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Thursday, April 01, 2021

Chauvin case shows we need a jury protection service

The New York Times ran a story this week, "Who are the Jurors in the Derek Chauvin case?" Its not so subtle message to the jury was we know who you are, we know where you live, and we know you don't want any mostly peaceful protesters showing up at your door.

The threat -- excuse me, story -- began, "A white intensive care nurse who said if she saw someone on the street who needed help, she would feel obligated to step in. A black grandmother who said she had no personal experience with the police or the criminal justice system.

"A white widow who rides a motorcycle in her spare time and said she believes that 'all lives matter.' A black man who works in banking and said he was eager to serve on the jury of 'the most historic case of my lifetime.'

"These are some of the jurors appointed to weigh the evidence in the case of Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer who is accused of murdering George Floyd, a black man.

"The jury is a demographic mix: three black men, one black woman, and two women who identified themselves as multiracial. There are two white men and four white women. They are urban and suburban, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s. The two alternates are white women."

To be sure, laws protect the anonymity of jurors. But laws also protect witnesses and we still have a witness protection service. For this case, a jury protection service is in order.

The trial has begun and the prosecutors don't seem to have much to go on. Oh, there's a video. And there are emotional pleas. But mostly there is a mob outside the courtroom ready to tear Minneapolis apart if the jury dares to acquit the police officer.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy is covering the trial for National Review. The key witness on the second day was Genevieve Hansen. He said she was good but could have been better.

McCarthy wrote, "She is the off-duty firefighter and extensively trained emergency medical technician (EMT) who happened upon the police encounter with Floyd on May 25, 2020, only to have to police spurn her offer to provide medical assistance."

That makes her a key witness. She was good in a video.

But he wrote, "As a live witness, by contrast, Hansen was a mixed bag, and the longer she testified, the more we saw her unappealing side: erratic, stubborn, opinionated, combative, and occasionally disrespectful. The trial day thus ended on a tense note, as an exasperated Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the jury for the evening and then admonished her — not for the first time — that she was not to speak over the court and the lawyers, and that she was to answer the question asked rather than make self-serving, non-responsive speeches."

"Largely because of Ms. Hansen’s behavior, she had to come back Wednesday morning to finish her testimony. That ended up taking less than five minutes, as a clearly chastened Hansen went out of her way to be polite and keep her answers short and responsive."

Contrition is good for the soul.

However, McCarthy saw another problem with her.

He wrote, "Hansen’s main problem is that, just three days after Floyd’s death, she gave a witness statement to investigators that was rife with inaccurate information. She described Floyd as a small, frail man — he was tall and muscular. She had the wrong number of police on the scene. She had Floyd’s head turned in the wrong direction. She apparently got other details about his condition (such as whether he was secreting fluids) wrong. She misdescribed the position of Chauvin’s hands. And so on.

"In the greater scheme of things, none of that should matter much. What happened is recorded in real time. Hansen’s relevant statements in those moments, and the fact that the police seemed to refuse to grasp that she really was an off-duty firefighter and trained EMT who could have helped in a dire situation, are undeniable. But she discounted that important testimony by her thin-skinned performance on the stand."

He blamed the prosecution team.

He wrote, "A lot of this is just poor investigative technique and witness preparation."

He detailed it. I am not reposting the whole thing here because my point is this is a flawed case, just as the George Zimmerman case was. All these cases are flawed because what the media reported was biased against the police. The media ignores inconvenient facts such as George Floyd's body having a lethal level of fentanyl in his body at his time of death. The reason he had respiratory problems was not because Chauvin had his knee on his back, but because fentanyl had adversely affected his lungs.

But the policeman's guilt or innocence does not matter in this morality play. The liberals have sold the mob on the idea that this is is payback for slavery and 100 years of segregation. The demand is not justice for Derek Chauvin, but justice for George Floyd, for Michael D. Brown, for Freddie Gray, and for Trayvon Martin.

With the exception of Martin, each case involved a guy on drugs in a confrontation with the police. Martin's confrontation was with an armed citizen. In each case, self-described civil rights advocates painted the portrait of an innocent man murdered because he was black. In each case, the truth was nowhere near that.

Lies shape public opinion now, and people seldom change their opinion once formed. As Ozzy Osbourne sang, "The media sells it, and you live the role."

I believe these cases are chosen exactly because they are dubious and will lead to acquittals, which will lead to more self-righteous demands for justice, more anger, more frustration, and more racial division. Perhaps it is a matter of time before Democrats start lynching again. It's been 40 years since they held their last one.

But between the riots last summer and the New York Times unstated threat to expose the jurors and throw them to the mob, a conviction is possible.


  1. Recommend reading Cal Thomas’s article about Evidence v Narrative.

  2. If the medical evidence that I have read in the news reports is accurate and Floyd died because of a fentanyl overdose, how the hell does the government prove causation?

  3. The fact is Journalism as a profession ended >10 years ago. What we have with media companies now is Dem Party/Big Government advocacy down a road that the "press" served in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Europe Bloc. Hate to present a stark picture, but that's the way it looks.

    1. Dan Rather. Walter Cronkite. Fifty years, big lies. Nothing new here. The lies have gotten bigger and subsequently more readily disproven, but we now have people who are so poorly educated they will believe anything.

    2. Brainy, it’s not just “the way it looks” it is “the way it is.”

      Don’t apologize for saying the truth.

  4. A jury protection service?

    Every one of those Democrat mayors stood down and let the Democrat paramilitary mobs burn their cities down, wreck businesses, murder, terrorize and loot. And these officials did so ON PURPOSE.

    You think they will lift a finger to protect a jury?

    You think

  5. Hansen had only been an emt for one year at the time.
    And newly released photos show Chauvin's knee CLEARLY on Floyd's back and not his neck.
    You'd think a "trained" emt would know the difference.

    Unfortunately, I fear you're correct that to thwart the mob's bloodlust, they'll throw Chauvin to the wolves.

    1. Another tidbit is the judge ordered a woman to delete cellphone photos she had taken.
      Why a witness would need public relations photos makes no sense, so who was she taking pictures of, I suspect potential doxxing of the jurors.

    2. A "trained EMT"??
      What, exactly, could Hansen have done to render medical assistance to Floyd with her one year of EMT experience? She was in street clothes, did not have a stethoscope to check Floyd's breathing, didn't have an Epinephrine pen or paddles to revive him from cardiac arrest. About all she could have done is to take his pulse. The man was doomed to die by his own ingestion of a massive dose of fentanyl, in addition to other drugs already in his system

    3. Stand back everyone....I’m a...Limo Driver.....

    4. And unless that courtroom was a Faraday cage they were sent real time to another device and out. Judges need to keep up with tech.

  6. I wouldn't want to be any where near Chicagdishu when this thing is settled.One way or the other. As a juror I would get out of Dodge ' cause there ain't no Matt Dillon anywhere.

    1. If this was a trial in some states, MD for one, and the jury members were threatened, that would not be enough in a MAY state, to get a CCW for self protection. The 3 mailed anonymous threatening letters I received for publicly opposing Obama's policies were not enough for a CCW.

  7. I wouldn't want to be any where near Chicagdishu when this thing is settled.One way or the other. As a juror I would get out of Dodge ' cause there ain't no Matt Dillon anywhere.

  8. Sounds like the case is already falling apart.

    Good. It never should have been tried. If Minneapolis gets to burn again, because Chauvin is going to walk either now or on appeal (because the defense has a ton of evidence to support his actions) I hope the hapless citizens of Minneapolis enjoy it. On one hand I feel bad for them, on the other hand they have voted for it.

    Was it Mencken who said something about the voters deserving to get democracy good and hard? Hope they enjoy round two of their very up close and personal experience with it.

  9. Forty years since the last Demo lynching? I seem to remember a high tech one about thirty years ago . . .

  10. Had the police allowed the EMT to assist and had Floyd been cognizant enough to grab said EMT, as in a hostage situation, you can bet your ass that EMT would have filed for her 27M payout. I haven't read nor watched any of this travesty. May I add, out of context, why NO OUTRAGE at the "parents" able to squander $3500 necessary dollars and the safety of their children at the border. I don't know how, but it's time, WE THE PEOPLE, ignore DC and the disfunctionals, and shut down our own border.... it is the most honorable thing we can do.... for us and the illegals. (My 2 cents)

  11. Don which is it? The other day Reporters never get it right and do no analysis of readily available data. Now they are court prosecution experts?

    I really recommend the blog by Attorney Andrew Branca - at lawofselfdefense dot com.

    not only is he an expert but he does the play by play mostly right here. And I mostly disagree with the thesis we need Jury protection services. Most of the threat that jurors feel tends to come out in Voir Dire. Prospective Jurors can assert their belief in harm at that time, these folks haven't. One even admitted he is moving over the summer from the Minneapolis area so he probably does not worry about a mob coming for him.

    If you actually read what lawyers think is going on you don't get the sense that Chief Fireperson Hanssen pulling a Karen in court really mattered.

    What really matters so far is -

    In opening arguments the Prosecution made a very polished totally made for TV statement. The Defense looked like a one man show... until he made "Reasonable Doubt" the cornerstone of the defense's case. Sure armchair people will say this was not good. But looking at the antics of the Prosecution early on,I would say it sent them into a bit of a tailspin.

    Remember the Prosecution has to allow discovery of it's entire evidence to the defense BEFORE trial. I believe the defense realized it's only play is to amplify Reasonable Doubt. What does Reasonable Doubt mean? whelp who knows but what I know is that this case is NOW all about surprise words that are memorable and how they get tied to the Jury Instructions.

    So yeah Karen Fireperson testified in chippy manner. Some MMA dude destroyed his credibility on national TV. The jury is getting the idea that the scene was chaotic and people were yelling and screaming. AND one honest man spoke truth to power. Yep an elderly black man Charles McMillian said he saw Floyd's mouth Foaming.

    Obviously a surprised Prosecutor followed up a bit but did not press it too much. And Defense did not cross (smart move there Mr Defense)

    Mouth Foaming? My isn't that interesting! That's not consistent with a victim being choked out MMA style. Nor does it fit with the "frail little man" Karen Fireperson described to investigators (Floyd is Muscular and very tall).

    Foaming, That word will haunt the Prosecution throughout this trial.

    Foaming = Floyd had medical issues = Floyd probably did die of said medical issues = police are not at fault for Floyd's death.

    Which in a reasonable jury person should be case for reasonable doubt.

    But the jury will have final jury instructions (because juries are not law experts) and those instructions will "help" the jury in areas of arcane law stuff like what "reasonable doubt" means to non-law people in practice.

    In any case given the forensic evidence of fentanyl in Floyd (4x what is considered leathal btw). And given the first few days have given ample evidence that Floyd appeared to be in physical distress before police showed up. The prosecution will need to hit a few home runs to overcome Foaming words popping out of their own witness.

    Now the rest of the trial will be about the Defense running with the Foaming ball that the Prosecution's own witness has given them. AND the cut and thrust of Jury Instructions which the Endgame.

    1. To answer your question: "Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy is covering the trial for National Review."

    2. ok how does a Former Fed Prosecutor know anything about Minnesota State Law as it applies to this case?

      You don't ask a Cardiologist for an opinion on your headache. do you?

      Don, there has been great debate in recent years about people (seemingly objective people) viewing the same events and taking vastly different perspectives.

      I don't believe in listening to a "Former Fed Prosecutor" when Federal Criminal cases are 95-98% plea bargained and rules of evidence, burdens of production and persuasion are vastly different from state courts.

      And ultimately if this comes down to Jury Instructions that vary by jurisdiction, judge, county and state. Variances that never happen in Federal Courts.

      I realize that no one can vet all sources but your whole blog is about bashing mainstream media... perhaps it's time to NOT listen to them on this particular case?



  12. McCarthy lost his shine on the russia fraud as he relied on his long standing relationship with Comey and others to bias him. NR sucks.

    For excellent coverage, I recommend Andrew Branca’s over at Legal Insurrection.

    The police discounted help from the lady because
    She was dressed in sweats and didn’t have ID. It was a hostile crowd - her included. No wonder they didn’t listen to her.

  13. What Michael Barone described as the thugocracy of Barack Obama lives on.

  14. This whole thing was happening under the supervision of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. He is a radical who I believe would prefer a violent and destructive outcome.

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  16. The best outcome that the defense can hope for is a hung jury; one juror who won't let emotions override facts. The problem is that some of the clearly partisan jurors will threaten to dox the holdout to the mob to bring them in line.

    Ashli Babbitt was killed by a Federal cop. Why is there no outrage, because she was White?