News Round-Up: June 11, 2021

(screen capture via dash camera footage)

Some news items you might have missed:

USA Today: An Arkansas woman says she had no safe place to pull over in July 2020 when a state trooper tried to stop her for speeding, so she turned on her hazard lights and slowed down. Moments later, the officer rammed her vehicle, causing it to flip over and injuring the woman, who was pregnant at the time, according to a lawsuit filed in May.

Washington Post: Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly subpoenaed Apple for the data of two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the data of their current and former staffers and family members, in an aggressive push by the Trump administration to determine who was leaking classified information to the news media, according to a committee official.

CNN: Darnella Frazier was honored by the Pulitzer Prize Board today “for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”


New York Times: During a recent visit to Argentina by the prime minister of Spain, President Alberto Fernández tried to connect with his guest by paying (xenophobic) homage to Argentina’s European immigrant heritage. “Mexicans emerged from Indigenous people, Brazilians emerged from the jungle but we Argentines arrived on boats. On boats from Europe.” #SwingAndMiss

Raw Story: A Proud Boy charged with taking part in the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building January 6 requested pre-trial release from jail claiming ‘chronic back pain.’ But according to prosecutors, his back pain didn’t stop him from wielding an axe handle against Capitol Police officers.

Twitter: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is calling out corporations who are flaunting their support for Pride Month while they also donate to the campaigns of anti-LGBTQ politicians.

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Charges


Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer has been convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin was captured on video last May kneeling on the neck of Floyd during the course of an arrest until he lost consciousness and died.

From the New York Times:

After deliberating for about 10 hours over two days following an emotional trial that lasted three weeks, the jury found Mr. Chauvin, who is white, guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of Mr. Floyd, a Black man, on a street corner last year on Memorial Day.

Mr. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in the coming weeks but is likely to receive far less time. The presumptive sentence for second-degree murder is 12.5 years, according to Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, although the state has asked for a higher sentence.

Read the full article here.

Derrick Johnson, CEO and president of the NAACP, issued this statement:

“While justice landed Derek Chauvin behind bars for killing George Floyd, no amount of justice will bring Gianna’s father back. The same way a reasonable police officer would never suffocate an unarmed man to death, a reasonable justice system would recognize its roots in white supremacy and end qualified immunity. Police are here to protect, not lynch. We will not rest until all in our community have the right to breathe.”

#Justice

Verdict Reached In Derek Chauvin Trial

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (screen capture)

The jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with manslaughter and murder charges for the death of George Floyd, has reached a verdict in less than a day.

The verdict will be read at 4:30 pm ET.

From NBC News:

The panel of seven women and five men began deliberating Monday after three weeks of witness testimony.

Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The third-degree murder charge had initially been dismissed, but it was reinstated after an appeals court ruling in an unrelated case established new grounds for it days before jury selection started.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years. Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years.

Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd, who was Black, was handcuffed and lying on the ground.

During the trial, prosecutors called 38 witnesses. The defense called seven witnesses, two of whom were experts.

Derek Chauvin Invokes 5th Amendment Declining To Testify

Former police officer Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify in his own defense
Former police officer Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify in his own defense
Former police officer Derek Chauvin (screen capture)

Unsurprisingly, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin invoked his 5th Amendment right to not testify

From the New York Times:

Nearing the end of the defense’s case, Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, asked Mr. Chauvin whether he would like to testify in his own defense.

Mr. Nelson said he and Mr. Chauvin have had repeated conversations on the matter, including a “lengthy meeting” Wednesday night. Mr. Chauvin, who removed his mask to answer Mr. Nelson’s questions, chose to waive his right to testify.

The judge questioned Chauvin to make sure that he made his decision not to testify on his own in order to prevent any later claim that he was ill-advised by his defense.

Testimony in the case has now concluded and closing arguments will be presented on Monday.

Officer Charged With 2nd Degree Manslaughter In Shooting Of Unarmed Black Man

Kim Potter, who shot and killed Duante Wright, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter
Kim Potter, who shot and killed Daunte Wright, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter
L-R Kim Potter, Daunte Wright

CBS News reports that Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, will be charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Potter, a 26-year veteran who killed Wright, 20, resigned on Tuesday, along with the city’s police chief, officials said.

Wright’s killing has sparked nights of protests and more than 60 arrests were made overnight following clashes with law enforcement, CBS Minnesota reported.

On Monday, Police Chief Tim Gannon said Potter meant to use her Taser but instead grabbed her gun. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the fatal shooting.

Potter was reportedly taken into custody this morning at 11:30 a.m.

The charge of second-degree manslaughter has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Many have questioned how a 26-year veteran police officer could confuse a gun and a taser which, according to reports, feel, look, and weigh very differently.

“Tasers are often produced in bright colors, or with neon accents, to distinguish them from pistols,” reports the New York Times. “The Brooklyn Center Police Department manual cites the Glock 17, 19 and 26 as standard-issue for the department. All three pistol models weigh significantly more than a typical Taser.”

Police On Latest Killing Of Black Man: Officer Meant To Fire Taser, Not Gun

Stock photo of a crime scene

Stock photo of a crime scene

In the aftermath of a Black man being fatally shot on Sunday during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, the police chief told reporters the officer meant to fire a Taser – not her handgun.

I kid you not.

From APNews:

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as “an accidental discharge.” It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant.

The shooting sparked violent protests in a metropolitan area already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.

“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer is heard shouting on her body cam footage released at a news conference. She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.

After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”

Read the full article.

Officer Charged In George Floyd Murder Seeks To Block Evidence Of Prior Neck Restraints

L-R George Floyd (screen capture), Derek Chauvin (mug shot)

The former police officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until Floyd lost consciousness and died is asking that evidence of prior use of similar restraints be blocked from being introduced by prosecutors.

From the Washington Post:

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee at George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes and is now charged with his murder, has asked the judge in his case to block prosecutors from introducing evidence of his allegedly having used similar neck and body restraints on other suspects.

Chauvin’s lawyer argues in new court documents that his “use of force” in those cases was legal and cleared by police supervisors.

Prosecutors have said they want to cite eight incidents from Chauvin’s 19-year career as a Minneapolis police officer to show a pattern of excessive force and behavior similar to the Memorial Day encounter that left Floyd dead.

Prosecutors want to include four cases from 2014 to 2019 in which they claim Chauvin restrained suspects “beyond the point when such force was needed.”

Read more at the Washington Post.

Seattle Police Officer Rides Over Protesters Head

To all the many, many good cops out there – this doesn’t help anything.

From the New York Post:

A Seattle cop was filmed rolling his bicycle over a man’s helmeted head as he lay down on the street during violent Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the decision not to charge cops for Breonna Taylor’s death.

The dungaree-wearing protester — called “trumpet man” by others in the crowd — was shown prone on the ground more than once as groups of bike cops pushed the mob back after declaring the march an unlawful protest.

As the officers advanced another time, one appeared to have had enough — and steered his bike’s wheels over the protester’s white safety helmet, according to a CJTV Media live stream. The officer — who was walking the bike at the time — then appeared to use it to hit another man to stop him getting too close.

Seattle police said it was “aware” of the video.