The Nation: I can’t offer an assessment of how the Derek Chauvin trial is going. I saw Chauvin murder George Floyd with my own eyes, and no amount of white cop-speak can gaslight me out of that reality. I can’t pretend to get inside the headspace of somebody who has an “open mind” about whether choking a Black person to death on the street is a crime. I can’t really assess the effectiveness of the prosecution’s ongoing case, or grade the defense’s strategy, because I’m not the audience for any of this. For me, catching snippets of this trial has been like catching snippets of an Easter homily: I’m sure this is for somebody, but it ain’t for me.
But I can spot what is different about this trial from all the other ones in which cops are tried for killing Black people. On Friday, Richard Zimmerman, Chauvin’s former supervisor and the current police lieutenant, testified for the prosecution and called Chauvin’s actions “totally unnecessary.” On Monday, the Minneapolis Police Chief, Medaria Arradondo, testified for the prosecution against Chauvin, and said that Chauvin “absolutely” violated police protocols. Over the course of this week, the prosecution will put additional cops on the stand and offer evidence from police training videos, which will all show that Chauvin acted outside standard police procedure during his homicidal detainment of George Floyd.
That’s new. Police officers don’t usually testify against fellow police officers in a murder trial or anything else. I’ve never even heard of a police chief testifying against an officer. That cross-police solidarity is called the “Blue Wall of Silence,” which is kind of like some of the omerta vows we’ve seen popularized by other crime syndicates. read more..