The Problem With Justice In Minneapolis

The death of George Floyd is a tragedy. There is no doubt that he would still be alive if he hadn’t been held down on the ground by the police for as long as he was. However, the autopsy does not give asphixiation as the primary cause of death. So where do we go from here?

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today that might provide some answers.

The article notes:

For one thing, contrary to most people’s assumption, Mr. Floyd appears not to have died from asphyxia or strangulation as Chauvin pinned him to the ground, knee to the neck. Rather, as alleged in the complaint, Floyd suffered from coronary-artery disease and hypertensive-heart disease. The complaint further intimates, but does not come out and allege, that Floyd may have had “intoxicants” in his system. The effects of these underlying health conditions and “any potential intoxicants” are said to have “combined” with the physical restraint by three police officers, most prominently Chauvin, to cause Floyd’s death.

As I’ve noted in a column on the homepage, Hennepin County prosecutors have charged Chauvin with third-degree depraved-indifference homicide. Now that the complaint has been released publicly, we see that a lesser offense was also charged: second-degree manslaughter. This homicide charge involves “culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk” of serious bodily harm, and carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

It is easy to see why prosecutors added this charge (and why they shied away from more serious grades of murder described in my column). The case is tougher for prosecutors if there is doubt about whether Chauvin’s unorthodox and unnecessary pressure on Floyd’s neck caused him to die. Had he been strangled, causative effect of the neck pressure would be patent. But if the neck pressure instead just contributed to the stress of the situation that triggered death because of unusual underlying medical problems (possibly in conjunction with intoxicants Floyd may have consumed), it becomes a harder murder prosecution.

Stay tuned. This is going to get complicated. I believe that the police force was correct to fire the officers involved. However, getting them to pay a more serious price for their abuse of power is going to be difficult. Even with video evidence, they are innocent until proven guilty and have to be convicted ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

 

This Really Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Breitbart posted an article yesterday about what has happened to the crime rates in New York City during the coronavirus lockdown.

The article reports:

While New York City remains under lockdown orders from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, major violent crime continues to soar.

Cuomo implemented stay-at-home orders on March 20 that effectively force the closure of most businesses, except those deemed “essential,” to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Even with the lockdown, major crime categories such as murder, burglary, and auto theft have spiked across New York City.

Over the last 28 days, in the middle of the lockdown, murders in New York City have jumped more than 55 percent compared to this same time last year, when there were no lockdown orders in place.

Between April 13 to April 19, murders increased 100 percent compared to the same week last year. From year-to-date, murders are up by 5.7 percent.

Likewise, grand larceny auto — a crime that no longer warrants bail in New York — has increased more than 53 percent compared to last year. Specifically, there have been 500 charges for auto theft in the last 28 days. During that same time in 2019, there were 326 charges for auto theft.

Actually, I don’t think these numbers are related to the coronavirus at all. The last few paragraphs of the article contain what I believe is the cause of the problem:

The lockdown has dwindled the number of shootings and shooting victims in New York City but the overall year-to-date totals are still up. For instance, the number of shooting victims from January 1 to April 19 has increased 5.5 percent and total shootings have increased 4.1 percent compared to last year.

At the beginning of the year, Cuomo implemented bail reform laws that eliminated bail for suspects accused of second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, third-degree assault, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, and about 100 other crimes.

Simultaneously, Cuomo has ordered the release of thousands of inmates across New York to ensure prisons are abiding by social distancing guidelines. The New York Post has reported that at least 50 of the 1,500 inmates released in New York City have been rearrested for crimes.

When you eliminate bail and let criminals out of jail, bad things happen. The only relationship this has to the coronavirus is that the coronavirus was used as the excuse for letting the criminals out of jail. What is happening in New York City is another example of failed liberal policies.

This Really Isn’t News To Anyone Who Has Been Paying Attention

The New York Post posted an article today about some recent comments by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, New York City’s former chief medical examiner, about the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

The article reports:

“I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide,” Baden insisted on Fox News Wednesday.

“The brother (Mark Epstein) is concerned that if [Epstein] was murdered, then other people who have information might be at risk,” Baden insisted, suggesting powerful players may have been involved in the death.

“If they think he has information, his life could be in jeopardy.”

Baden said there were signs of “unusual” activity “from day one” of the autopsy, saying the wounds were “more consistent with ligature homicidal strangulation.”

The article also notes some rather strange circumstances surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein:

Baden noted two fractures on either side of Epstein’s larynx, and one on the hyoid bone, above the moneyman’s Adam’s apple.

“Hanging does not cause these broken bones and homicide does,” he insisted on Fox. “A huge amount of pressure was applied.”

Baden also called for federal prosecutors to release the findings from DNA samples.

 “They took fingernail clippings to see if there’s anybody else’s DNA on it and that hasn’t been released, neither has information about whose DNA is on the ligature out of torn strips of orange sheets,” he said.

“Whoever made it has to have a lot of DNA on it and the brother has been asking for that from day one.”

He also questioned the supposed “total breakdown in security,” with the “extremely unlikely” coincidences of two guards falling asleep while video cameras in Epstein’s cell and hallway were also not working.

I suspect this is not the last we will hear about this. Hopefully the truth will be revealed eventually.