Patterico's Pontifications


Open Thread: Chauvin Verdict — Guilty on All Counts

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:22 pm

[guest post by JVW]

1:20 pm Pacific — It’s been announced that the jury has reached a verdict which will be read sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 pm Pacific Time (3:30 and 4:30 pm Central Time).

2:06 pm — Guilty on all charges. I’ll detail the charges in a moment.

2:10 pm — From the language used by the judge, here’s what Mr. Chauvin was convicted of:

Count one: Unintentional second-degree murder while committing a felony.
Count two: Third-degree murder, perpetrating a dangerous act.
Count three: Second-degree manslaughter with negligence, creating an unreasonable risk.

2:35 pm — Just heard a news commentator say that Mr. Chauvin will be sentenced in approximately eight weeks.

Discuss here.


Stupid Washington Politicians Can’t Stop Themselves from Commenting on the Chauvin Trial

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:07 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Probably most of you saw this yesterday:

Representative Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) told demonstrators to “stay in the street” and become “more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted of killing resident George Floyd.

[. . .]

“I’m going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice,” Waters told reporters at the Saturday demonstration. “We’ve got to get justice in this country and we cannot allow these killings to continue.”

When asked what protesters should do moving forward, Waters said “We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

Waters told reporters “I hope we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty,” in the Chauvin trial. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”

The judge on the Chauvin case was none too happy about the Congresswoman’s comments, acknowledging that they could provide the defense ammunition should Mr. Chauvin appeal a conviction in this case. You know, in case the transformation of the Hennepin County Court complex into a militarized zone with fencing, checkpoints, and National Guard troops wasn’t an ominous enough sign that the city and county were almost demanding the guilty verdict that the Minneapolis mayor and Gopher State governor had so helpfully pronounced in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

Having seen the brouhaha from Congresswoman Waters’ comments, it would seem that any half-sentient federally elected office-holder would steer way clear of commenting on this case until after a verdict is rendered. So it should come as no surprise that President Joe Biden failed to keep his mouth shut and earlier today weighed in on the matter as only his disorganized and frail mind could manage. Being his usual too-cute-by-half self, the President rendered a verdict without letting us know his ruling, declaring “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view.”

Even granting that the President’s addled mind might not quite recall from moment to moment whether the prosecution or defense should carry the day and precisely upon what charge, it’s impossible to believe that this Administration isn’t staffed almost uniformly by people who believe that Derek Chauvin is guilty of one or more crimes, and I would venture to guess that a significant number of them believe him guilty of murder. Jen Psaki, who when not being mostly frivolous is a notorious fibber and dissembler from way back, predictably denied that what her boss was doing could be construed as rendering a verdict on a trial before the jury has their say. As Philip Klein points out, Ms. Psaki has been very busy in recent days convincing the White House Press Corps, who have thus far followed this Administration with a sense of bemused forbearance for incompetence and a willingness to allow the Biden team to set the bar for accomplishment extraordinarily low, that President Biden didn’t really say what everyone heard him say.

I guess that the “return to normalcy” really meant a return to how we covered Administrations from 1993-2001 and again from 2009-2017. I should have figured.


The Most Crucial Step We Can Take to Reduce Police Shootings: Stop the Culture of Non-Compliance

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

An update on my post yesterday about the Washington Post‘s failure to update their police shootings database in at least one glaring instance.

First, I looked at their stated criteria and they do evince an intent to keep the database updated, which is good:

The Post’s database is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases.

Second, I started combing through some of the other 2019 shootings of “unarmed” black men and found no other obvious errors. I did see a lot of shootings that seemed clearly justified, and some that were questionable. But there was a clear thread throughout: the suspects were to some degree noncompliant.

Here’s an example of one of those shootings where the suspect was not just noncompliant but also violent:

But “unarmed.”

This leads me to this observation:

Fixing the culture of non-compliance with police would lower police shooting deaths more than any other solution. Pretending this is false ensures the problem will continue.

This is not to say police are never at fault. They sometimes are. Sometimes egregiously so. But in the vast majority of cases, including ones where they are at fault, full compliance from the outset would have avoided the entire incident. That is a fact and it matters, if you care about these deaths.

Nothing about my point suggests we cannot recognize and address other issues that contribute to these shootings. But non-compliance is the most common thread in these shootings (other than the suspects being male). It’s insane not to notice this and try to fix it.

Watch this video, which I linked in my recent Substack newsletter:

The civil rights activist who underwent use of the force training shown in this video concluded with this observation: “I didn’t understand how important compliance was . . . People need to comply with the orders of law enforcement officers for their own sake.”

People who say this on social media these days are roundly mocked and told they are minimizing racism and police abuse. They are told they are advocating a police state and they might as well be Nazis. But you could believe police abuse and racism are widespread and rampant and still advocate compliance because it saves lives.

It’s just a fact. Not a popular fact, but a fact nonetheless.

P.S. This is a theme I’ll likely be taking up more and more in coming days. In particular, I plan to start combing through these databases to look for the factor of noncompliance with police orders. Oddly, that’s not a factor in their database that is catalogued that you can see with a click of a mouse. I wonder why not.

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