Mob justice for Derek Chauvin

Reasonable people can disagree on whether Derek Chauvin was responsible for George Floyd's death, but it cannot be reasonably argued that the trial that resulted in his conviction was anything resembling impartial justice.

After eight months of rioting in response to Floyd's death — resulting in more than a dozen deaths and billions in property damage — it would have been difficult for Chauvin to get a fair trial anywhere in America.  But the notion that an impartial jury could be seated in Hennepin County — the epicenter of those riots — is absurd. 

Minneapolis is a deeply traumatized city.  Scores of businesses were burned and looted; a police precinct was burned to the ground; and elected officials, including the mayor, abandoned their responsibility for public safety.  Murder rates soared.

That the jury returned guilty verdicts on all three counts against Chauvin in just ten hours, without asking a single question for clarification of the many complex legal and technical issues in this case, confirms that the outcome was predetermined.

It didn't help that as the jury was being chosen, the city government announced a $27M settlement with Floyd's family members.  There was no reason whatsoever why the announcement of that settlement could not have waited until after the trial.  Its timing can be construed only as cynical politicians sending a message to the jurors that Chauvin was guilty and that truckloads of money and a guilty verdict were the price to avoid more and worse rioting. 

If ever there was a case that demanded a change of venue, it would be this case.  Yet Judge Peter Cahill insisted on a jury pool that would be subject to intimidation and violent reprisals if they failed to deliver a guilty verdict to the braying mob. If this case didn't require a change of venue for a fair trial, what case ever would? 

Even as more riots erupted in Hennepin County from an officer-involved shooting in Brooklyn Center, and notorious rabble-rouser Maxine Waters agitated for more "confrontation" if the Chauvin jurors rendered the wrong verdict, "to show them we mean business," Judge Cahill refused a mistrial or even to sequester the jury.

So in the name of "justice for George Floyd," a police officer's day in court, to be judged by an impartial jury, has been sacrificed to the mob.  Anyone who believes that the mob will be quelled with this sacrifice won't have to wait long to find out otherwise.  Why would anyone be a cop in a Democrat city?

Jim Daws hosts Right Now, a podcast on news, politics, and culture from an America First perspective, at

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