The death of George Floyd last May during an arrest for a minor crime, propelled what had been a local crime story (i.e. something that unfortunately happens quite often but without notice) into yet another flashpoint in the ongoing racial and cultural wars our country and much of the world is going through. To be certain the viral video of Floyd being restrained by former police officer Derek Chauvin was hard to watch. It was also probably the first time a lot of people, who live otherwise sheltered lives, had witnessed the death of someone right before their eyes, as well as the grim reality of how, as Daily Wire commentator Andrew Klavan mentioned, “messy police work can be and what we are actually asking police officers to do.”
The death sparked off weeks of riots in Minneapolis and Saint Paul here in Minnesota, as Black Lives Matter (BLM)-fomented mobs, Antifa, and privileged suburban white kids who decided to live-action role play some fictitious game in their heads like, Rioters and Revolutionaries, who burned and looted parts of the two cities to the tune of billions of dollars of damage and dozens of deaths. Of course the riots and protests happened during our state's Covid lockdowns, and thus made a volatile situation even worse as racial, cultural, economic, and of course pandemic politics all came together in a civil conflagration whose effects, as I have written elsewhere, are still being felt today.
After failing to handle the unrest in any sort of useful way, Governor Tim Walz made sure that the security surrounding the trial of Derek Chauvin, which began on March 8th, would be better handled. Barricades and razor-wire were placed around the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis where the trial would take place, and weeks earlier, during the jury selection process, police were scanning social media looking for any signs of trouble.
Then, during the final week of the trial, the accidental shooting of a young black man named Duante Wright who was resisting arrest during a traffic stop in the northern suburbs of Brooklyn Center, set off more riots that BLM and their accomplices in the mainstream media used to heighten the already elevated tension surrounding the Chauvin trial. Sardonically enough, some of the stores that were burned and looted in last year’s riots, were once again struck by rioters looking for that ever-elusive “racial justice” among Nike shoes and cellphones. The Governor enacted a curfew for the Metro area for the next few days, as stores across the affected area started boarding up their windows in preparation for the worst as the end of the trial drew near.
The closing arguments were made on Monday April 19th and the jury began deliberating the next day and after less than ten hours, it was announced that the jury had reached a verdict and they would announce around 3:30pm local time. In Minnesota a jury must be unanimous in their verdict to convict, so the fact that the jury had asked the judge for no further clarifications and returned with a verdict so soon, could only mean that they would either acquit Chauvin (due to a hung jury) or convict him on all counts.
I was at work at the time and the store where I work was empty, as were the streets out front. The Walmart next door had closed early and police cars could be seen driving through the lots. Needless to say the moment was tense. Then it was announced that the jury had found Chauvin guilty of one count of unintentional second degree murder, one count of third degree murder, and one count of second degree manslaughter. And just like that it was over, no rioting, no looting, no more violence in the streets. Life on the streets returned to normal as I finished my shift and went home after giving a coworker a ride home.
As I walked up to my house, I looked up and saw a Blackhawk helicopter fly by. It had been patrolling over downtown Saint Paul when the verdict was announced and was returning to its nearby home field. I felt more exhausted then relieved, but deep down I knew that while we had dodged an incendiary bullet for the time being, this issue and the tensions that had been stoked up about it are far from over, for a few critical reasons.
A Tale of Two Trials
Just as the thought and opinion shaping institutions of the Media, Education, Entertainment, and Tech Industry (what has been referred to as the MEET complex), did every thing it could to shape and sway the 2020 Presidential election, it worked double time to ensure the “right” outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial. The “complex” made sure that only BLM’S jaundiced view of the world colored the way the trial was covered, portrayed, and even received by the public, and only that view.
This is why it was clear to most Americans they had they were watching two different trials. One trial was the physical trial over the legality of one police arrest, out of the more than 10 million that occur each year across America, and how Derek Chauvin’s actions as an officer coincided with state and federal laws. On the other side was the metaphysical trial over the death of a black man at the hands of a white police office and how that incident coincided with the unwritten laws of critical race theory, notions of systematic racism, and social or racial justice.
This is why the mainstream media spent an inordinate amount of time on testimony that had no probative value whatsoever, such as from the woman who filmed the original video of Floyd’s death as she caterwauled about how it affected her sleep pattern or the MMA instructor who made the 911 call used loaded terms like “kill choke” to describe Chauvin’s actions. Meanwhile if you were following the trial live or on sites like Legal Insurrection, which offered up daily and very detailed analysis of the trial by a team of legal experts with differing opinions, it was not hard to see that whatever you thought of Chauvin, from a legal point of view, there was more than enough room for reasonable doubt about the exact cause of Floyd’s death. Of course, rarely did these two trials ever meet and in the end the people "saw" the trial that fit most comfortably into their preexisting worldview.
Was the Trial Truly Fair?
As has been discussed elsewhere at great length, there is a very real and well-substantiated debate (again from a legal standpoint) about whether the trial was fair. The MEET complex learned from the cowardly inaction by public officials during last year’s riots, that if they cried racism enough times, they would face no consequences for any of their attempt to what would be seen in any rational world, to sway a trial. Such things include,
1. Not moving the trial to a different location.
2. Not sequestering the jury.
3. The City of Minneapolis paying out $27 million to the Floyd family in a wrongful death settlement before the trial.
4. Judge Peter Cahill allowing the 3rd degree murder charge back into the trial after it had been discounted because according to state law, it didn’t really apply to the case.
5. Judge Cahill threatening a mistrial when the prosecution attempts to introduce last minute evidence, and when they do, he lets it slide.
5. There were several attempt throughout the trial to reveal the identities of the jurors and eventually a severed pigs head was left at the former residence of a defense witness who said that Floyd’s death was accidental.
6. Rep. Maxine Waters inserting herself into the Brooklyn Center protests for one night to call for protestors to “stay in the streets” if Chauvin was not found guilty. After which Judge Cahill said her comments could be grounds for a mistrial, but still did nothing.
7. President Biden calling the Floyd family and “praying” for the “right verdict” in the trial.
All of these incidences, in part or in total, have in the past been grounds for a mistrial. However, with the pressure from the mobs out rioting in the streets, it is likely that everyone involved simply wanted to wash their hands of this case out of fear of harm to their reputations or their safety. In fact, one of the alternate jurors admitted as much in a recent interview. All of this will certainly be taken into account as Chauvin’s defense team prepares their appeal, as well as in the preparation for the August trial of the other three police officers who were involved in the incident.
It was Never About Justice or George Floyd
All year I have seen signs all over the place in people’s yards, on bumper stickers, in store windows, and even on people’s face masks, “Justice for George Floyd.” Now that Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges it would seem that justice has been achieved. But of course to no one’s surprise, it turns out that that desire for justice was all a lie, as BLM and the MEET complex have now said that a guilty verdict in the trial was not enough, it isn’t justice, and that as always there is still more to do.
Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison said that “I would not call today's verdict justice...but it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice." Governor Tim Walz said that, “my fear is everybody packs up and we think we've got this. As I've been saying, this is the floor. This is the very basic floor of what should be done”, before going on to list a whole host of standard progressive talking points that still need to be worked on before life will improve for black Americans. And of course there was President Biden and his minder Vice President Harris when they addressed the nation after the verdict to say that, “We can’t stop here” and that the “verdict brings us a step closer and the fact is, we still have work to do. We still must reform the system.” Which of course hints at Federal agencies taking a stronger stand on local law enforcement, as has already begun with the DOJ ordering an investigation into the Minneapolis police department.
All of this should go to show that no matter what you are told by BLM or the media or government officials about systematic racism and the need for reforming “the system”, it should never be taken at face value. The goal post is always being moved and there is always one more request for conversations and change. This is the way it has always been with the Left’s long marches through the institutions and the culture, to play the long game that is not about justice, equality, or even giving one iota of concern for the lives of black people, but to impose their single unifying vision on the country.
And So it Begins...
Last year’s riots were reminiscent of the 1992 L.A. riots which followed in the wake of the Rodney King trial, which coupled with the O.J. Simpson murder trial were certainly watershed moments in American race relations in the latter half of the 20th century. It was the first time many Americans got their first whiff of critical race theory and all of its intersectional offspring, as the Benjamin Crump of the time, Johnny Cochrane, used race and rhetoric to allow a man to get away with a gruesome murder in order to make a point about police corruption- which to be fair was very real in Los Angeles.
What we have witnessed in the Chauvin trial is the ultimate culmination of the same racialized worldview that colored the King and Simpson trials. Worldviews that have continuously morphed and ossified into rigidly abstract theories about the races that place no importance on the individual choices and actions people make, but instead are viewed as a collective. After all, at no point during the trial was Derek Chauvin ever accused of being personally racist, and in fact the issue was not brought up as a mitigating factor. And yet the whole trial was portrayed as symbolizing the racial injustice endured by black and brown people in America. Moreover, the outcome of this trial is going to be used to dictate public policy, police reform, school cirricula, and even what we are going to be allowed to watch and say online.
A few weeks ago, I went down to visit the Free State of George Floyd or the George Floyd autonomous zone in Minneapolis. It was an area of a few blocks that was barricaded off and was filled with signs, painting, shrines, and all manner of displays about the death of George Floyd. On one wall I saw mural painted that said “You Changed the World, George!” Looking back over the trial and the kind of political and cultural changes that bound to come with the full force of government, the MEET complex, and an abundant supply of violent rioters behind it, this mural is the one sign in the whole place that unknowingly stated a plain truth. George Floyd’s death did and is going to change the world. The question is whether it will be for good or ill, and to what degree. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether or not we can weather it, and as I have said before before, prepare yourself accordingly.
Photo Credit- the feature image was taken by the author on the ground at the George Floyd autonomous zone.