According to Talking Points Memo, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison believes that ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted last week of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in his trial last week for the death of George Floyd, almost assuredly believed he would get away with it.
Speaking to 60 Minutes, Ellison explains that police officers have long gotten away with such actions:
“I think that if he looks at history, he has every reason to believe that he would never be held accountable. There’s never been anyone in Minnesota convicted — any police officer convicted of second-degree murder in the history of our state. So this was precedent setting in that way. So history was on [Chauvin’s] side.”
Asked why Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, Ellison explained:
“all we could come up with is what we could divine from his body language and his demeanor. And what we saw is that the crowd was demanding that he get up. And then he was staring right back at them defiantly. ‘You don’t tell me what to do. I do what I wanna do. You people have no control over me. I’m going to show you.’”
Ellison claims to have “real doubts” that the public would ever have known how Floyd died without the video evidence.
Floyd’s death marks the first time in Minnesota history that a white police officer has been convicted of murder in the killing of a black man, but as we reported last week, there was much more at stake than Chauvin’s fate.
Our nations historical and current regard for our marginalized communities, especially from our the police force, is now under review.
Thanks to the verdicts, the statistical fact that black people are five times more likely to be shot by a white officer is finally an important part of a bigger conversation.
Equally as apparent is that after four long years of our former president embracing white nationalism, our current leadership has expressed that he understand the issues and is beginning the process of healing.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called George Floyd’s family last night.
“Feeling better now. Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice,” Biden was overheard saying on the phone call.
He mentioned Floyd’s 7 year old daughter Gianna’s eloquent public comment, “My dad is going to change the world.”
“He is going to start to change it now,” Biden said. “You are an incredible family. I wish I were there just to put arms around you.”
Not everyone had such a positive reaction to the verdict, however. Fox New’s Tucker Carlson, for example, was visibly furious over a white police officer being charged with murder.
Carlson, perhaps predictably, did not share those sentiments, however, as he implied that the jury voted guilty because of threats to their safety:
“The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict this afternoon: Please don’t hurt us.”
“The jury spoke for many in this country. Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case. After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by [the Black Lives Matter movement], that was never in doubt.”
Carlson then went after President Joe Biden, who on Tuesday commented on the “overwhelming” evidence against Chauvin, adding that he “wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered.”