Here it comes! Dershowitz: Conviction of Chauvin should be reversed on an appeal

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN– On Tuesday, April 20th, defense attorney and Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz stated that the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd should be overturned on an appeal because of the public intimidation of the jury and the judge’s refusal to sequester the jury.

In his statements, Dershowitz noted what he detailed as “outside influence” from people like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who encouraged the civil unrest at a protest in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, if there was no murder conviction in the case. 

On Tuesday, April 20th, Chauvin was convicted of all the charges in the case: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Dershowitz stated:

“What was done to George Floyd by Officer Chauvin was inexcusable, morally. But, the verdict is very questionable because of the outside influences of people like Al Sharpton and people like Maxine Waters.”

He added:

“Their threats and intimidation and hanging the sword of Damocles over the jury and basically saying if you don’t convict on the murder charge, on all the charges, the cities will burn, the country will be destroyed, seeped into the room because the judge made a terrible mistake by not sequestering the jury.”

Dershowitz continued:

“So, the judge himself said, this case may be reversed on appeal. And I think it might be reversed on appeal. I think it should be reversed on appeal.

I think the American Civil Liberties Union, which would be all over this case if it weren’t a racially-charged case, all Americans who care about due process and liberty should be concerned that the jury verdict may have been influenced by, if not, the thumb, maybe even the elbow of the outside pressures, the fears, the threats.”

He stated:

“Every juror in that room knew about those threats and when they sit and deliberate, they have to be saying themselves, consciously or unconsciously, if I were to render a verdict other than a murder verdict, what the consequences will be, for me, and my family, my friends, my business.”

He added:

“That should never, ever, be allowed to seep into a jury room. So, I have no real confidence that this verdict, which may be correct in some ways, but I have no confidence that this verdict was produced by due process and the rule of law, rather than the influence of the crowd.”

Dershowitz also said that after exhausting appeals at the state level, the case will “go to the United States Supreme Court,” which he states holds the “best possibility” of overturning the conviction, based on the judge’s own reaction to Water’s comments.

Judge Peter Cahill blasted Waters on Monday, April 19th, for her remarks that there should be unrest if the jury fails to convict Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

Cahill was responding to a motion by Chauvin’s defense lawyer, Eric Nelson, to declare a mistrial after closing arguments because of Water’s comments. 

Cahill denied the motion, but agreed that Water’s remarks were so egregious that they created grounds for possible appeal if Chauvin is convicted of murder or manslaughter.

Dershowitz stated that President Joe Biden was not wrong, legally, to comment on the case once the jury had been sequestered, though there was a risk in raising expectations of a conviction in the event that Chauvin had been acquitted.

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Unhinged: Vandals leave pig’s head, smear blood on former home of Derek Chauvin defense witness

April 19th, 2021

SANTA ROSA, CA – Vandals left a pig’s head at the former home of a use-of-force expert who testified on behalf of the defense in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

Pig blood was also smeared on the home in  Santa Rosa, just north of San Francisco.

The home once belonged to Barry Brood, a retired Santa Rosa police officer who now consults on use-of-force tactics. Brood testified during Chauvin’s trial last week.

According to the Santa Rosa Police Department, vandals dressed in black smeared pig blood on Brodd’s former residence on Saturday at about 3 a.m. The vandals woke the residents, who called police as the vandals fled.

A statement released by police stated:

“Officers arrived to find the front of the victim’s house smeared with what appeared to be animal blood and a decapitated pig’s head near the front porch.

The vandalism to the victim’s house exceeded $400 making the crime committed by the suspects a felony vandalism.  The victim’s house was the previous residence of Mr.Barry Brodd. 

“Mr. Brodd recently testified for the defense in Minneapolis Police Officer Derrick Chauvin’s trial. It appears the suspects in this vandalism were targeting Mr. Brodd for his testimony.

Mr. Brodd has not lived at the residence for a number of years and is no longer a resident of California. Because Mr. Brodd no longer lives in the city of Santa Rosa, it appears the victim was falsely targeted.”

About 45 minutes after the residence was vandalized, a large statue of a hand in front of the Santa Rosa Plaza Mall was also smeared with pig’s blood.  

The suspects also left a sign in front of the statue which had a picture of a pig and read “Oink Oink.”

The suspects were seen fleeing the area and matched the descriptions of the suspects who vandalized the house.

The Santa Rosa Police Department was concerned over potential reactions to Brodd’s testimony during the trial and tried to distance itself from him.

On April 13, following Brodd’s testimony, Santa Rosa Police Chief Rainer Navarro issued a statement:

“We are aware of former Santa Rosa Police Officer, Barry Brodd, providing testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial. Mr. Brodd has not been employed by the department since 2004. His comments do not reflect the values and beliefs of the Santa Rosa Police Department.”

Brodd testified last week in Chauvin’s trial, saying the former Minneapolis police officer was “justified” in his use of force against George Floyd, who died in police custody last May.

Brood was the first witness to say Chauvin followed proper police procedure when he placed his knee on Floyd’s neck:

“I felt that Officer Chauvin’s interactions with Mr. Floyd were following his training, following current practices in policing and objectively reasonable.”

Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Closing arguments at the trial began this morning.

Police have not announced any arrests in the Santa Rosa criminal mischief incidents and said the suspects face felony vandalism charges because the damage to the house exceeded $400.

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Some accuse city of ‘violence baiting’ as Minneapolis prepares for trial of former officer Derek Chauvin

March 4, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Minneapolis looks like a city preparing for an invasion as it prepares for the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.

Some are calling the massive preparations “violence baiting.”

The preparations throughout the city include barricades, barbed wire, fences, concrete barriers, and even a moat with razor wire.  Offices and stores have boarded up their windows in anticipation of rioting and looting depending on the outcome of the trial.

The city had contracted help from surrounding cities, with over 1,000 armed law enforcement officers from dozens of agencies, 2,000 National Guard troops, and an army of grief counselors and trauma counselors.

Government buildings including Minneapolis City Hall and the Hennepin County Government Center have been fenced off from the public. Citizens must be cleared through a gate to access the buildings.

https://twitter.com/osidosy/status/1366174695402442752

Former Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Mariarty said the public is going to see the preparations as a message:

“It’s upsetting to see all the wire and I think many members of our community view it as some kind of a reflection on them. Some perceive it as a message on how they [the city] think the verdict is going to come out. I wonder what message they are trying to send when the majority of the public protest was peaceful.”

Nekima Levy Armstrong of the Racial Justice Network called the preparations “disturbing”:

“It is highly disturbing that City, County and State officials would go to such extreme lengths to limit our right to peaceably assemble outside of the Hennepin County Government Center.

“We do not believe the police will be here to protect the people. White Supremacists flooded the Twin Cities. They terrorized people in North Minneapolis, shot at and shot Black people, and they were not held accountable.”

Other activists said the city was trying to make protesters appear violent. Michelle Gross of Communities United against Police Brutality said at the recent press conference:

“It is outlandish that they are encircling themselves in barbed wire, in fences. They are more afraid and concerned with the people than they are with police violence.

“They want to make it seem like the protesters are violent and that they are the problem, not the police violence that led to the protest. What they should do is put this razor wire around the precinct so they can keep the cops inside who are brutalizing us.”

City leaders, however, say the preparations are warrant and appropriate considering the violence seen last summer in the city following the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

With jury selection in the trial set to begin on March 8, city leaders are concerned about another round of violence and riots.

During a meeting with councilmembers on February 26, City Coordinator Mark Ruff said he was hoping for peaceful protests, but the city could not depend on hope:

“Our hope is that the number of days we need these officers will be very short, that it will be a trial where there is peaceful expression of First Amendment rights and not destruction or other types of illegal activities that would require these officers to be around for numerous days.” 

 

 

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