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Derek Chauvin trial. Death of George Floyd. Guilty on all counts.


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Some thoughts: Police reform is going to be long and hard and fought at every step of the way, especially by the police unions and their political sympathizers, but civilians need control back fr

1 hour ago, Dickies said:

This thread is devolving.... let's not get ourselves banned, folks.

I like to think that, now Trump is out of office, the hypersensitivity has dissipated and they wont ban people for the good natured ribbing we give each other.  They should focus on the really bad hombres, like those that think we should be celebrating Floyd's death and the resulting murder conviction of a police officer.  The Pelosis of the thread, if you will.  

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3 minutes ago, tonydead said:

I like to think that, now Trump is out of office, the hypersensitivity has dissipated and they wont band people for the good natured ribbing we give each other.  They should focus on the really bad hombres, like those that think we should be celebrating Floyd's death and the resulting murder conviction of a police officer.  The Pelosis of the thread, if you will.  

Lol

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

So they found one idiot? Let’s see if anybody does what he wants. I’m betting they don’t. 

The good news in Portland is there will be others.  They are on a 340+ day run now.  

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1 hour ago, da_budman said:

So are these Blakely hearings just normal procedure or does this mean the Judge anticipates the possibility of enforcing a sentence outside the norm for this particular crime or set of crimes and he is making sure it doesnt trample Chauvins constitutional rights?  (as you can tell I read the article and understood it just enough to be dangerous)  

Haha yep you may have stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. 

Blakely is a very important case for reasons I'll state shortly. However, for now, one needs to understand that each jurisdiction lays out sentencing ranges for particular crimes. These ranges may have a presumptive starting point with then a floor and a ceiling that effectively binds a judge from exercising wide discretion or going rogue or whatever. For example, in my jurisdiction, if one is convicted of selling meth (and assuming no enhancements) a defendant faces a range of sentence from 5-15 years with a presumptive sentence of ten. 

Using the meth sales example above, a sentencing hearing will be each side's chance to argue to a judge why he or she should go up or down in the range. Somebody like me will argue "mitigating factors" such as maybe a lack of criminal history, my client's age, whether my client may have been under the influence during the offense, etc. A prosecutor may argue "aggravating factors" such as presence of an accomplice, pecuniary gain, harm to a particular victim, prior convictions, etc. A judge's job is then to weigh and balance these factors and determine an appropriate sentence within the range. So, for example, a judge may agree with defense that the defendant was high when he sold meth and he's young but then also find that the state proved that the defendant had sold drugs before and made a bunch of money. The judge may then find a "tie" (or, more professionally put, that the factors "balance each other out") and sentence the defendant to the presumptive term of ten years. 

 

However, in some states (such as MN), a court can actually go outside these ranges (called "deviation") should the factors justify doing so. 

Prior to the Blakely supreme court case, these aggravating factors and mitigating factors were really kind of whimsically submitted to the court without a real high burden of proof. Blakely held that such a setup was unconsitutional because the state should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the aggravating factors in order the the defendant to get a fair trial and for the judge to use them. Blakely went as far as to permit that a jury should determine these aggravating factors (but for, possibly, a defendant's prior convictions) if a judge intends to consider going outside the statutory ranges.

Now, the above may sound good, but juries obviously have less experience than judges and don't really have a relative basis of comparison as a judge. They also likely don't know the implications of these factors. So, a defendant may waive the right to to a hearing where the state has to prove the factors beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury because a defendant surmises that proof of such will be easy and the jury essentially won't care at that point whereas a judge may find a factor weak or may, in a roundabout way, exercise some discretion and not find a particular factor was proven so that a defendant's sentence is not subject to the high end. Put differently, a judge may determine in his own mind that the ceiling of a particular sentencing range is just grossly unjust regardless of the aggravating factors and refuse to find them so he can justify a lower sentence. 

I only assume that Chauvin's counsel strategized that they'll have a better shot with the judge re aggravating factors and/or that maybe they intend to work out a stipulation as to which would be proven. I suppose it's also possible that the court has somehow tipped its hand that it intends to stay within the range. 

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3 hours ago, the moops said:

Yea I dont know. The host asked if they would run concurrently or consecutively and the attorney clearly said that no, it would just be the 2nd degree murder charge. Maybe he was taking liberty with that wording though. And then went on to talk about how the judge will have to determine whether there were special circumstances of the crime that would justify a lengthier sentence than the guidelines

This is unique to Minnesota and some other jurisdictions (including federal). 

In my state, a judge absolutely cannot go outside the guideline ranges (whether up or down). In contrast, in MN a court can upwardly or downwardly deviate outside the guidelines depending on the court's finding of aggravating or mitigating factors. 

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Blakely/sentencing hearings are normal/required in most cases in jurisdictions where a court can go outside the statutory ranges/guidelines. The fact they discussed it doesn't correllate to whether the court intends to deviate. 

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37 minutes ago, djmich said:

#1.  I think overall there will be at least some, hopefully more than some, focus on positive changes to law enforcement.  But I don't see that as correlated to todays trial result.  Or is it?

I think the result does have an impact mostly due to its high profile.  I believe someone posted a precinct that was making changes because of this trial already. 

 

40 minutes ago, djmich said:

#2.  Do people think this is something other than an independent jury hearing the facts and ending with a verdict?  This outcome fundamentally changes the next trial?  Is it about that police were not-defensive of Chauvin in this case and the thought is that it isn't just the specifics of this case and about more broadly the blue wall showing cracks?  If yes, why now and why the next one.

Good question.  I think this trial will make it more likely for others in that blue wall to crack and hold their peers responsible in the future because that has been EXTREMELY hard to do.  It also makes it more likely that people on a jury may be willing to convict a police officer.  If that happens there will most definitely be changes things in the next trial.  How much it changes things?  Who knows.  But i do think there will be an impact.  And that gives folks hope.  That is why people are celebrating. 

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1 hour ago, Dickies said:

This thread is devolving.... let's not get ourselves banned, folks.

What’s really scary is that it’s devolving yet basically everyone is in agreement that the Jury did the right thing today.  How is that possible?  If we can’t even have a discussion that doesn’t devolve when we generally all agree how the hell are we ever going to institute @rockaction’s excellent reform post.  

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As a person who almost undoubtedly sides with police and who has friends/family in law enforcement....Chauvin being found guilty is the best possible thing for good, moral police officers who KNOW that it's the work/actions of a few officers who ruin the reputation of the profession and put them under the guise of a microscope/scope.  Hopefully the testimonies of his fellow officers will embolden good officers to come forward when the need be.  

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So dumb non-lawyer question here:  He was convicted of three unlawful killing charges.  Would he be sentenced on all three or just the most serious one?  I doesn't make sense to me to be sentenced for all three, considering one person was murdered.  

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1 hour ago, rockaction said:

 

There's also something to be said for individual oversight, namely in the form of protections for those taking video and audio of events. We've seen brutality and property damage happen in situations simply for filming events. People have been arrested, accosted, had their recording devices smashed -- everything under the sun has happened in order that some bad cops may not be caught on video committing heinous acts. What does this mean? On one hand, it means legislatively affirming the right to capture audio and video of police officers. States and localities should have this set in stone in legislation, and should push for police officers, as agents of the law, to undergo compulsory understanding of new legislation so that they cannot feign innocence as to the extent and purpose of these laws.

 

I'll relay my initial with on person body cameras (most agencies use the Axon body camera). I was a first year public defender like 13 years ago. I was assigned to a small justice court in a rural area. I mainly handled just lower level misdemeanors. I got a case where my client was just with just resisting arrest and she did not have a warrant (note: red flag). I showed it to my investigator 0 a former/career cop (they make the best investigators) and he agreed something was up. However, the state made an offer where my client paid a small fine and the case goes away. These agreements are almost always worth taking so I met with my client initially thinking it would be a relatively straightforward and quick resolution.

Essentially, facts are that my client and her mom fired their farmhand but wouldn't let him back on to their property to get their stuff. Farmhand calls for a civil standby and report reads like my client and her mom didn't cooperate and had their dog attack the officer. 

Client demands mom come in to the initial consult. I do my thing and explain rights, offer, etc. I had initially gotten my client's dog out of the impound with a couple of phone calls while she was in jail so she was very happy with me and our report was good. However, pretty quickly in her mom asks me what I'm going to do about the cop punching her in the face. I asked mom to explain and she explained it like she was hit my Mike Tyson and sent to the hospital. 

Now, I had previous dealing with this cop and didn't trust him, but never thought there'd be any basis for him to punch an older woman during a civil standby. I thought maybe he accidentally hit her because the family dog attacked or some such. Either way, I explained it technically wasn't relevant to my client's case any way so while I didn't think I coldly dismissed it or anything, I just couldn't address it. Client nonetheless insists on a trial so we set a trial several months out. 

The initial prosecutor on the case sends me disclosure which consists of just the police report. The report reads like I described above. Report acknowledges an injury to the older woman but not much else. Report claims the family dog attacked the officer and a group scuffle may have ensued which caused the injuries. Regardless, nothing definitive or obvious and - again - my focus is defending the strange resisting arrest charge. I'd also note in AZ that a defendant doesn't have to request any evidence from the state. The state must disclose any possibly exculpatory or relevant evidence regardless of any disclosure or discovery requests made by defense. 

A month or so later a new prosecutor (who is a brand new attorney) gets the case. We are initially friendly and we're chatting about it and I bring up how my client's mom keeps saying she was hit and I still didn't understand the situation. The prosecutor laughs and says, "well yeah that video was crazy." I'm immediately confused and ask "what video?" The new prosecutor, also now confused, asks me whether I watched the on person body camera video. I state no and she explains that this officer was wearing a prototype of the initial on person cameras and the agency was just testing them out (note: they didn't officially use them for several years thereafter). She says she'll send it to me. 

I get the video and sure as #### this officer just walks up and punches a olderish woman in the face because she wasn't complying with his demand to give up items (note: an officer in a civil standby is NOT supposed to dictate whether a person can take an item). I couldn't believe it. Again, I didn't trust this cop and I didn't outright disbelieve the woman but I just didn't think it was realistically feasible. 

Handed a copy of the video over to the woman and she hires a civil attorney and successfully sues. My client's case gets dismissed. None of this comes out but for the body camera. 

Now, I will note that in subsequent many cases - where body cameras are routinely worn - waaaaaay more often than not the on person camera supports the police's version of events. They've helped me demonstrate to stubborn clients that the police's version is probably going to be the one believed by the trier of fact. I consider this a good thing despite the side of the isle I'm on. 

Finally, I'll say a lot of my colleagues weren't a fan of the cameras initially because they are public record and there was some thought that they somewhat invade people's provacy, but the overwhelming consensus is that cameras have probably done more for "justice" than anything since the Bill of Rights and maybe Mapp v. Ohio. 

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13 minutes ago, Thunderlips said:

As a person who almost undoubtedly sides with police and who has friends/family in law enforcement....Chauvin being found guilty is the best possible thing for good, moral police officers who KNOW that it's the work/actions of a few officers who ruin the reputation of the profession and put them under the guise of a microscope/scope.  Hopefully the testimonies of his fellow officers will embolden good officers to come forward when the need be.  

I thought the prosecution did a very good job from what I saw.  After seeing what they presented I expected a guilty verdict.  Drawing that line publicly is a good thing, agreed. 

The Daunte case is much more grey (a horrible, fatal mistake - how is that adjudicated?) or the Toledo case where the gun is visible, then drops and turns in less than a second.  We seem to have quite the gamut here.  One where some sort of negligent manslaughter may apply and one where it's likely the killing is justified.

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1 hour ago, tonydead said:

I mean it's almost as funny as somebody calling people stupid while misspelling stupid. :lol:

You seriously didn’t get it was purposely done?  Oy vey......yet par for the course. 

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3 minutes ago, Sand said:

So dumb non-lawyer question here:  He was convicted of three unlawful killing charges.  Would he be sentenced on all three or just the most serious one?  I doesn't make sense to me to be sentenced for all three, considering one person was murdered.  

This could be jurisdiction specific, but in my jurisdiction he'd receive a sentence on all three but they'd almost certainly run concurrent (together). In other words, just the most serious charge would matter. 

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4 hours ago, The General said:

People who were following this very closely did you have any doubts that he would be found guilty? @NorvilleBarnes you were posting good info frequently, did you have an opinion of what would happen from what you saw?

Not following super closely but watching nightly updates and skimming a bit it seemed pretty obvious this would be the outcome.

I felt pretty certain he would get manslaughter. I just couldn't even imagine not guilty on all counts. And for some reason I thought he would get either 2nd or 3rd degree murder but not both. As a laymen I was always impressed with Eric Nelson's cross examinations of the states witnesses. So I'm completely at peace with the fair representation he got (as opposed to what I imagined some accused get with an overloaded semi-competent public defender).

I hope future trials are televised, along with jury selection. It was certainly eye opening.

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21 minutes ago, djmich said:

I wish she'd explain more clearly why this isn't the system working. I think I understand what she's saying, but damn this is an example of the system working even if you think it a "broken clock is wrong twice a day" scenario.

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9 minutes ago, Shawnky said:

You seriously didn’t get it was purposely done?  Oy vey......yet par for the course. 

Of course that makes it even more funny. Zero self awesome. :lmao:

 

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21 minutes ago, Zow said:

Finally, I'll say a lot of my colleagues weren't a fan of the cameras initially because they are public record and there was some thought that they somewhat invade people's provacy, but the overwhelming consensus is that cameras have probably done more for "justice" than anything since the Bill of Rights and maybe Mapp v. Ohio. 

There were constraints due to length and the hopeful catching of eyes in the original post you quoted, but I can really sympathize with your colleagues' views on the matter. I also feel like there's a huge trade-off between the recording of utterly absurd and disgusting events like you mention, and the state of affairs where everybody decides to record everybody. Everybody recording everything someone does in public feels like a panopticon of the worst devising. So I'm somewhere in-between on the issue of recording, and I'm really reticent to accept the sort of current counter-narrative that believes recording everything that happens in public is fine (as an example, think of along the lines of a TMZ-style theory that everything public is fair game for cameras and to capture that is a definite moral good). I'm not so sanguine about cameras as to dismiss that sort of overweening and potentially destructive outlook. I don't want to live in virtual obeisance to the police because there are no cameras around, but I also don't want a public glass fishbowl whereby we have the impulse to record everyone doing everything. That's not a very free society, either.

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12 minutes ago, Zow said:

I wish she'd explain more clearly why this isn't the system working. I think I understand what she's saying, but damn this is an example of the system working even if you think it a "broken clock is wrong twice a day" scenario.

From the top (Biden) to the middle (Pelosi) to the bottom (waters, aoc)...just bad across the board.

 I had a sliver of hope for Biden.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

These type of discussions IMO, tend to always divide between those who recognize how badly the police have treated black people in this country, and those who pretend that they get treated like everyone else. The examples you’re offering are not relevant. 

You could not be more incorrect.  I LITERALLY confessed my biases.  This is how I know you don't read others' posts, you just post your own thoughts without one iota of context.  Sigh.  With that, I will again leave this cesspool of a forum, which you rule. 

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2 hours ago, Ted Lange as your Bartender said:

Come on man, I don’t even believe that you believe this.

He does. One thing about tim is that he's certainly not given to lying, or hyperbole as a device, even. To hysteria and bad judgment, maybe. ;) But he's very serious about this and has said it many times before.

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9 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

:lmao:  Wait, all these years of misspelling words is on purpose?  Geez

It's got a wring of truth to it. Step incide the circle of trust, won't you?

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13 minutes ago, facook said:

You could not be more incorrect.  I LITERALLY confessed my biases.  This is how I know you don't read others' posts, you just post your own thoughts without one iota of context.  Sigh.  With that, I will again leave this cesspool of a forum, which you rule. 

Whoa there, Bear. I'm the straw the stirs this drink, don'cha know?

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17 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

:lmao:  Wait, all these years of misspelling words is on purpose?  Geez

There’s a crew of you who are your own biggest fans. That’s something I guess. 

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4 hours ago, djmich said:

lol...what the heck?   Link

 

Hmm it's almost like, she sees people as pawns to be used for any given political situation and has trouble masking her contempt for us peons from time to time. 

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1 minute ago, Insein said:

Hmm it's almost like, she sees people as pawns to be used for any given political situation and has trouble masking her contempt for us peons from time to time. 

When you play the fiddle and they dance, why not play the next song?

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2 minutes ago, Shula-holic said:

When you play the fiddle and they dance, why not play the next song?

Great line. Never heard that.

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3 hours ago, Ted Lange as your Bartender said:

Come on man, I don’t even believe that you believe this.

And strictly in terms of achievements and influence over the country as Speaker, I’ll easily take Henry Clay and Sam Rayburn over Pelosi, amongst others.

He doesn't.  It is obvious trolling.

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2 minutes ago, Gilroy34 said:

He doesn't.  It is obvious trolling.

No, he does. Again. I'm serious that he thinks, at least in modern history, she's the greatest Speaker we've had.

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56 minutes ago, Zow said:

I wish she'd explain more clearly why this isn't the system working. I think I understand what she's saying, but damn this is an example of the system working even if you think it a "broken clock is wrong twice a day" scenario.

Her power is derived from reaping the outrage she stokes.  Of course she doesn't admit to the system working - that detracts from her power base.

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9 minutes ago, Gilroy34 said:

He doesn't.  It is obvious trolling.

Tim isn’t trolling.  He’s just prone to hyperbole, hyperbole that he actually believes.  

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Man kills another man.  Man found guilty on all counts.  Man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.  

AOC rushes to say "this isn't justice."  

To some, there will never be enough to be justice.  

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Just now, Zow said:

Haha yep you may have stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. 

Blakely is a very important case for reasons I'll state shortly. However, for now, one needs to understand that each jurisdiction lays out sentencing ranges for particular crimes. These ranges may have a presumptive starting point with then a floor and a ceiling that effectively binds a judge from exercising wide discretion or going rogue or whatever. For example, in my jurisdiction, if one is convicted of selling meth (and assuming no enhancements) a defendant faces a range of sentence from 5-15 years with a presumptive sentence of ten. 

Using the meth sales example above, a sentencing hearing will be each side's chance to argue to a judge why he or she should go up or down in the range. Somebody like me will argue "mitigating factors" such as maybe a lack of criminal history, my client's age, whether my client may have been under the influence during the offense, etc. A prosecutor may argue "aggravating factors" such as presence of an accomplice, pecuniary gain, harm to a particular victim, prior convictions, etc. A judge's job is then to weigh and balance these factors and determine an appropriate sentence within the range. So, for example, a judge may agree with defense that the defendant was high when he sold meth and he's young but then also find that the state proved that the defendant had sold drugs before and made a bunch of money. The judge may then find a "tie" (or, more professionally put, that the factors "balance each other out") and sentence the defendant to the presumptive term of ten years. 

 

However, in some states (such as MN), a court can actually go outside these ranges (called "deviation") should the factors justify doing so. 

Prior to the Blakely supreme court case, these aggravating factors and mitigating factors were really kind of whimsically submitted to the court without a real high burden of proof. Blakely held that such a setup was unconsitutional because the state should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the aggravating factors in order the the defendant to get a fair trial and for the judge to use them. Blakely went as far as to permit that a jury should determine these aggravating factors (but for, possibly, a defendant's prior convictions) if a judge intends to consider going outside the statutory ranges.

Now, the above may sound good, but juries obviously have less experience than judges and don't really have a relative basis of comparison as a judge. They also likely don't know the implications of these factors. So, a defendant may waive the right to to a hearing where the state has to prove the factors beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury because a defendant surmises that proof of such will be easy and the jury essentially won't care at that point whereas a judge may find a factor weak or may, in a roundabout way, exercise some discretion and not find a particular factor was proven so that a defendant's sentence is not subject to the high end. Put differently, a judge may determine in his own mind that the ceiling of a particular sentencing range is just grossly unjust regardless of the aggravating factors and refuse to find them so he can justify a lower sentence. 

I only assume that Chauvin's counsel strategized that they'll have a better shot with the judge re aggravating factors and/or that maybe they intend to work out a stipulation as to which would be proven. I suppose it's also possible that the court has somehow tipped its hand that it intends to stay within the range. 

Thanks for your time explaining this.  Now I can head back over to the Holiday Inn  and wait for a slip and fall so I can better pull off this Lawyer charade and makes  me some money !!!!! 

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1 hour ago, djmich said:

This demonstrates why AOC is NOT a liberal; she is an extremist radical. 
A liberal sees errors in our political system and seeks to change them for the better; a radical believes the system itself can’t be fixed and wants to do away with it. 

AOC can never be satisfied with a just verdict like this because that would be acknowledging that the system can work. 

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1 hour ago, rockaction said:

There were constraints due to length and the hopeful catching of eyes in the original post you quoted, but I can really sympathize with your colleagues' views on the matter. I also feel like there's a huge trade-off between the recording of utterly absurd and disgusting events like you mention, and the state of affairs where everybody decides to record everybody. Everybody recording everything someone does in public feels like a panopticon of the worst devising. So I'm somewhere in-between on the issue of recording, and I'm really reticent to accept the sort of current counter-narrative that believes recording everything that happens in public is fine (as an example, think of along the lines of a TMZ-style theory that everything public is fair game for cameras and to capture that is a definite moral good). I'm not so sanguine about cameras as to dismiss that sort of overweening and potentially destructive outlook. I don't want to live in virtual obeisance to the police because there are no cameras around, but I also don't want a public glass fishbowl whereby we have the impulse to record everyone doing everything. That's not a very free society, either.

The thing about police-worn videos is, if used properly, they record the complete interaction between the officer and the citizen.  That provides a full picture of how a particular situation escalates, rather than a recording from a bystander that just begins in the middle or end of the situation.  When this subject comes up while I'm teaching the police recruits, I always point out that if you're doing what you are supposed to, then this is what will justify your actions and keep you free.  In the case Zow described, the officer clearly did not do the right thing, and the camera recorded that too.

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1 minute ago, LoveMuscle said:

The thing about police-worn videos is, if used properly, they record the complete interaction between the officer and the citizen.  That provides a full picture of how a particular situation escalates, rather than a recording from a bystander that just begins in the middle or end of the situation.  When this subject comes up while I'm teaching the police recruits, I always point out that if you're doing what you are supposed to, then this is what will justify your actions and keep you free.  In the case Zow described, the officer clearly did not do the right thing, and the camera recorded that too.

Indeed. But I don't trust police to use their equipment properly or not sabotage it once the policing actions are undertaken. For now, we should have bystander cameras unless all police feeds are on auto-capture at a central site. Too often the refrain from the unions about the camera footage is that "it was unable to be taken," or that it somehow "cut out" during the crucial parts of the claim, or that it was "lost" in transit back to the station or in the evidence lab. Way too many times we were hearing that when cops first started being recorded in the late aughts.

Those mysterious gaps in recording and evidence stretch credulity. Better to have legislation granting the explicit right to record cops rather than relying on their self-restraint and self-reporting. We've seen them caught in enough egregious lies to where they and their unions can no longer be trusted. The watchful eye wins the day, and is needed for policy.

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28 minutes ago, timschochet said:

This demonstrates why AOC is NOT a liberal; she is an extremist radical.

Not extremist enough to not be a Democrat. She's not even Sanders. She's a full-blown D. And Sanders caucuses with the 'Crats and runs for president. Nice party of commies you've got there.

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7 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

Not my area, but:

Dressed in a gray suit, Chauvin eyes darted left as the judge announced that he was convicted of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 75 years in prison when he returns for sentencing in eight weeks.

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.

 

He also tried to plea to 3rd degree murder on federal charges, and serve 10+ years.

 

Even if the judge gave him the max - the sentences would run concurrently - so 40 is the max.

Un-educated guess - he gets 20 years.

 

He’ll get more.  I’ll guess 30.  

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7 hours ago, timschochet said:

Any rioting news? I haven’t seen anything. 

Why would anyone riot if he got convicted?

I’m not one that understands the difference of degrees of charges but good to see this dummy held accountable. 

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  • NorvilleBarnes changed the title to Derek Chauvin trial. Death of George Floyd. Guilty on all counts.

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