the great untold story so far of the case: the two passengers with Floyd that day and their behavior.
Floyd acted with wild emotion when first confronted by the police but insisted he had not taken any drugs. The police seemed to have acted on this belief, assuming throughout the ordeal that Floyd was some kind of mentally disturbed man having a psychotic episode. Yet the two passengers with Floyd knew better — that he ingested drugs. They often were the ones who sold them to him, according to Floyd's girlfriend.
At no time did either of them, Shawanda Hill or Morries Hall, simply step up to the police and say their friend was a serious drug abuser and probably having an OD. This is crucial, because Minneapolis police routinely give out life-saving naloxone to anyone they think is having a drug overdose.
Apparently, the drugs Floyd took that day came from Mr. Hall, who is refusing to testify, lest he be charged with criminal complicity in Floyd's death.
Instead of helping out their friend when they might easily have done so, these two rotten people quietly watched him die, with the life-saving antidote possibly sitting in the police car next to them, rather than get in trouble themselves for their own petty criminality.
It's not systemic racism or police brutality that plagues America's black communities. It's the many heartless street characters like Hill and Hall who do so much damage every day. Instead of burning down America's cities this last year, we should have had an honest discussion about the small-time thugs and dealers who keep our poor neighborhoods so indecent, where children are sucked into a cycle of crime, abuse, and violence because of the adults in charge there — adults like Shawanda Hill and Morries Hall.
These are the "friends" of George Floyd.
Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.
Image: The Telegraph via YouTube.
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