T Nation

The Derek Chauvin Trial

As a lawyer who spent his first years in criminal defense, I’ve been following this and find it fascinating. I have my own thoughts about where this trial is heading, but I’m really curious as to how you non-lawyers perceive it. What evidence or testimony have you found most convincing (including of course but not limited to the videos)? What is your perception of the attorneys and their lines of questioning? Do you feel the State is carrying its burden, or do you see a realistic possibility of acquittal? Do you worry about the response in your own communities if the jury doesn’t convict?

Haven’t paid recent attention, but was concerned last summer that the charges brought were to satisfy the public and they won’t have enough to meet the criteria of murder 2(?).


When I watch Law and Order and the prosecution gets lots of compelling evidence “in” the defence decides to plea bargain. Or if there is some particularly damaging testimony the defendant decides to make some deal instead of facing the jury.

With the video “In,” the Chief testifying against Chauvin, the Floyd family getting a big settlement and all the news coverage, it just seemed like the defense was up against a lot.

Then for the first week or 6-7 days of the trial it looked like the Prosecution was really making a solid case. Every witness was compelling and believable burying Chauvin.

Seems a battle of one side trying to remove context from the events and one trying to add it back and then add flavour. I’d say the latter is winning this struggle.

Interesting topic if we can keep the craziness at bay. I’ve deliberately avoided as much of it as I can for sanity sake. For this reason I do not feel able to answer the question about most compelling lines of questioning. My perception of the prosecution though, in the little that I’ve seen, is that they’re losing the thread. In other words, not meeting the burden for a murder charge. But then that depends on factors I don’t know about, such as legal definition and ramifications of duty to render care for a PD officer, and how that relates to a charge of murder. So I can’t say I’m sure.

As the little I’ve seen, it would seem to me that acquittal on murder is a possibility - or would be if this were a matter before a judge. With a jury… Who knows. Who knows what kind of pressure they’ll feel, internally or externally.

I’m not super worried about my immediate surrounding city as I am for other cities across the country in the event Chauvin is released.

The prosecution’s evidence is this:

Just look at the mean face Chauvin is making!!! #OMG #BLM #MEANFACE

And then there’s testimony that witnesses thought Chauvin was being mean to them.

It’s a solid case.


While I studied law, I’m not currently fully qualified or practicing, so I count with that caveat.

The body cam footage is a game changer for me, and the toxicology report.

Both about what I expected.

I think there is reasonable doubt now on the causation point, so I think acquittal is a real possibility.

Northern Ireland is always on fire anyway, so I suspect there won’t be much of a change there.

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This is it. The pressure on the jury must be enormous, and lord knows there are plenty of eyeballs on them.

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Certain things I could get behind as civic duty, but this trial I’d be figuring out just about any way I could avoid being picked. No way I want that many eyeballs on me or the threat of doxxing or anything else.

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Between this seeming to be a more likely possibility and Biden’s press conference yesterday, I went ahead and ordered one of these. I wanted one anyway for shits and giggles, but those things kind of gave me the excuse to go ahead.

I still think it is very likely the jury feels compelled to convict no matter what the evidence is. After all, some of these were people willing to lie and say they hadn’t seen the video just to get on the jury… They have an agenda.



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The mean face is definitely a Big part of it.

Especially contrasted with Floyd’s face. Or when dude is making the mean face, being mean, preventing the paramedics from working on Floyd. Or when the 911 operator thought Chauvin’s mean face was so mean she called some other cops on him.

It’s really hard to understand the position that juries are in, what instructions they actually get, or the dynamics that play out within the jury. So frankly, I have no idea what is going to happen here.

Personally, I think the state is struggling to prove causation beyond a reasonable doubt. There also seems to be some doubt getting introduced as to whether or not the actions of Chauvin violated police policy. The prosecution has brought in some experts to argue that he did, but those experts are struggling under cross examination. I would say that it’s only going to get worse for the prosecution since right now we are only hearing from the witnesses they have called. The defense can also call tons of medical and police experts and I think it gets muddier.

Ultimately, the struggle here is between the prosecution trying to keep it simple and the defense trying to make it muddy. And as it drags on, I think it’s getting pretty muddy.

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This. My wife clerked on some high profile cases and she was the one instructing the jury, reporting on jury dynamics to the judge, etc. This part is very underrated in it’s importance.

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I don’t recall this being the case. My understanding has always been that there were no paramedics on the seen during the period when Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd; rather, paramedics had been summoned and were en route. But let me know if I’m mistaken.

Yeah man, first an off duty EMT (Genevive Hansen) begged to help Floyd and Chauvin threatened to mace her. She called 911. And she testified pretty dramatically about it.

Then paramedic Derek Smith arrived and checked Floyd’s pulse while Chauvin was still on top of him. Smith testified he thought Floyd was dead. Then paramedic dude actually had to Shoo Chauvin away. They studied a video/still picture of the moment pretty extensively.

In this pic the brown pants are the paramedic and the blue pants are the former cop.

In this pic paramedic is gesturing for cop to get out of the way.

100%. Not to mention all the pressure. If it were a single judge I might be inclined to hazard a guess but with a jury no way.

My perception personally is that the prosecution is having trouble going beyond a reasonable doubt as you said. But who knows what that actually means with a jury and high pressure.

Same, but I’m much worse off. There’s no jury system here and I completed criminal law just before the 2003 UK reform of the Criminal Justice Act and right after they officially cut ties with the Privy Council lol. Today, nothing makes sense to me anymore.


That’s the “De Niro gangster face”. #capefearshouldhaveswepttheoscars

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I think it’s the, “STFU and go away, people” face. “This guy was saying he couldn’t breathe and foaming at the mouth, way before I touched him.”

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