The Minnesota prosecutor in charge of investigating the death of George Floyd said today in a press conference that while the video of the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck is horrific, there’s other evidence that doesn’t support a criminal charge against the officer.
NEW: Minnesota prosecutor says video showing George Floyd's death is "terrible" but says there's "other evidence that does not support a criminal charge" pic.twitter.com/X3hzxQJtfe
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 28, 2020
Freeman, the county attorney, was answering a question as to why the officer hadn’t been charged with a crime yet. He replied that it violates his ethics to discuss the evidence before they announce their charging decision, but then said:
“I will say this. That video is graphic, horrific and terrible and no person should do that. But my job in the end is to prove that he violated a criminal statute. And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to wade through all of that evidence to come to a meaningful determination and we are doing that to the best of our ability.”
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what that evidence is because the video looks bad. But this is why we say don’t jump to conclusions. As Cranky T-Rex reminds us:
Remember, Mike Brown absolutely had his hands up when he was shot. Zimmerman stalked Trayvon because he was black against explicit orders to stay in his car. Nick Sandmann was blocking the way of a Native American vet. Until it wasn't the case.
— Inconspicuous Rex (@CrankyTRex) May 28, 2020
In very much related news, Amy Klobuchar, who was once had Michael Freeman’s job and may be Biden’s VP choice, reportedly declined to prosecute the officer at the center of the Floyd’s death despite numerous complaints against him:
DAILY WIRE – Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) declined to prosecute the police officer who is at the center of the death of George Floyd over previous conduct complaints while she was a prosecutor in Hennepin County, which includes most of Minneapolis, according to a report from The Guardian.
Floyd died on Monday after an arrest that involved four Minneapolis police officers. One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, appeared to have his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd said that he could not breath.
“Between 1999 and 2007, Klobuchar, the state’s then top prosecutor, declined to press charges against more than a dozen officers accused of killing civilians,” The Guardian reported. “In 2006, Chauvin was one of several officers involved in the shooting death of a man who stabbed others before turning on the police.”
Klobuchar “did not prosecute and instead the case went to a grand jury that declined to charge the officers with wrongdoing in 2008.”
WXII 12 News reported that Chauvin “had 18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs.”
Again, we don’t know what the evidence is that Freeman is suggesting may vindicate the officer. Also, it may be that Klobuchar made the right decision given that the grand jury didn’t seek to charge Chauvin and the other officers with any wrongdoing. I’m not trying to say one way or the other given that I don’t know the details of those past cases. I mention it only because it’s possible there could be blowback for her if this thing goes south for Chauvin in the end.