Can Derek Chauvin get a fair trial in Minneapolis?


As most readers are aware, former police officer Derek Chauvin, along with three colleagues, is facing trial in Minneapolis for the death of George Floyd last year.  However, the process of selecting a jury has proved to be fraught with difficulties, not least the reluctance of many jurors to get involved.  George Parry, a former prosecutor whose analysis of the incident we discussed last year, describes the problem.

Despite vigorous opposition by the prosecution, the court has granted the defense motion that Chauvin’s trial be televised. In other words, the defense wants the world to see all the evidence, and the prosecution doesn’t. Why? Because once you get past the heavily edited and misleading video evidence and review all of the relevant proof, it becomes clear that the police did not cause Floyd’s death.

More importantly, despite its legal obligation to timely provide the defense with exculpatory evidence, the prosecution delayed production of a devastating FBI 302 report (linked to here) of a July 8, 2020, interview of Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker regarding Floyd’s autopsy. The prosecution didn’t cough up this 302 until October 28, 2020, at which time the defense learned that, in the 302, Dr. Baker “defined the mechanism of death as Floyd’s heart and lungs stopping due to the combined effects of his health problems as well as the exertion and restraint involved in Floyd’s interaction with police prior to being on the ground” (emphasis added).

. . .

There’s more, but you get the idea. No wonder the prosecution was reluctant to produce Dr. Baker’s 302. One is left to wonder at the size of the laundry bill for the prosecutors’ underpants after it landed in their inbox.

Now, as you can see, before a fair and impartial jury, Derek Chauvin would have more than a fighting chance at acquittal. But that assumes that a fair, impartial, and unintimidated jury can be drawn from amidst the traumatized population of the Hennepin County war zone.

How can Chauvin even remotely hope to receive a fair trial before an impartial and non-terrorized Hennepin County jury when the previously burned and looted city of Minneapolis appears to be primed to explode if Chauvin is acquitted?

Is there a rational juror who would ever vote to acquit Chauvin knowing that doing so would subject the juror and the juror’s family, friends, property, and peaceful existence to threats, harassment, and mob violence?

This is not some remote concern. A potential juror need only look at the draconian preparations being taken by the authorities to readily understand the very real and imminent threat of violence and destruction should there be an acquittal.

Having tried more than my share of highly contentious and high-profile cases under difficult circumstances, it is my less-than-humble opinion that there is no conceivable possibility that Derek Chauvin can receive a fair trial in Hennepin County, simply because it will be impossible to seat an unintimidated jury free from the threat of mob violence. Conducting a trial under these circumstances will serve only to put a thin veneer of pretend due process on what in reality will be a legalized lynching based on a verdict rendered by a properly and quite understandably terrorized jury.

There’s more at the link.

I suppose the trial being televised will only add to the pressure on the jurors.  The video record won’t show how each one voted, but their faces will be on public display;  so if the verdict is unacceptable to the Black Lives Matter/Antifa mob, the jurors will doubtless be targets for their displeasure.  Intimidation indeed!

I have no axe to grind in relation to the outcome of the trial.  I’m willing to let the evidence speak for itself.  However, when the facts set out before the court may be of less concern to jurors than the potential consequences if they vote one way or another . . . under those circumstances, justice isn’t blind – it’s hamstrung.

I agree with Mr. Parry.  It would be far better to move this trial away from Minneapolis, to a neutral venue, where neutral jurors can be selected without any potential pressure concerning the verdict.  However, I’m guessing the local prosecutors don’t want to abdicate their place in the limelight – or they may have been told by the local “powers that be” that the case must and will be heard in Minneapolis no matter what.  In either case, justice is unlikely to be well served.



  1. No

    The verdict has already been agreed upon.

    But a show trial is needed to legitimize it.

    > Can Derek Chauvin get a fair trial in Minneapolis?

  2. MOST LIKELY he can not get a truly FAIR trial< but televising it does NOT AUTOMATICALLY mean that the jurors will be exposed to cameras.

    Night Driver

  3. No, and he can't get a fair trial anywhere else, for that matter.

    Doesn't help that many people of conservative or leaning-to-the-right nature immediately believed the 'Chauvin knelt on his neck and choked him' story and still do, rather than accepting the actual truths.

    And that 'choking neck hold crushing windpipe' thingy? You can see it on "Adam 12" about every other episode of it's 7 year long span. No deaths reported on the set…

    Truth in this case is dead. The public wants to tear Chauvin apart. And that's what too many right of Stalin believe too, because they believe the image that Chauvin choked him.

    Anyone remember the 5-6 minutes pre-video of Rodney King, where it shows Rodney resisting and hitting cops? Anyone? Anyone? Yet all most have seen was the cops doing push strikes that weren't nearly as bad as they were let out to be as Rodney refused to give up and surrender, and him not feeling pain because he was high as a kite on recreational pharmaceuticals.

    Too many 'smart' and 'intelligent' people believed the bullscat the media and the agitators tossed out and force-fed the public.

    There is and will be no true justice for Chauvin. His life, and the lives of the other cops and all their families, are effectively over no matter what.

    And too many of us played into that mob mentality.

    We all knew, from some news reports within 12 hours of the death, that Floyd died not from choke holds or beatings for bigfoot alien anal probes or whatever. We knew that Floyd died from swallowing his stash, while EMS was enroute to the location.

    And within 48 hours we found out that a year prior Floyd did the exact same thing, and yet was revived.

    We knew within seconds that the MOB around Floyd was making a controlled situation uncontrollable.

    The real blame for Floyd's death, if not Floyd himself, was the camera-toting mob that was making the officers' job that much different.

    And don't even start on the 'Chauvin had complaints against him' thing. There are two types of cops who have lots of complaints. The legitimately bad cop will have 1 or 2, maybe 3 complaints. The good cop will have multiple multiple complaints, because bad guys know that lawyers and juries hate cops with an Internal Affairs history.

    The real question should have not been how many complaints Chauvin had, but how may legitimate, sustained complaints.

    Kind of the old Mafia joke of 'How many times have you been convicted? None, but I've been arrested 30 times, har har.'

  4. These cops did nothing wrong under the circumstances considering Floyd had plenty of fentanyl in his system to cause his own death. I'm happy this sack of human waste died and nothing of value was lost to society. This is further evidence that the US has descended into a third world status of justice from the lowly city/county court system up to the Supreme Court.

  5. The trial is fixed.

    The professional Antifa rioters already rolled into town. They have plans to riot worse than last Summer. They need political cover.

    MN's Governor is embattled over Wu Fu and his emergency powers. He too needs political cover.

    The MN AG is a known Antifa asset.

    The fix is in for an acquittal. The prosecutors will sandbag this to make that happen, giving that political cover required both for the rioting to happen and–once the designated targets are taken out–for the Governor to crush his opposition in the name of putting down those riots.

    No, they won't pull any trickery after the fact to get Chauvin in prison; he's far more useful as a free man than in prison.

    And now I get to spend long nights listening to the scanner again to see where the riots are going.

  6. The problem with "neutral venue" trials – while they should be used for cases with saturation exposure and/or compromised jury pools – was adequately displayed in the Rodney King case. If/when it results in acquittal, then people who have been conditioned by months/years of press coverage (and here, pols at all levels, and even some LE officials, from both parties pretty much declared Chauvin guilty immediately after the fact) that the trial was rigged to acquit.

    Once you've been convicted without trial in the media, a fair trial is difficult to obtain, and the results are unlikely to be accepted.

  7. Without getting into guilty or not guilty, and without tying this to anything else going on, my thoughts are "When we have lost faith in the judicial system, it's over."

    I understand that the judicial system has never been what we think it is, but at least it was straight enough that you could think it was fair. When it gets rubbed into everyone's face that it isn't, that's the last straw. Most people with an IQ above room temperature have already concluded, rightly or wrongly, that the political process is rigged. For reasons good and bad, they don't really trust law enforcement. We know that the economic process is rigged.

    The courts are really the last piece of "civilization". such as it may be, that we're clinging to. Lose that and darkness will begin to fall.

  8. Sean Hannity wants a guilty verdict based on Hannity's extensive medical knowledge of the neck. After all, he's a MMA fighter and that means he knows everything about how Floyd died.

    Two days ago on his radio show. Made me puke.

  9. The amazingly stupid and ignorant people living in the cities will discover that BLM and the rest of the terrorists defiling our cities are going on the warpath regardless of the outcome of a televised trial and there is no doubt that the defense will present a solid case that overwhelmingly shows the cop didn't murder the guy whose death caused endless destruction in Portland, ST Paul, Washington DC, and other cities with bad leadership and crappy cops. That done it will be appealed instantly to judges who will simply have the evidence before them and little room to wriggle out of their duty.

    1. In general, tgere is no appeal of an acquital, though the Feds have a history of double dipping / double jeopardy with civil rights charges.
      And as for judges who have the facts before them not being able to force another outcome, yeah, pull the other one, it has bells. That didn't stop the Supremes.
      John in Indy

  10. I have not followed the case very close but am surprised that there was no change of venue.
    However, (I may be biased and prejudiced because I am making my judgment based on the known evidence), the defense only needs one juror to to prevent a conviction and based on the known facts, that's the correct outcome (unless
    the verdict is NOT guilty).
    Prepare for more Democrat Fascist Storm Trooper activity post trial.

  11. You could make a pretty good case, I think, for negligent homicide. Floyd was Chauvin's prisoner; that means he has a duty to sustain him while he is in Chauvin's care.

    The angle is that Chauvin's actions are irrelevant. Whether he was kneeling on Floyd's neck, or had left him shackled while he hit up the hot redhead 15' away, there is a case to be made for Chauvin not paying attention.

    Murder, though? No. Sorry.

  12. No fair trial, in Minneapolis or anywhere else…Portland and Seattle are not in Minnesota, last I checked, yet they went kinetic when the trial ramped up, in Minneapolis. Nope. His life as a free man is over even in the unlikely event he wins. Looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life.

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