CRIME The Chauvin/Floyd Trial (Beginning 3/29/21)


Veteran Member
Final Chauvin Pretrial Notes

Posted on March 28, 2021
by Scott Johnson
Final Chauvin pretrial notes

At least for purposes of double jeopardy, the trial of Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd begins tomorrow with the empaneling of the jury selected to sit in the case. Opening statements will follow.

I offered miscellaneous notes on various aspect of the case here (March 1), here (March 2, on “venue and the mob”), and here (March 7). I want to add to these notes this morning.

There is a late breaking press freedom issue in the case. The Daily Mail published the body cam footage that was on file with the court in the case after it was copied by someone in violation of the terms set by the court for access to it. The court has subsequently denied the Daily Mail media credentials to cover the case. The court order barring the Daily Mail was just reduced to writing last week and is posted online here along with the Daily Mail’s email correspondence with the court.

On Friday the Daily Mail filed a writ of prohibition with the Minnesota Court of Appeals seeking to have the court order set aside. The Daily Mail’s petition is posted online here. Based on the Daily Mail’s petition, I think the court order is likely to be set aside in due course.

When I undertook coverage of the case, I wondered if I would have anything to add to what everyone can see with his own eyes in the gavel to gavel television coverage. I still wonder about that, but I am motivated to continue my coverage by stories such as today’s big page-one Star Tribune feature by Reid Forgrave and Maya Rao “Derek Chauvin trial represents a defining moment in America’s racial history.” Subhead: “Chauvin case to add to national racial legacy.”

Yes, it takes two reporters to write a story this bad. The facts of the case are subsumed to the passion play the Star Tribune promotes.

The central issue in the case is undoubtedly the cause of George Floyd’s death. Floyd was very high on fentanyl and meth when he was placed under arrest. Floyd’s state of inebriation contributed to his death. In the case against Chauvin the prosecution seeks to prove that Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd was also a substantial contributing factor in his death.

Forgrave and Rao dispense with the facts in favor of symbolism: “The trial itself is about what happened that May evening, but it will also be a vessel into which a splintered society places its rage, anxieties and hopes. Like the trial after Rodney King’s beating, like the trial after Emmett Till’s murder, like the Scottsboro Boys’ trial, this case will be viewed as another chapter — perhaps a turning point — in America’s racial history.”

The facts of the case have gone missing. They are absent from the Star Tribune story along with the question whether Chauvin can get justice in Hennepin Country from an impartial jury in the face of publicity like this and in the face of the threats to the safety of the community that lie in the very near background. Reporter Reid Forgrave makes me ask (sorry), after such knowledge what Forgraveness?

My interest in the case is in the question of justice. The Star Tribune’s interest is elsewhere. Among the stories they have overlooked is the State’s use of a jury consultant who has appeared in court every day “assisting the prosecution.” Her name is Christina Marianakis. The average juror in this case arrived with a negative impression of Chauvin. I don’t think Marianakis really had much to do. The challenge is all on the other side, not that you would know that if you get your news from the Star Tribune or its like elsewhere.

Given the media’s interest in the racial angle, the court has provided the media the racial self-identification and age demographic of the jurors. Here is the information on the twelve:

• No. 2: white male; 20s
• No. 9: multi/mixed-race woman; 20s
• No. 19: white male; 30s
• No. 27: black male; 30s
• No. 44: white woman; 50s
• No. 52: black male; 30s
• No. 55: white woman; 50s
• No. 79: black male; 40s
• No. 85: multi/mixed-race woman; 40s
• No. 89: white woman; 50s
• No. 91: black woman; 60s
• No. 92: white woman; 40s

Here are my notes on the the twelve jurors who will serve as regulars. The first three are adapted from my notes and the rest are excerpted from my daily trial updates.

Juror number 2
Juror number 2 is an intelligent guy who works as a chemist. He is passionate about his work. In the narrative account of what he knew about the case in his juror questionnaire, he wrote “Floyd escaped from the car and was killed.” He professed not to have seen the videos. He has visited the scene at 38th and Chicago because Floyd’s death was “a transformative event.” He strongly agrees with the proposition that the judicial system is biased against blacks.

He views Black Lives Matter as “too extreme,” but he supports the movement. He believes that everyone should matter equally. He referred at one point to his synagogue in one of Minneapolis’s western suburbs. If I were defense counsel Eric Nelson, I would have pressed this guy much more intensely.

Juror number 9
Juror number 9 is a young lady originally from Brainerd in outstate Minnesota. She was “super excited” to be summoned in this case. The case is a huge deal nationwide, she said, very important to everyone, but she understands how the outcome will affect someone’s life. Could she foresee herself voting to acquit? She committed to render an impartial verdict based on the evidence. She has a somewhat negative impression of Derek Chauvin. She wants to hear all the evidence in the case.

She has a relative who serves as a police officer in Brainerd. She believes that blacks don’t receive equal treatment in the judicial system, but that Black Lives Matter has turned in a propaganda scheme.

Juror number 19
My notes reflect that juror number 19 was “honest, straightforward, easy to talk to.” He has no concerns for his or his family’s personal safety. It makes me wonder if he in touch with the reality of this case.

He works as an auditor. He had seen portions of the video two or three times and had a somewhat negative view of Chauvin because “someone died, and that’s obviously not a positive thing.” He thought that “George should have been given the same justice as Chauvin,” although he expressed no view of Chauvin’s innocence or guilt. He didn’t think Floyd’s use of drugs should influence the outcome of the case against Chauvin.

Juror number 27
Juror number 27 is a multilingual immigrant. He came to the United States — I think from somewhere in Francophone Africa — 14 years ago. He works in IT. He loves technology. He expressed no concern for his physical safety. He said he wants to serve as a juror to make the justice system work. In response to questions posed by pro bono prosecutor Steve Schleicher, he stated he disagrees with proposals to defund the police.

Juror number 44
Juror number 44 is an executive with a health care nonprofit. Her opinion of Chauvin based on the videos she has seen is “somewhat negative.” She expressed sympathy for George Floyd (“he didn’t deserve to die”) and the officers. “Everyone’s life was changed by this incident,” she said.

She believes that our laws haven’t kept up with social changes. Reform is needed. She believes that the judicial system is racially biased, that excessive force against blacks must stop, that the system is “inherently biased,” that “white privilege” is a reality.

However, she is an analytical person who asserts she can and will be fair and impartial.
She understands she is required to render “a verdict based on the facts.” She is not good for the defense but Nelson passed her for cause because he has a limited number of peremptory strikes and an unfavorable jury pool with which to contend.

Juror number 52
Juror number 52 professed to be “a friendly, positive person.” He works in banking and coaches youth sports. He sounded to me like an extremely decent and reasonable man, but he has views that would have made me want to strike him. He believes that racial discrimination exists “well beyond what the media can report.” He thought that the other three officers should have intervened to stop Chauvin, as has just about every prospective juror, but he professed his ability to be impartial and follow the law as given. He wants to serve as a juror. He would love to be a part of “this historic case,” he said.

Juror number 55
Juror number 55 struck me as dangerous for the defense. She is a white woman in her 50’s who is an executive assistant at a health clinic. On the jury questionnaire she said she has a “somewhat negative” view of both Derek Chauvin and Black Lives Matter. She expressed concerns for her personal safety depending on “the end result.” The question, she said, is how others will perceive the verdict. I read her as a possible leader on the jury.

Juror number 79
Up next was juror number 79, a black immigrant with a thick African accent. He has lived in the Twin Cities for the past 20 years or so. Although I had a hard time making out a little of what he said, he is extremely thoughtful and articulate. He works in a management capacity and lives in a Minneapolis suburb where he feels protected by the police. He “strongly disagrees” with defunding the police. I would like to get to know this gentleman.

He doesn’t come to Minneapolis a lot, which I am sure is a benefit to what I perceive to be his positive frame of mind. Departing from the norm of the prospective jurors so far, he professed a neutral opinion of Chauvin (along with a “somewhat positive” impression of George Floyd). He is confident he can be an impartial juror. He would like to hear from Derek Chauvin during the case, but understands that Chauvin has no obligation to testify. As to Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, he is of the view that “Every life matters. We all have family to get back to at the end of the day.”

Juror number 85
Juror number 85 is a working mom and wife. She works as a management consultant.
She said she spends a lot of time at hockey rinks. She must be a hockey mom. She found the courthouse security “a little surprising” and “a little unnerving.” She appreciates the anonymity afforded the jurors through trial.

She is familiar with the city’s $27 million settlement of the civil litigation. However, she asserted she could disregard it in this case. “The settlement doesn’t declare guilt,” she said. I commented in my notes that she is analytical and intelligent.

She has seen the bystander video six or more times. Her impression of Chauvin is “somewhat negative.” He appeared to take little action despite the pleas of bystanders, she explained, but can set her opinions aside and accord Chauvin the presumption of innocence.

She has been taught to respect and cooperate with police. She tends to agree with the proposition that if something bad happens to someone who didn’t cooperate with the police, he has himself to blame. She has no opinion on whether Chauvin caused Floyd’s death.

My assessment was that juror number 85 is as good a juror for the defense as Chauvin can get without being struck by the prosecution and that is how it played out.

Juror number 89
Juror number 89 had also been exposed to the settlement. In her case, even though she is trying to avoid the news, she heard of it through a passing mention on the radio. She knew the amount was $27 million. She stated that the settlement didn’t affect her view of the criminal case.

She is an experienced nurse who lives alone in the first-ring Minneapolis suburb Edina.

She expressed ambivalence about being summoned to jury service in this “big case.” It portends “a lot of repercussions.” She is concerned about her safety following the trial, but reassured by the security in the courthouse and the anonymity afforded the jurors.
It “kind of” makes her feel better. She is no dummy; she is unsure how comfortable she is with the prospect of her name being out there somewhere down the road.

Her juror questionnaire provides a narrative of the facts of the May 25 arrest up to Floyd’s death that is probably based on television news. She holds neutral opinions of both Floyd and Chauvin. She seemed to think that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck too long “knowing he died.” She is unsure of the cause of death. She does not distrust the police.

Juror number 91
Juror number 91 is also aware of the $27 million wrongful death settlement. An older lady who worked in marketing for a financial company, 25-30 years ago she lived in the neighborhood where the incident occurred. She doesn’t return to the neighborhood or even come much to Minneapolis. She said she hasn’t been downtown in years. I chalk up her good attitude to avoidance of the city.

She enjoys “taking care of her family.” She has “a couple grandchildren.” Her son-in-law is a physician.

She is excited to have the opportunity to serve as a juror in the case. She was proud to fill out the questionnaire. She seldom watches the news and has only seen the video once, for four or five minutes, before she shut it off. She expressed neutral views of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. She knows there are two sides to every story. “I only know the surface,” she said, and thought more information would be helpful before she makes up her mind.

She grew up in south Minneapolis, where the incident occurred. She lamented the many stores that were looted and destroyed. She has a relative who is a police officer.

She isn’t close with him, but she is proud of him for standing up as a police officer.

Asked on the questionnaire about her view of Black Lives Matter, her response was: “I am black and my life matters.” She expressed no view of the organization.

I view juror number 91 as a good citizen. Her degree is in child psychology. She occasionally volunteers with a youth organization to help kids with their homework. I have her down as about as good as it gets for the defense.

Juror number 92
Although she stated it had no effect on her view of the case, juror number 92 was also aware of the $27 million settlement. She is family-oriented and loves her work in the business of commercial insurance. She has some concern about “what would happen to [her] afterwards” if she were to serve as juror. She would be okay with the release of her name at a later date.

She has seen a clip of the video. She holds “somewhat negative” views of both Floyd and Chauvin. The media have painted Chauvin as “an aggressive cop with tax problems.” She is aware that “George Floyd’s record wasn’t clean” and that “he abused drugs at some point.” Her opinion is that the police used excessive force but that Floyd was not completely innocent.

Juror number 92 is not a classic Hennepin County juror. She “strongly disagrees” with defunding the police. She sees both positive and negative effects to have followed on Floyd’s death. “We need law enforcement,” she said. Why? “Look at the riots.”


Veteran Member
The ZUSA is being held hostage, by the death of a POS
African drug addict thug, who was going to become deaded,
simply because of the drugs that he had taken.

LEO was simply at the wrong place, at the wrong time,
and should have walked away.

There is no way that Chauvin, is going to get a fair trial,
simply based on the racial divide, that has always existed
in the ZUSA, ever since the first African came to these shores.

That racial divide is at its extreme now, and if Chauvin is not
convicted of first degree murder with prejudice, the ZUSA is
going to simply explode.

Chauvin knows this, the judge knows this, attorneys for both sides
knows this, and especially the jury knows this.

The death of a worthless, savage feral pavement ape,
African drug addict thug, will go down in ZUSA history,
as one of the most important events to have ever occurred,
in this massively screwed up formerly great country.

Please be safe everyone. AVOID THE GROID, PLEASE.

Regards to all.



When In Doubt, Throttle Out!
Related to this case or not . . . man, can you just imagine the hell in store for a police officer put in prison?!?!? :eek:



Veteran Member
Alisha is bone stupid AND wasted. :lol:
Can't see how she's any help to anybody. If that's the best the prosecution has.....yeeesh.


passin' thru
I recall you were disappointed in the # of women who woosed out of this jury duty op, but I can't help but think I'd have put on my "grey" cloak and gotten as far as possible away from it, too. :: shrug :: and yeah, I could lie like a rug to do so, if needed.


Veteran Member
Chauvin Trial Day 1

Posted on March 30, 2021
by Scott Johnson
Chauvin trial day 1

I have been struggling with a bug that has sapped my energy and shortened my day yesterday. These notes are accordingly abbreviated.

On Sunday I complained that the Star Tribune sought to bypass the issues in the case in the interest of framing it as a (racial) passion play. The Star Tribune is of course not alone in this regard, but is it really needed or illuminating at this point?

The Sunday page-one story I cited was written by reporters Reid Forgrave and Maya Rao. On Monday, however, the Star Tribune published reporter Chao Xiong’s examination of the cause of death issue in George Floyd’s cause of death at heart of arguments in Chauvin trial.”

When I saw Chao yesterday morning I congratulated Chao on the story. He told me he had a hard time finding people who would talk to him for it. Given my comments on Sunday, I want to note it for the record.

All fifteen jurors selected showed up to sit on the case yesterday morning. Judge Cahill dismissed the fifteenth juror selected before swearing the fourteen in. The fifteenth was the third alternate.

In my rundown on the jury on Sunday, I assumed that the first twelve jurors serve as the regulars who will deliberate on the verdict if they make it to the end and that jurors thirteen and fourteen are alternates. I assume that to be true even though no such announcement has been made.

Jerry Blackwell is one of the attorneys contributing his services to the prosecution without charge. He made the opening statement on behalf of the State yesterday. I have embedded the video below.

(RT: 57:34)

Although I was surprised by his detached tone, I thought Blackwell did an excellent job. I was not surprised by his use of the famous bystander video that everyone has seen.

An opening statement is not argument. It is to be limited to a summary of the evidence that will be introduced in the case. It should provide a roadmap to the case the attorney will present to the jury.

he underlying message of Blackwell’s opening is that the State has a ton of evidence they will introduce to prove up the charges against Derek Chauvin. Among the witnesses who will testify against Chauvin are the Minneapolis Chief of Police and other Minneapolis police officers.

The theme of his opening was a relentless: 9:29. Nine minutes and 29 seconds is the length of time Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

Blackwell buried the issue of Floyd’s drug intoxication at the time of the incident until somewhere near the end of his remarks. According to Blackwell, Floyd’s years of drug abuse had rendered him tolerant of the levels found in his system following his death.

Blackwell anticipated and undercut the testimony of Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker. He will call a raft of experts to deal with it, including a doctor who trained Dr. Baker as medical examiner.

Blackwell’s opening went on for around 55 minutes. Although there was thematic repetition, the themes were effective and the substance was powerful.

Defense counsel Eric Nelson immediately followed Blackwell. I have embedded the video below.


When Nelson rose to speak I wanted to hear what his case was — what he would prove on behalf of Chauvin. Nelson began, however, by invoking reasonable doubt. This is a confession of weakness. I cannot imagine a weaker point with which to lead off.

Nelson did nothing to set the video in the larger context afforded by the body cam videos. He did nothing to exploit the holes in Blackwell’s opening. Maybe they aren’t holes.

Nelson discussed the evidence of Floyd’s drug intoxication an consumption at the time of the incident. The prosecution contends that Chauvin asphyxiated Floyd.

Nelson referred to the paucity of physical evidence on autopsy supporting asphyxiation. The State wasn’t satisfied with Baker’s work, he said, so they contracted other physicians for this case.

Nelson finished in about 23 minutes. All in all, I thought it was a perfunctory performance.

Following the opening statements the State called three witnesses. The first was dispatcher Jena Scurry. The direct examination by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank was a plodding bore, but she was a good witness for the State. Watching the scene unfold at 38th and Chicago on a video monitor in her office, she thought “something wasn’t right.” She called the cops — MPR sergeant David Fleeker (I’m not sure how his name is spelled) on the cops.

Next up was bystander Alisha Oyler, who was working on May 25 at the Speedway Station across the street from Cup Foods. Although she took several videos, she professed not to remember much about the events. Are you kidding me? She was a terrible witness except insofar as she gave the State the opportunity to replay the famous bystander video by juxtaposing it with Oyler’s.

At this point I headed off for an urgent care visit. I watched the testimony of martial arts expert David Williams II on my cell phone. Williams was a bystander on the scene at the time of the inciden t. He can be heard on the video. I didn’t realize that martial arts experience made him an expert on cause of death, but he opined on the “blood choke” he observed Chauvin working on Floyd. He watched it kill him like a fish.

Williams’s testimony beyond his observations at the time are objectionable. Someone must have had a sleeper hold on Nelson. When Nelson finally got around to objecting, I thought it was too little, too late. This guy is a devastating witness for the State. Williams continues this morning.

NOTE: In the interest of clarity I have retitled my previous 12 installments to reflect their focus on jury selection. I am starting the numerical sequence over with this installment to reflect the first day of the trial proper.


Veteran Member
I recall you were disappointed in the # of women who woosed out of this jury duty op, but I can't help but think I'd have put on my "grey" cloak and gotten as far as possible away from it, too. :: shrug :: and yeah, I could lie like a rug to do so, if needed.
Haha! Actually, I wasn't really surprised that more women were able to manipulate and turn their answers so they were chosen. They wanted to be chosen. Women are word-masters, intuitives, inflection-readers. But probably not good for the defense that the majority of the panel are women.

Far as I could see, nobody in their right mind would want to be on that panel. I'd suspect they are all people with an agenda.


Veteran Member
Dang!! Judge was angry at the end of the day. An EMS chick was arguing with defense attorney so the judge had to admonish her. He sent her home for the day to return tomorrow. Not a good look for her.

Then someone got caught taking pictures with their cell phone in the courtroom and the judge took it away! He left the courtroom and slammed the door. Then he came back, scolded the cell phone lady, and gave it back.+

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Maybe another MMA "expert"...:rofl::rofl:


Veteran Member
He sure was, and with good reason. I never could have imagined such an overtly hostile (to the defense) bunch of surly witnesses.

And running at the mouth...jeepers. That last lady firefighter...I hope her supervisor gets hold of her tonight and sets her straight. Very unprofessional. Argue/smuck off with the judge=a fine or a few nights away from home. Mr. MMA....I laughed. If he ever worked personal security, I'll eat my hat. A guy who does NOT know when to shut up.

So far, I'm liking this judge. Seems very fair, and very much in control. He's gonna need all the patience and good sense he can muster for this one.

Adding...I've been waiting, but the defense with the firefighter was the first time I've heard ANYBODY (since it all happened) mention Narcan. There hasn't been an overt accusation (yet), but it's looking more and more like there was a serious miscue between dispatch and ambulance/fire.
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Veteran Member
Chauvin Trial Day 2

Posted on March 31, 2021
by Scott Johnson
Chauvin trial day 2

Minnesota martial arts practitioner Donald Williams returned to the stand and concluded testimony that began Monday afternoon. He reiterated his observations culminating in Floyd’s death: tremendous pain in Floyd’s face, his eyes rolling back in his head, his mouth open, drooling, gasping for air. All the while Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck, Williams’s “energy” did not let him feel he could intervene. After Floyd was loaded into the ambulance, Williams called 911 believing he had witnessed a murder.

The scope Judge Cahill afforded Williams on direct examination required penetrating cross examination. I didn’t think defense counsel Eric Nelson rose to the occasion either in his attempts to distinguish mixed martial arts from police restraint or in his recitation of the vulgar names Williams had called Chauvin as Floyd lay prone under Chauvin’s knee. Like the bystanders who followed Williams to the stand, I thought Williams’s anger was understandable given his perception of what he had witnessed.

Williams drew on his training in mixed martial arts to speak with authority on the issues in the case. He referred to his education at “the academy” (of mixed martial arts) and his experience in the ring as “an artist.”

An attorney friend wrote me to comment on Judge Cahill’s admission of Williams’s testimony about chokeholds and related issues. He thought Judge Cahill should not have allowed it, but suggested that Nelson’s cross should have pounded away at key points:
The easy stuff–you are not a physician, not a pathologist, have never seen anyone asphyxiated….

You have never conducted an autopsy and have no idea how to do one.
In your opinion did you assume that Floyd’s breathing was normal before he was restrained by Chauvin?
Did you assume his lung function was normal?
Did you consider whether he was suffering from fentanyl intoxication?
Did you consider whether his lungs had an abnormal amount of fluid in
them due to fentanyl and were not functioning properly?
Mr. MMA you understand that here in Hennepin County when anyone dies under suspicious circumstances the County Examiner, who is a pathologist, conducts an autopsy?
You are not asking this jury to consider your opinion of the cause of
the death of Mr. Floyd as equal in weight to the official autopsy by
the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
The point is that Williams’s pretensions to expertise should have been punctured on cross. I don’t think Nelson put up a fight on the basic points.

After Williams we heard from five more bystanders whom I want to take up as a group:

1. Examined by Jerry Blackwell, Darnella Frazier just turned 18. She is the teenager who recorded the video that approximately everyone saw after she disseminated it via Facebook. The prosecution took her testimony as an opportunity to review the video.

She was choked with emotion throughout her direct examination. After Nelson asked her on cross whether the video had changed her life — why? I don’t know — Blackwell had her fill out the details on redirect. She sees Floyd as her father, her cousins, her brothers, her uncles, her friends, because they are all black. “And I look at that and I look at how that could have been one of them. It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and, and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more…”

2. Darnella’s nine-year-old cousin Judea testified briefly without cross examination. Judea can be seen in photos and stills with Darnella. She was wearing a t-shirt with LOVE printed on it. Judea saw Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck. What she was made her “sad and kinda mad.”

3. Examined by Assistant Attorney General Erin Eldridge, Alyssa is another 18-year-old bystander who recorded video of the scene. She lives in the neighborhood and went to Cup Foods with her friend Kailyn to buy snacks and an aux cord for her car. She saw Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck, and two other officers holding him down. Alyssa’s testimony gave the prosecution another opportunity to play video of the incident.

“At first he was vocal and then he got less vocal,” she said. “You could tell he was talking with smaller and smaller breaths, and he would spit a little when he talked, and he tried to move his head because he was uncomfortable.” She described Floyd’s descent into unconsciousness: “You could see in his face that he was slowly not being able to breathe, his eyes were rolling back, and at one point he just kind of sat there,” she said. “Or laid there.” Talking about it with difficulty, she cried. “It was difficult because I felt like there wasn’t really anything that I could do as a bystander,” she said.
“I felt like I was failing him.”

4. Examined by Eldridge, Alyssa’s friend Kailyn accompanied Alyssa to Cup Foods on May 25. She lent Alyssa the cell phone she used to record her video of the incident. Alyssa asked her to remain in the car. A “gut feeling” prompted her to get out of the car. She heard Floyd calling out from under Chauvin’s knee. She felt that Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd wasn’t needed. She had a gut feeling Floyd was dead before the ambulance arrived. Seeing Chauvin reach for his Mace in response to the bystanders, she was afraid of him. Nelson passed on cross examination.

5. Examined by Deputy Attorney General Matthew Frank, the last witness of the day was Minneapolis firefighter and EMT Genevieve Hansen. Her testimony continues this morning. She lives in the neighborhood of Cup Foods and was on a walk when she happened on the scene. She too took a video on the scene and called 911 after the ambulance left the scene to complain about the officers’ treatment of Floyd. It is evident that she is heavily invested in Chauvin’s conviction.

She walked around the scene after her arrival. She saw the officers restraining Floyd.

She was concerned because he wasn’t moving and he was cuffed, with three men restraining him. His face was swollen and smashed into the ground. She noticed fluid coming from his body. She assessed Floyd as having an altered consciousness in which he was oblivious to painful stimuli. She identified herself as an EMT and wanted to render medical assistance. She wanted Floyd’s pulse to be taken. She is “totally distressed” she was unable to do so.

Nelson began his cross examination. Among the points he made is that she didn’t know that the officers had already requested Code 3 medical assistance on the scene before Hansen arrived. Hansen said she didn’t believe it.

She is an argumentative witness, to say the least. She argued with Nelson. She argued with Judge Cahill. When she refused to relent, Judge Cahill excused her to return this morning. I’m embedding the two-hour video of Hansen’s testimony yesterday below. It begins at about 5:00 with Hansen’s video and the recording of her 911 call. Nelson’s cross begins at about 1:09:30.


The testimony of these bystander witnesses featured videos and photographs of the incident. The testimony was raw and emotional. I’m not sure why, but the witnesses were allowed to testify to the effect of the incident on them. The effects on them seem irrelevant to the issues in the case. They are perhaps marginally relevant to their credibility as witnesses. I didn’t think that Nelson found a productive line of cross examination on either Darnella or Alyssa. Hansen is another story.


Veteran Member
The ZUSA is being held hostage, by the death of a POS
African drug addict thug, who was going to become deaded,
simply because of the drugs that he had taken.

LEO was simply at the wrong place, at the wrong time,
and should have walked away.

There is no way that Chauvin, is going to get a fair trial,
simply based on the racial divide, that has always existed
in the ZUSA, ever since the first African came to these shores.

That racial divide is at its extreme now, and if Chauvin is not
convicted of first degree murder with prejudice, the ZUSA is
going to simply explode.

Chauvin knows this, the judge knows this, attorneys for both sides
knows this, and especially the jury knows this.

The death of a worthless, savage feral pavement ape,
African drug addict thug, will go down in ZUSA history,
as one of the most important events to have ever occurred,
in this massively screwed up formerly great country.

Please be safe everyone. AVOID THE GROID, PLEASE.

Regards to all.

Now I relate to your SA comparisons of ZUSA when it comes to this event...........Chauvin has as much chance of a fair trial in this country today as he would under Mandela and the AFC in SA.


Veteran Member
Now I relate to your SA comparisons of ZUSA when it comes to this event...........Chauvin has as much chance of a fair trial in this country today as he would under Mandela and the AFC in SA.
That is exactly how I see it as well.

I use SA, in my discussions about the future of the ZUSA,
as SA was once a 1st world nation, and had dealt with the
exact same issues with the African race there, as the ZUSA
is dealing with the African race here.

SA is now fully a 3rd world nation, because of interference
by the ZUSA government, into the internal affairs of SA,
forcing the Whites in SA, to turn over that nation to Africans.

I see the exact same happening to the ZUSA, and at the rate
that this nation is falling, especially now, I do not see how
the ZUSA cannot become the new South Africa by 2030.

The Chauvin/Floyd trial, will do nothing but accelerate the rate
of destruction for the ZUSA, destruction that must occur.

Please be safe everyone. AVOID THE GROID, PLEASE.

Regards to all.



Veteran Member
Sure got to see a lot more video today than the news media ever showed. And apparently, what was put into evidence today by prosecution was still much edited. The defense wants to disclose and enter ALL of it, and has the judge looking it over for a Friday morning argument/decision.


Veteran Member
Chauvin Trial Day 3

Posted on April 1, 2021
by Scott Johnson
Chauvin trial day 3

Firefighter EMT Genevieve Hanson returned to the stand for cross examination by defense counsel Eric Nelson Wednesday morning. Did she show the officers on the scene identifying herself identification as a firefighter? She did not. Nelson had nothing more for her. With a question or two more from prosecutor Matthew Frank on redirect — she believed George Floyd needed immediate medical attention, but the officers other than Tou Thao didn’t talk to her — she was released.

Frank then called 19-year-old former Cup Foods cashier Christopher Martin to the stand. In May 2020 he was living with his mother and sister in an apartment above Cup Foods while pulling his shifts at the store from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Martin’s testimony took us inside Cup Foods to observe the events leading to George Floyd’s fateful arrest on May 25. Frank drew on Cup Foods surveillance video from inside the store to accompany Martin’s testimony. This is video we have not seen before.

The video shows Floyd hanging around in the store. He seems to have had his phone serviced in the store that day. He appears jumpy but genial in the video.

Martin chatted with Floyd before Floyd purchased cigarettes with the counterfeit $20 bill that prompted the call to the police. Based on Floyd’s delayed response to Martin’s question and his difficulty articulating, Martin figured Floyd was high.
A few minutes later Martin sold Floyd a pack of cigarettes that Floyd purchased with a $20 bill that Martin thought was obviously counterfeit.

The rule at Cup Foods was that if an employee took a counterfeit bill it was docked from his pay. When Floyd left the store Martin raised it with his manager. Martin went out twice with coworkers to Floyd’s Mercedes to seek payment. They spoke to Floyd’s friend on the passenger side (I understood that he too had tried to pass Martin a counterfeit bill) while Floyd mimed “woe is me” in the driver’s seat.

At the manager’s instruction one of the coworkers called the police. Two officers arrived and met with the manager, who showed them where Floyd was parked across the street.

Within a few minutes Martin heard a commotion outside the story. He heard yelling and screaming. He saw Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck. He called his mom and told her not to come downstairs. He started a recording of the police subduing Floyd, but deleted it after the incident. He said he was emotional watching the arrest, expressing “disbelief and guilt” over what he views as his contribution to it.

He saw the ambulance arrive and watched the officers and crew load Floyd onto it. Watching the ambulance head off, he thought they were not headed to the hospital and that Floyd had died. Martin is a credible and effective witness.

The State then called Christopher Belfrey. He too lives in the neighborhood. Forty-five years old, Belfrey is another of the bystanders who recorded a video of the incident leading to Floyd’s death, though his recording begins with Floyd’s initial arrest in the Mercedes. He was startled by the officer pulling a handgun on Floyd. He stopped recording and moved his car when he heard sirens approaching. He resumed recording. He said he felt “Kinda scared” when one of the officers stared at him. He though the incident was over when he saw Floyd placed in one of the police squads and drove off with his fiance.

Nelson let him go without cross examination.

The State then called Charles McMillian. Sixty-one years old, Mr. McMilliam proved in his own way to be a devastating witness. He was a bystander who urged Floyd to cooperate with the police. He can be heard on video telling Floyd “You can’t win.”

He began sobbing after prosecutor Erin Eldridge played police bodycam video of Floyd saying over and over that he couldn’t breathe and calling for his mother. “Oh my God,” Mr. McMillian said as he hung his head and cried. Hearing Floyd call for his mama, Mr. McMillian stated, “I feel helpless. I don’t have a mama either, but I understand him.” As events unfolded, his instinct told him “it was over for Mr. Floyd.”

The State played video we hadn’t seen before during McMillian’s testimony. He can be heard talking to Chauvin. He told Chauvin on the scene after Floyd’s departure that he was “a maggot.” His told Chauvin his knee on Floyd’s neck — “that’s wrong.” Chauvin responded he “had to control a sizable guy.” Again, Nelson passed on cross examination.

The 47-minute video below captures all of Mr. McMillian’s testimony. It is well worth watching in its entirety.

(RT: 48:40)

Pro bono prosecutor Steve Schleicher called Minneapolis Police Lt. James Rugel to close out the day. Rugel runs the department’s technology unit. His testimony laid the foundation for introduction of the department surveillance and bodycam video into.

Without much in the way of commentary from Rugel, Schleicher played each of the officers’ bodycam footage of the incident leading to Floyd’s death. The video below includes Rugel’s foundational testimony as well as the bodycam video played for the jury.

(RT: 2:16:00)

The bodycam video is the first evidence of the larger context of the knee on the neck scenario. We haven’t heard much about it from either the prosecution or the defense. It’s easy to miss, but you can hear Floyd explaining his drug use — “I was just hooping earlier.” One of the officers describes Floyd’s eyes “shaking back and forth really fast. Is that PCP?” I think it is Officer Kueng who observes to Floyd, “You’ve got foam around your mouth too.”

We see the officers try to get Floyd seated in the squad car. He is wildly resisting and yelling he can’t breathe.


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(Background...the little scamster tried passing counterfeit bills at the same store earlier in the day and was called on it. W.T.)

Derek Chauvin trial: Key witness to invoke the 5th Amendment, refuses to testify

Morries Lester Hall was seen in bodycam videos sitting in the car with Floyd

By David Aaro | Fox News
Published 6 hours ago
Derek Chauvin trial: Key witness to invoke the 5th Amendment, refuses to testify

FOX News national correspondent Matt Finn joins 'Special Report' with the details from Minneapolis

A key witness who was with George Floyd on the day he died has informed the court that he will invoke the Fifth Amendment if asked to testify in Derek Chauvin's murder trial.

The Hennepin County Public Defender's Office filed a notice Wednesday on behalf of Morries Lester Hall, 42, who was in the car with Floyd when police approached him for allegedly using a fake $20 bill at Cup Foods in Minneapolis.

"Mr. Morries Lester Hall, through undersigned counsel, hereby provides notice to all parties in this matter that if called to testify he will invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination," said a notice filed by assistant public defender Adrienne Cousins. "Therefore, counsel for Mr. Hall respectfully moves this court to quash the subpoena ... and release Mr. Hall from any obligations therein."

In this image from police body cam video, a Minneapolis police officer approaches George Floyd with a gun drawn, on May 25, 2020, outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

In this image from police body cam video, a Minneapolis police officer approaches George Floyd with a gun drawn, on May 25, 2020, outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Authorities previously said Hall was a key witness in the state’s investigation into the four officers who apprehended Floyd. He was seen in police body camera videos sitting in the car with Floyd -- his longtime friend -- as another occupant, Shawanda Hill, sat in the back seat.

Prosecutors and defense attorney Eric Nelson also listed Hall as a potential witness in the trial of Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, reports said.

Hall told The New York Times last June that Floyd didn't resist the arrest and instead attempted to defuse the situation.

"I could hear him pleading, ‘Please, officer, what’s all this for?’" he said.

An official said Hall initially gave a false name to officers after Floyd's death. He then left Minneapolis and was tracked down in Texas and arrested due to outstanding warrants for felony possession of a firearm, felony domestic assault, and felony drug possession, the paper reported.

Hall described himself as a "key witness," in the Times interview.

"I’m a key witness to the cops murdering George Floyd, and they want to know my side. Whatever I’ve been through, it’s all over with now. It’s not about me," he said.


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Chauvin Trial Day 4

Posted on April 2, 2021
by Scott Johnson
Chauvin trial day 4

The State opened the day with the testimony of George Floyd girl friend Courteney Ross. She discussed her relationship with Floyd dating to the day in August 2017 that he asked asked her how she was doing when she was waiting in the lobby of Harbor Lights to visit her son’s father. She recalled Floyd asking her, “Sis, you okay, Sis?” She said she wasn’t and he asked if he could pray with her. Floyd was working at Harbor Lights as a security guard.

Ross was called to provide so-called “spark of life” evidence regarding Floyd. Such evidence is admissible in a murder case to provide a human portrait of the victim. In this case it presents one more factor contributing to the prejudice Chauvin must overcome to have his case determined on the facts.

The State also used Ross’s testimony to raise the issue of Floyd’s drug use in sympathetic form. Both Ross and Floyd struggled with opiate addictions in the course of their relationship. She said that they both suffered from chronic pain and started with prescription opiates. They consumed illegally obtained oxycontin and oxycodone together off and on throughout their relationship.

On his fateful trip to Cup Foods Floyd was accompanied by Morries Hall (the man in red) and Shawanda Hall (the woman in the back seat). I take it from Ross’s testimony that they were Floyd’s suppliers. Earlier this week Morries Hall filed a notice that, if called as a witness, he would assert the Fifth Amendment.

In March 2020 Ross saw Floyd’s behavior change to reflect current drug use use. They took bigger pills that month that had a stimulative effect on her. In early March she found him doubled over in pain, complaining that his stomach hurt. He was suffering an overdose — she apparently told the FBI it was a heroin overdose — requiring some five days in the hospital. Ross noticed foam around his mouth as she drove him to the hospital.

Floyd was using again in May 2020. The May pills had the same effect on her as the big pills they had previously consumed.

Ross was followed by three witnesses who provided emergency medical services to Floyd on May 25: Seth Bravinder, Derek Smith, and Jeremy Norton. What I got out of these witnesses in excruciating detail is that Floyd was dead when he was picked up at the scene and that efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. He had no pulse from the first time he was checked at the scene.

The State closed the day with retired Minneapolis police sergeant David Pleoger. I take it that Pleoger is one of the many Minneapolis officers who retired in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.

Pleoger is an important witness. He was the shift leader when Floyd died and took the call from Jenna Scurry asking about the use of force she observed on her monitor in the dispatch center. Pleoger evaluated use of force under department policy as a routine part of his job. He went to the scene and interacted with the officers both at the scene and at Hennepin County Medical Center, where Floyd had been taken. Floyd’s death, however, elevated the case to superior authorities.

On Pleoger’s bodycam Chauvin is heard speaking with Pleoger about the incident at the scene: “Not really, but had to hold the guy down, he was going crazy. Wouldn’t go in the back of the squad.” Chauvin did not immediately disclose that he placed his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Schleicher elicited Pleoger’s opinion concerning the moment when the use of force against Floyd should have ended. He replied: “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint.” Pleoger agreed with Schleicer that it should have ended when Floyd was handcuffed and on the ground.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher got the answers he wanted from Pleoger, but I thought his testimony was hedged in tone and unenthusiastic. The words came out right, but something was off.

I have posted the full video of Pleoger’s testimony below. The testimony begins at about 15:00. The testimony referred to immediately above comes at about about 01:21:00.

(RT: 1:52:18)


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Chauvin Trial Break

Posted on April 5, 2021
by Scott Johnson
Chauvin trial break

On Friday Minneapolis Police Department Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman took the stand. He is the department’s senior homicide investigator and its most senior officer period. He was called to the scene on the evening of George Floyd’s death. Having subsequently watched bodycam videos of the restraint of George Floyd, he found it unreasonable and excessive in relevant respects under department policy.

Zimmerman is an extremely credible witness. He seems to me like a character who might have walked off the TV series Homicide. Defense counsel Eric Nelson found no meaningful avenue of cross examination with him. He is a strong witness in support of the prosecution.

I have not found a video of Zimmerman’s testimony in its entirety. The chunk below is the best I could do. It provides a substantial glimpse of how it went.


Query how Zimmerman’s testimony comports with Judge Cahill’s pretrial ruling number 18 at page 5 of the court’s order on defendant’s motions in limine. The answer is not clear to me.

I have found my daily updates on the Chauvin trial to be a grind that is not offset by any special illumination I have been able to lend to the proceedings. While I intend to continue observing the proceedings, I will take a break from the daily updates in the hope I that I will find occasions to weigh in down the line. If you have been following along in my series so far, I thank you and hope you will rejoin me when I have more to offer.

Jackpine Savage

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Branca is putting up more detailed analysis. He is also putting up videos. Here's his analysis of Zimmerman.

Chauvin Trial Day 5 Wrap-Up: Poorly Informed Witnesses Provide State with Poorly Informed Opinions – Law of Self Defense

State’s Witness: MPD Homicide Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman
The second and last state’s witness of the day was MPD Homicide Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman. It is notable that he is apparently the most senior of MPD’s homicide detectives.

Direct questioning of Zimmerman was conducted by Prosecutor Frank, taking over from Schleiter, and that raises an interesting and noteworthy point.

Today one of the television commentators chattering away while the court was recessed mentioned that the state had some 15 or so attorneys admitted on the case by Judge Cahill. I’d thought the number was more like 10 or 12, but regardless, the point remains the same.

There is only one defense attorney, Eric Nelson. The woman sitting behind him is technically an attorney, in that she’s passed the bar, but I believe she did so about a week ago, or some similarly short time. She’s not really a lawyer on the legal team in any substantive sense. And that appears to be it for Nelson’s “team.”

Those of you who followed my George Zimmerman coverage (presumably no relation) will recall that George always had two lawyers in court with him, Mark O’Mara and Don West, and those two did a masterful job of switching out so as to achieve a best fit in questioning different witnesses. (The prosecution, in contrast had some four or five or six attorneys actively on the case.). Largely unseen, however, was a substantial support staff backing up O’Mara and West—one of the factors that led to that legal defense billing out at around $1.7 million.

Nelson has himself, a newly barred assistant, and that’s it. The situation is rather like a wrestling match in which one competitor fights alone against 10-15 opponents who can tag each other in and out as they like.

On a more practical level, it means, for example, that each prosecutor need have command of every detail of only the subset of witnesses that they intend to personally question—whereas, in contrast, Eric Nelson must have command of every detail of every single witness.

It also means that if any single prosecutor feels, perhaps, that they might be a bit off that day, they can “tag in” a colleague. Eric Nelson can “tag in” nobody.

This stuff matters, folks, especially in an extraordinarily long trial such as this one. It’s worth noting that most murder trials—by which I mean intentional murder, not the unintentional killing that Minnesota strangely insists on labelling murder—last only a day or two or three. Criminal trials of three and four weeks just don’t happen in the normal course of events, but only in the most exceptional cases—often highly politically charged cases, such as this one.

I wrote in a recent blog post how impressed I’ve been by Nelson’s performance in the trial proper, and that’s true. Whether he can maintain that level of performance for two, three, or four weeks, is another question entirely. I certainly hope he can.
OK, sorry for that diversion, let’s get back to Lt. Zimmerman.

Perhaps the best way to describe Lt. Zimmerman is “well-seasoned.” He joined the MPD back in 1985, after a few years as a Sheriff’s deputy, back in the days when cops carried a gun, handcuffs, and that was about it. Often, back then, from my own recollection, not even radios—indeed, often not even every squad car had a radio.

Frank had a very specific role in mind for Zimmerman, and it had little to do with the substantive factors of this case. And there’s good reason it had little to do with the substantive factors of this case—because Zimmerman knows virtually none of the relevant evidence of the case.

Much as with Sergeant Edwards, Zimmerman was almost immediately aware that this was going to be a critical incident and promptly handed over to BCA—indeed, as it was in fact handed over within two or three hours of Zimmerman’s involvement.

Zimmerman’s role, then, was largely as a transient caretaker of the case, to ensure the uniformed officers were doing the things they were supposed to be doing to secure evidence, run crime scene tape, canvass for witnesses, and so forth.
But everybody involved, including Zimmerman, was aware that by the time they went to bed that evening this would be a case entirely in the hands of BCA, with effectively zero involvement by MPD.

So, if Frank would not be able to make use of Zimmerman to testify substantively about the case, for what purpose could he use Zimmerman? As a purported expert on MPD use-of-force policies able to provide an authoritative determination that Chauvin’s use of force upon Floyd was unjustifiable.

Before getting to that, of course, Frank stepped Zimmerman through his administrative role on the case, as a transient caretaker, much as Prosecutor Schlieter had done earlier with Sergeant Edwards.

Then we got to the real point of having Zimmerman testify.

Frank asked Zimmerman if he’d been trained by MPD on use of force, if he was familiar with MPD use of force policies, and (importantly) if he’d viewed the body cam footage of the Floyd event.

The body cam footage is important here, because unless Zimmerman had viewed at least that limited body of evidence he’d have zero basis on which to have a use-of-force opinion.

Accordingly, the prosecution had fed him the limited body of evidence consisting of body camera footage specifically so they could ask for his use of force opinion in court, and have that opinion based on more than zero knowledge of the evidence.

And Zimmerman was happy to comply, providing Frank with every answer the prosecutor could hope for.

The placement of a knee on the neck, Zimmerman said, qualified as deadly force, because “it could kill someone.”

Unmentioned here by either prosecution or defense (although I expect the defense will come back to this point from a more advantageous position than cross on a state’s witness) is that the MPD training policies and manual in effect on May 25, 2020 explicitly allowed for—and, indeed, provided photograph illustrations of—knee on the neck use of force as appropriate non-deadly restraint of a suspect. (The city of Minneapolis did pass a law in July 2020, banning just about anything resembling a “choke hold,” but that was obviously new policy adopted after the Floyd event.)

Asked by Frank if a suspect who was handcuffed could still represent a threat to the officer, Zimmerman answered definitely in the negative.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. The reason Thau was looking for a hobble device in the squad car to further restrain Floyd (ultimately the hobble was never used) was because Floyd had kicked at the officers trying to restrain him on the ground—clearly a handcuffed suspect can still be a physical danger to officers.

Indeed, I am personally aware of several instances in which handcuffed suspects have shot and killed officers.
Further, the duty of the officer in restraining a suspect is not merely to protect the officer from the suspect, but also to protect the public from the suspect, and even to protect the suspect from the suspect—this last is a genuine factor when dealing with a violently non-compliant, apparently intoxicated, very large and powerful suspect while on one of the busiest intersections in the city, as here.

Frank also asked Zimmerman about the dangers of the prone position for a handcuffed suspect, driving the prosecution narrative that positional asphyxia had killed Floyd, and Zimmerman was happy to talk about how he’d been trained for decades about the dangers of positional asphyxia and the importance of bringing a handcuffed suspect to a seated or recovery position as soon as possible.

Frank asked Zimmerman about the duty of police to provide care to a suspect in need, even if the officers had already called for an ambulance, and Zimmerman affirmed that the officers had such a duty while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

About this point the defense objected to the line of questioning—likely on the grounds that Zimmerman was speaking in an entirely hypothetical sense without any grounding or foundation in the actual facts of this actual event. This led to a rather lengthy sidebar during which the court recessed for its morning break.

When the court returned, it was clear that Frank had been instructed by Cahill to tie the questioning to the case. It was at this point that Frank asked Zimmerman about his reviewing of the body camera evidence.

With this foundation established, Frank then asked Zimmerman the very narrow question of whether, based solely on that body camera footage and based on Zimmerman’s training and experience, did Zimmerman believe Chauvin’s use of force was unnecessary?

Zimmerman’s response: Totally unnecessary.

And that pretty much concluded direct.

The defect in this line of questioning, from a substantive perspective, is obvious—the officers on scene in general, and Chauvin in particular, were not making their use-of-force decisions based on body camera footage, they were making their use-of-force decisions based on the totality of the circumstances.

Indeed, the body cameras do not even capture what the officers merely saw, because a turn of the head without a turn of the body means the officer is viewing events not captured by the camera.

The body camera obviously doesn’t at all capture non-visible evidence, such as muscular resistance by a suspect, the perception of traffic moving up and down the street only feet away, the knowledge that EMS is en route on a code 3 with lights and sirens, and more.

It’s as if there were 20 possible sources of information driving the use-of-force decision making of the officers on scene, and Zimmerman was asked to give his use-of-force assessment based only one of those sources.

If that’s all the substantive information Zimmerman has, then he’s simply ill-informed, and if he’s ill-informed then his opinion is equally ill-informed.

To his credit, Nelson did an excellent job clarifying this reality, getting Zimmerman to agree to a long list of factors, other than what might be captured on a body camera, as important in making use-of-force decisions.

Nelson also noted that Zimmerman himself could hardly be characterized as anything like a use-of-force expert, with Zimmerman agreeing that as a long-time homicide detective he would only very rarely be involved in the use of violent force on a suspect, and that indeed his primary exposure to use of force events consisted almost entirely of his mandatory annual training—at which he, Zimmerman, was a student, not a trainer.

There are, of course, limits to what defense counsel can do on cross-examination—specifically, defense counsel is not permitted to argue with a witness (despite what you see on television), nor can defense counsel himself testify (again, despite what you see on television).

These limitations were illustrated when Nelson asked Zimmerman if there was any provision under MPD policy in which a knee on neck would be allowed, other than as a purely opportunistic defense technique, and Zimmerman replied that there was not.

Well, having looked at the actual MPD policy and training manual, I can state with certainty that knee on neck is explicitly permitted (or was, at the time of the Floyd event), and even demonstrated photographically.

Now, Nelson could have pulled out that policy, and shoved it in Zimmerman’s face to impeach him on the stand, but today was not the best day to bring that particular club to bear, and especially not to an older gentleman like Zimmerman.

Best, I expect Nelson thought, to save that club for better time when he could bring it to bear from position of strength, rather than on cross-examination—and at time much more proximate to jury deliberations.

It’s worth keeping in mind that everything happening in court today will have been three weeks in the past by the time the jury goes into deliberations, and in the intervening three weeks the jury will have seen a mountain of additional evidence—much of it evidence presented by the defense in its case in chief.

For the details of Nelson’s cross of Zimmerman I urge you to simply watch the actual testimony, it’s not very long and it’s worth the watch.

Overall, Zimmerman was subject to direct by Frank, cross by (of course) Nelson, and then a very brief re-direct by Frank, all of which can be watched below:


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Hope that the jury is getting fed up with the endless irrelevent testimony from the prosecution team. It's looking more and more like they got nuthin'. This trial could have been wrapped up in a week...not looking at four.
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Haha.....turns out the judge is getting fed up with it. He's limiting the number of officers that can testify as to training and their opinions on what they would have personally done.


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I think the defense attorney is the one who put the two vids side-by-side. He is the one who showed it to the chief and entered it into evidence at the trial (as shown in the twit).


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Not yet. The prosecution is still calling witnesses. Long way to go. Seems like an endless parade of cops and cop trainers.

Today the prosecution questioned the BCA guys and gals (examined and cataloged the evidence in the cars) and the ladies from the lab who tested the pills they found in Floyd's car (meth and fentanyl) and the pills he spit out when he was struggling in the backseat of the cop car (more of the same).

Other interesting development - the defense picked out a phrase Floyd seemed to say while he was struggling that the defense interpreted as " I ate too many drugs" and a BCA guy admitted on the stand that's what it sounded like he said. Then, later on re-questioning from the prosecution, same guy interpreted it as "I ain't do no drugs".

Here: I found an article on it:

Chauvin Defense Attorney Claims Floyd Said 'I ate too many drugs' in Arrest Audio

By Aris Folley - 04/07/21 02:25 PM EDT
Chauvin defense attorney claims Floyd said 'I ate too many drugs' in arrest audio

Derek Chauvin defense attorney Eric Nelson on Wednesday suggested in court that George Floyd could be heard saying he “ate too many drugs” in audio recorded during his arrest last year.

Nelson made the claim while he was questioning Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger, a use-of-force expert brought in by prosecution, during cross-examination.

“I’d like you to see if you could tell me what Mr. Floyd says in this instance,” Nelson said before playing a clip from body camera footage captured of Chauvin restraining Floyd during the May 2020 arrest that preceded his death.

It is difficult to discern what is said in the clip.

“Did you hear what he said?” Nelson then asked Stiger.

“No, I couldn’t make it out,” Stiger responded.

“Does it sound like he says, ‘I ate too many drugs,’ ” Nelson asked before again playing the footage. “Listen again.”

Stiger again stated that he could not “make that out.”

The prosecution did not object to the line of questioning, something that CNN legal analyst Laura Coates said that they should have done immediately.

“Did you hear me from where I am, standing up and pounding on the table to say objection? Because it’s exactly what the prosecution should have done in that moment,” she told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

“The idea that you’re going to introduce testimony through the actual attorneys is not what you’re entitled to do,” Coates said.

At a later point during the trial on Wednesday, Nelson presented the same question to James Reyerson, who serves as a senior special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, after he was called to the stand.

At first, Reyerson, who said he reviewed bodycam footage of Floyd’s arrest to understand what various parties said at the time, denied ever hearing Floyd say those words in the footage he reviewed.

But after Nelson played the same audio from before and reiterated the words, Reyerson said he agreed that Floyd appeared to have said the words.

However, later during Reyerson's testimony, he said he thought Floyd said something else after the prosecution also played a longer clip of the moment for him to provide more context.

“Having heard it in context, were you able to tell what Mr. Floyd is saying there?” one prosecutor asked Reyerson.

“Yes, I believe Mr. Floyd was saying ‘I ain’t do no drugs,’ ” Reyerson said.

The questioning from Nelson came as Chauvin’s defense team has focused on Floyd’s past drug use during the trial.

Earlier on Wednesday, Stiger said he believed Chauvin used "deadly force" on Floyd.

Wednesday marks the eighth day of the trial. The former officer, who drew nationwide scrutiny last year when he was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest that led to his death, currently faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The Hennepin County medical examiner in Minnesota ruled the death a homicide.

Floyd's drug use and alleged opioid addiction have been in the spotlight throughout the trial. Trace amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine were discovered in his body following his death.

Neither was listed as his cause of death.


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(Gonna post a couple of opinion pieces/overviews. Seems there's a lack of much factual day-to-day coverage. That alone hints it ain't going so well for the prosecution..W.T.)

Ann Coulter explains the status of the Derek Chauvin trial

By Andrea Widburg
April 8, 2021
Ann Coulter explains the status of the Derek Chauvin trial

The trial of Derek Chauvin grinds on. Currently, the prosecution is still putting on its case, but it may want to stop doing so before the court is forced to dismiss the case altogether. As Andrew Branca, at Legal Insurrection, explained after the eighth day of the trial, “once again, the defense weaponizes prosecution ‘expert’ witness against the prosecution case.” But if you want the full flavor of the madness in Minneapolis, you must read Ann Coulter’s case summary.

A brief rundown here to orient you: George Floyd, a convicted violent felon, passed a fake $20 bill. When the police arrived, Floyd was clearly under the influence and complaining that he couldn’t breathe. The police tried to get him into the back of their car, at which point he went wild.

Concluding that Floyd was suffering from excited delirium (i.e., a probably drug overdose), Derek Chauvin restrained Floyd in textbook fashion, by placing him on his stomach with Chauvin’s knee across Floyd’s shoulder. The police also called 911 for a paramedic. While all this was going on a crowd gathered, filming what was happening and hurling angry, threatening imprecations at the police. Then Floyd died.

You know the rest: America caught on fire; Black Lives Matter got in the driver’s seat of the American political, social, and economic establishment; every white person who wasn’t bowing to the mob became a racist; Trump was driven from office; and we now have an administration dedicated to “equity,” which means enshrining racism into federal law and regulations, something that’s highly unconstitutional but our quisling Supreme Court probably won’t care.

Meanwhile, the coroner’s report established that Floyd didn’t die from suffocation, but from a massive Fentanyl overdose (on top of the other drugs in his system). Nevertheless, the BLM mob wanted blood. That’s how Chauvin ended up being tried for murdering a man who died from an overdose.

Finally, to spice things up, right before the trial began, Minneapolis handed $27 million over to Floyd’s family. As Shakespeare said, “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it.” Alive, Floyd was worth little; dead, his family is now one of the richest in America and Minneapolis has less money to keep its crime-ridden city safe.

But about that trial. The trial is a show trial and, if the jurors wish to live, the mob has already told them they’d better find Chauvin guilty. The problem is that the prosecution’s witnesses are destroying the case. And no one tells that tale better than Ann Coulter, the master of sardonic snark:

Apparently, no one is watching the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Otherwise, the media couldn’t get away with their spectacular lying to the public about how the prosecution is killing it.
It’s quite the opposite. In fact, in less than a week, the prosecution’s theory of the crime has subtly shifted from MURDER! to “failed to provide what we would say, in retrospect, would be a full and complete duty of care during the one- to three-minute interval between Floyd’s resisting the police to his dying, as a hostile crowd screamed obscenities at the police officers.”
The defense hasn’t even begun to make its case, but the prosecution’s witnesses keep helping Chauvin. (The only exception to the wild media lying is Headline News, where the lawyer commentators go the extra mile by watching the trial.)

Week One was chock-a-block with weeping bystanders wailing about how they felt watching Chauvin restrain Floyd. This would be tremendous evidence if the charge against Officer Chauvin were “first-degree upsetting bystanders.” But that’s not the charge. That’s not even a crime.
You can read the rest here because Coulter’s description of events only gets better. Just wait until you get to her take on Genevieve Hansen, a paramedic and witness. I was laughing out loud as I read it.

Coulter's piece below...


April 7, 2021
by Ann Coulter

Apparently, no one is watching the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Otherwise, the media couldn’t get away with their spectacular lying to the public about how the prosecution is killing it.

It’s quite the opposite. In fact, in less than a week, the prosecution’s theory of the crime has subtly shifted from MURDER! to “failed to provide what we would say, in retrospect, would be a full and complete duty of care during the one- to three-minute interval between Floyd’s resisting the police to his dying, as a hostile crowd screamed obscenities at the police officers.”

The defense hasn’t even begun to make its case, but the prosecution’s witnesses keep helping Chauvin. (The only exception to the wild media lying is Headline News, where the lawyer commentators go the extra mile by watching the trial.)

Week One was chock-a-block with weeping bystanders wailing about how they felt watching Chauvin restrain Floyd. This would be tremendous evidence if the charge against Officer Chauvin were “first-degree upsetting bystanders.” But that’s not the charge. That’s not even a crime.

One especially distraught witness, Charles McMillian, an elderly black man, testified to seeing “foam” coming out of Floyd’s mouth.

QUIZ: Is foam coming out of the mouth a sign of:

a) a head wound?
b) strangulation?
c) a drug overdose?

ANSWER: c) a drug overdose.

Apart from that crucial fact, McMillian’s evidence only pertained to “first-degree upsetting bystanders.” Which, again, is not a crime.

My favorite witness — and the media’s favorite, too! — was Genevieve Hansen, Feminist Hero. She appeared in court in her firefighter dress uniform and a belligerent mood — though not as belligerent as the day Floyd died, when she showed up in sweats and began shrieking at the officers.

The headlines are along the lines of “Firefighter: I Could Have Saved Floyd’s Life, But Police Wouldn’t Let Me.”

Yes, apparently, Genevieve would have invented a time machine, gone back, and stopped Floyd from ingesting three times the lethal dose of fentanyl. I take it back:

Chubby girls make the best firefighters! (Don’t get snippy with me: It’s beyond outrageous that fire departments have abandoned all physical fitness requirements solely in order to hire more women.)

According to Genevieve, the police on the scene unaccountably refused to step aside and take direction from her, despite her full ONE YEAR of experience as a firefighter.

Genevieve was totally on top of the situation. In her statement to investigators shortly after the event, she described Floyd as a “small, slim man.” Floyd was at least 6-foot-4 and weighed 230 pounds. The largest police officer on the scene was Chauvin, coming in at 5-foot-9 and 140 pounds. Genevieve missed nothing!

Even in the calm setting of a courtroom, with no agitated bystanders yelling at her, here are the things Genevieve says she would have done to save Floyd’s life!
In order:
  1. “I would have requested additional help.”
  2. “I would have wanted someone to call 911.”
  3. “I would have asked someone to run to the gas station and look for an AED [a defibrillator].”
Why didn’t the officers think to call for medical backup??? Oh yeah, they already had. Twice. Starting about 10 minutes before Genevieve even showed up.
  1. “I would have checked his airway.”
  2. “I would have been worried about a spinal cord injury.”

As we know from the autopsy, there was no problem with Floyd’s airway or spinal cord. (But, as long as you bring it up, his body did contain three times the lethal dose of fentanyl.)
  1. “I would have checked for a pulse.”

Eureka! Why didn’t — oh wait, the officers had done this, repeatedly, as several bystander witnesses had already confirmed.

By now, Floyd was dead. That’s when she would have started chest compressions.
So Genevieve, the state’s star witness on what the cops did wrong, testified that she would have done pretty much everything the officers did. But she would have been a lot bossier about it.

As much as Genevieve’s one year with the fire department made her an expert on when a police officer should begin chest compressions, the Minneapolis Police Department’s own experts directly contradicted her this week. These were, again, prosecution witnesses.

On Tuesday, Lt. Johnny Mercil, the MDP’s use-of-force trainer, and Officer Nicole Mackenzie, the MPD’s medical support coordinator, testified that it would be appropriate not to provide care to a suspect who had just been fighting with officers, or in the presence of a hostile crowd.

Chauvin had both those circumstances.

Trying to do damage control, the prosecutor asked Officer Mackenzie to define a “hostile” crowd. She said, “a growing contingent of people around, if they’re yelling, being even verbally abusive to those trying to provide scene security.”

Hey — remember those weeping bystanders last week? Their own testimony confirmed that they were “yelling and even being verbally abusive to those trying to provide scene security.”

Donald Williams, for example, the bouncer and MMA hobbyist, admitted to continuously berating the officers — all of which is on tape — calling Chauvin a “****ing bum,” “bitch” and “a ****ing pussy ass bitch.” In one of the tapes, Williams threatens Officer Tou Thao, saying, “I swear I’ll slap the **** out of both of you!”

And of course, there was the lovely Genevieve screeching, “I have your name tag, bitch!

Now you know why prime-time cable suddenly went back to covering COVID vaccination schedules this week.


Veteran Member
George Floyd's Rotten Friends

By Frank Friday
April 8, 2021
George Floyd's rotten friends

The defense turned the tables this week in the Derek Chauvin case, getting the star prosecution witness, the police chief, to admit that the videos appear to show Chauvin kneeling on George Floyds' shoulder blade, not his neck. The prosecution has also paraded a bunch of police witnesses to say knee-on-neck has never been allowed as part of police training, except it most certainly was. Yet another police witness admitted that a knee to side-of-neck pin should render a person unconscious in ten seconds, yet Mr. Floyd famously resisted for nine minutes.

Add to that the autopsy showed bruises not on his neck, but on his shoulders, right where Officer Chauvin is going to insist, and the video shows, he was restraining George Floyd in a distinctly non-lethal place. In fact, a similar kind of knee to the shoulder pin happens every day on high school wrestling mats without fatalities.

So, we have the prosecution witnesses potentially perjuring and gravely contradicting their own case. In a normal trial, that would be enough to find Officer Chauvin innocent of criminal charges. He simply would not have the intent to injure Mr. Floyd.

Some have objected that the defense is confusing the issue by bringing up the crowd distracting the police, saying this shows that the defense is not certain it can prove the police acted by the book, by staying on top of Floyd too long. Well, it certainly looks as though Chauvin and the others lost track of time, partly having to deal with the hostile crowd. But that's a case of civil negligence, not criminal intent.

This is no ordinary trial, and the jurors are being sufficiently frightened to bring in a guilty verdict. BLM is threatening riots if Chauvin is not convicted, and they will likely be worse than those last year.

But this also leads me to what I think is the great untold story so far of the case: the two passengers with Floyd that day and their behavior.

Floyd acted with wild emotion when first confronted by the police but insisted he had not taken any drugs. The police seemed to have acted on this belief, assuming throughout the ordeal that Floyd was some kind of mentally disturbed man having a psychotic episode. Yet the two passengers with Floyd knew better — that he ingested drugs. They often were the ones who sold them to him, according to Floyd's girlfriend.

At no time did either of them, Shawanda Hill or Morries Hall, simply step up to the police and say their friend was a serious drug abuser and probably having an OD. This is crucial, because Minneapolis police routinely give out life-saving naloxone to anyone they think is having a drug overdose.

Apparently, the drugs Floyd took that day came from Mr. Hall, who is refusing to testify, lest he be charged with criminal complicity in Floyd's death.

Instead of helping out their friend when they might easily have done so, these two rotten people quietly watched him die, with the life-saving antidote possibly sitting in the police car next to them, rather than get in trouble themselves for their own petty criminality.

It's not systemic racism or police brutality that plagues America's black communities.

It's the many heartless street characters like Hill and Hall who do so much damage every day. Instead of burning down America's cities this last year, we should have had an honest discussion about the small-time thugs and dealers who keep our poor neighborhoods so indecent, where children are sucked into a cycle of crime, abuse, and violence because of the adults in charge there — adults like Shawanda Hill and Morries Hall.

These are the "friends" of George Floyd.


Veteran Member
Also, forgot to mention last night something else possibly significant that was established yesterday at the trial..

That stream of "liquid" that appears on the pavement in the bystander cell phone video that many folks who've been around dying/immediately dead people or critters have seen more than once? It wasn't urine from a dying Floyd. It was condensation dripping from the car exhaust system.


Veteran Member
The Chauvin Trial So Far

Posted on April 8, 2021
by John Hinderaker
The Chauvin Trial So Far

Here in Minnesota and around the country, all eyes are on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd. We are nearing the end of the prosecution’s case, so this is perhaps an opportune moment to assess what has happened so far. While not listening to every moment of the testimony, I have followed the trial closely. Much could be said, but here are a few big-picture observations:

* The defense got off to a slow start. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s only in-court lawyer, was rather passive during jury selection and, I thought, delivered a sub-par opening statement. But he has gained steam during cross-examination of the state’s witnesses, which he has done skillfully. And the jury has seen him as one fallible man standing against the immense power of the state. This might create sympathy in unexpected quarters.

* The state preemptively showed the officers’ body cam videos that revealed, not just the last minutes while Floyd was being restrained on the street, but the 20 minutes or so that preceded. This was certainly a revelation to most or all of the jurors. Based on their answers during jury selection, they had all seen the famous last nine minutes that were posted on social media by a bystander, but had no idea of how George Floyd, big and strong and out of his mind on drugs, had battled police officers to a standoff, culminating in their acceding to his demand that he lie on the street rather than sit in the back of their squad car while waiting for an ambulance. Jurors also were probably surprised to learn that Floyd had been foaming at the mouth and complaining of not being able to breathe from the moment when officers came on the scene.

* George Floyd’s girlfriend was a key witness. The state tried to present her as a let’s-go-for-a-walk-in-the-park flower child, but it soon became evident on cross-examination that she and Floyd were drug addicts. This was the first time the jury learned that Floyd’s death may have been caused by a fentanyl overdose, not by police officers kneeling on him. In fact, Floyd overdosed on fentanyl in March, just two months before his death, and spent five days in the hospital. Perhaps he took just a little bit more, a fatal overdose, in May.

* The state presented a parade of Minneapolis Police Department witnesses, including the Chief of Police, who threw Chauvin under the bus, alleging that he violated MPD policies in his restraint of Floyd. They were followed by use-of-force expert witnesses.

But how did the jury view this testimony? Jurors may have been surprised to learn that there was nothing wrong with kneeling on Floyd on the street. That was consistent with MPD guidelines, and the experts agreed it was fine. Their complaint is that Chauvin and the others should have gotten off Floyd when he stopped struggling and grew quiet, and should have turned him over on his side. But there is no MPD policy that clearly states this. Rather, the Chief and other witnesses expressed their opinions as to how the broad, general use-of-force policy should be applied in this instance.

* So the state has effectively reduced its claims against Chauvin from nine minutes to four. I am willing to believe that it would have been better practice for Chauvin and the others to get off Floyd at some point, but seriously: failure to get off a guy who is crazed with drugs and has been battling with officers for 15 minutes, and more or less winning, is murder? or manslaughter? I don’t think that is an easy sell.

* Yesterday, a senior official of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified. Nelson’s cross-examination was effective. He brought out the fact that the normal procedure is for the BCA to investigate a crime or alleged crime, and write a report. That report is delivered to the relevant authorities, who then decide whether to bring criminal charges against one or more defendants. But that normal procedure wasn’t followed here. Rather, criminal charges were brought almost immediately against Chauvin and the other officers, while the investigation was just beginning. Charge first, investigate later–that is how things proceeded, under political pressure. Watch for this to be a significant theme in Nelson’s closing argument.

* The other subtext of Nelson’s cross-examination was the sheer power of the state that is determined to destroy his client: 50 BCA officers, 27 FBI agents, 440 reports, hundreds of witnesses interviewed, and so on. Atticus Finch and his client Tom Robinson faced better odds.

* Moreover, embarrassing testimony emerged yesterday. Two vehicles, the SUV in which Floyd, his drug dealer and a woman friend were seated, and the MPD squad car, were impounded and processed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. But white pills in those vehicles were left unchecked. Why? Because the BCA didn’t realize that drugs were a factor in the case. It was only in January, as a result of a request by defense counsel, that the BCA finally identified and tested pills in one of the vehicles that turned out to contain fentanyl–a lethal dose of which was in Floyd’s blood when he died.

So, is there any chance that Derek Chauvin might be acquitted? As you can tell from these notes, I have become sympathetic to his defense. But it is too early to tell what conclusion the evidence will point toward.

The prosecution will conclude its case with expert witnesses on cause of death, the key issue in the case. Did Minneapolis police officers kill George Floyd by kneeling on him, as the local and national press have relentlessly asserted for nearly a year? Or did Floyd die of a drug overdose, with the officers essentially bystanders? The medical evidence on both sides will be critical. We know that when he died, Floyd had something like three times a lethal dose of fentanyl in his system. How will the prosecution try to overcome that fact?

Again, the jury is likely to be surprised. Far from claiming that the officers’ kneeling on Floyd–entirely proper, at least for the first five minutes or so–killed him outright, I expect the prosecution will argue that the officers’ restraint was a contributing factor in the larger context of Floyd’s drug overdose and other health issues. Minnesota law says that a defendant can be guilty of manslaughter or murder if his wrongful conduct was a “substantial causal factor” in the decedent’s death.

When this trial began, I doubt that any juror expected the prosecution to argue that whatever Derek Chauvin did was not the sole cause, or the primary cause, of George Floyd’s death, but rather a “substantial causal factor” along with a fentanyl overdose and other serious health issues. Will the jury be willing to destroy Derek Chauvin’s life and send him to prison on this theory?

That raises, once again, the question of whether Derek Chauvin can possibly get a fair trial. Everyone knows that if the jury doesn’t convict, and probably if it doesn’t convict Chauvin of murder, the city of Minneapolis will go up in flames. This is why the power of the state is arrayed so unanimously against him. Chauvin may have misjudged, may have screwed up, for four minutes on May 25, 2020. But he is being sacrificed to raisons d’État.

Everyone is against him, including his own police department. The three officers who were with Chauvin on May 25, and who also have been charged, presumably won’t testify. Their lawyers will insist that they take the 5th–as, by the way, Floyd’s drug dealer did yesterday. The dealer was with Floyd on May 25 and pled the 5th on the ground that he may be prosecuted for supplying Floyd with the overdose of fentanyl that killed him. But the jury won’t see that.

The trial so far as been the world vs. Derek Chauvin and Eric Nelson. While the “dream team” prosecution has rotated counsel from the Attorney General’s office and various high-priced lawyers from Minnesota and D.C. who are working for free, Eric Nelson, outmanned and outgunned, has stood up alone for his client. Over the last two weeks, he has grown visibly tired and yesterday he lost control over some exhibits through sheer exhaustion. (No one who hasn’t tried a jury case, even one of relatively modest length like the Chauvin trial, can understand what hard work it is.) Maybe the jury will look down on him, compared with the well-heeled prosecution team. Then again, maybe they will relate to a classic underdog story.

The trial’s result likely will come down to the medical testimony on both sides that we have not yet seen. But so far, I think Chauvin’s defense has held its own, and probably has surprised most members of the jury. The political class may have expected to usher Derek Chauvin off to a speedy oblivion for the sake of a greater good, but instead, they have a fight on their hands.