Guilty On All 3 Counts! (+2 more)


Jim Hightower and Maurice Mitchell from #WorkingFamiliesParty​ discuss the #ChauvinVerdict​, what it means for the community, policing and the work moving forward.

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Right Wing Media Melts Down Over Chauvin Verdict

Right-wing media melts down over the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict, including Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, as well as other Newsmax and Fox News hosts.

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Florida Just Passed A Bill Aimed At Protesters

Sonali Kolhatkar speaks with Anna Eskamani about the Florida bill that just passed that aims at protesters.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis has signed a troubling bill into law that seeks to criminalize dissent and appears to be aimed squarely at the Black Lives Matter movement. While the pro-Trump Republican governor and his allies are claiming that the law is meant to protect the public from riots, the ACLU of Florida has called it an “anti-protest” bill. A broad coalition of grassroots groups, clergy, lawyers and liberal lawmakers have expressed their opposition to the bill for weeks. Now that it has been signed into law we’ll turn today to a progressive activist turned lawmaker elected to the Florida House of Representatives.

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Following the Chauvin Verdict: Stay in the Streets! Abolish the Police! (+1 more)

By Workers World Party 

Workers World Party expresses its solidarity with the family of George Floyd, along with the Minneapolis community and anti-racist activists everywhere, who understandably applaud the three guilty verdicts against the racist, white, killer cop, Derek Chauvin, who wantonly lynched Floyd May 25, 2020. 

Chauvin was found guilty today, April 20, 2021, of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree intentional murder and third degree murder. Three other cops, who stood by as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck and body until he died, have been fired and will face charges for aiding and abetting in subsequent trials.

We are in solidarity with those who will be in the streets tonight and throughout the coming days and weeks who express relief with the verdict and at the same time, acknowledge its limitations. In the long run, more than the jailing of Chauvin or any individual killer cop is needed for eradicating police terror and white supremacy — two evils which go hand-in-hand.  

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WAAR on Chauvin Verdicts: ‘We’ll Accept Nothing Less Than Police Abolition’

By a guest author 

April 20 protest, New York City, WW PHOTO: Nathaniel Chase

The following statement was issued on April 20 by the Workers Assembly Against Racism, based in New York City.  

One killer cop in jail does nothing to address the violence and trauma that materially fills the experience of Black, Brown, and working people at the hands of our bloated, militarized police force.

Derek Chauvin is a tool of white supremacy, along with policing and incarceration as a whole. Although we’re witnessing this tool’s public “punishment,” we cannot accept these court proceedings as the theatrical interpretation of “justice” that the state so fervently desires. 

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Activists Hope Chauvin Convictions Are Start to Real Change (+2 more)

By AMY FORLITI, STEVE KARNOWSKI and MOHAMED IBRAHIM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — “One down, three to go!” went the chant just minutes after Derek Chauvin was convicted in George Floyd’s death — a reference to three more fired officers who are awaiting trial.In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, stands after the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Standing next to him are attorneys Eric Nelson, left and Amy Voss. (Court TV via AP, Pool): George Floyd Officer Trial© Provided by Associated Press George Floyd Officer Trial

While the verdict was celebrated by activists and brought a sense of relief, talk soon turned to ambitions for greater change outside the courtroom.

Activists, Floyd’s family members and some public officials said Chauvin’s convictions on murder and manslaughter charges were just a start, and they will continue to push for systemic change in policing in Minneapolis and beyond.

“We need true justice,” Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the team that prosecuted Chauvin, said after Tuesday’s verdict. “That is a social transformation that says that nobody’s beneath the law, and no one is above it.”

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Far-Right Extremists Wailing And Gnashing Their Teeth Over Chauvin Verdict

Predictably, racists aren’t happy that a white cop didn’t get away with murdering an unarmed Black man this one time.

By David Neiwert

Far-Right Extremists Wailing And Gnashing Their Teeth Over Chauvin Verdict
Image from: YouTube Screenshot

The online angst among white nationalists and other far-right extremists was neck-deep Tuesday following Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd.

“God help you if you’re a white male in this anti-white country,” wrote Andrew Torba, founder of the white nationalist-friendly chat site Gab, to his 3.2 million followers.

Many of the reactions were collected by Chuck Tanner at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, who noted that “the response across the far right and white nationalist movement demonstrated its base lack of compassion and lack of mooring in reality.”

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Alternate Juror in Chauvin Trial on Testimony That “Really Got to Me”

By Jamie Yuccas

Lisa Christensen sat through every minute of the trial of Derek Chauvin as prosecutors and the defense each made their case in the killing of George Floyd.a woman smiling for the camera: cbsn-fusion-alternate-juror-in-chauvin-trial-speaks-out-about-case-witnesses-guilty-verdict-exclusive-thumbnail-698718-640x360.jpg© Credit: CBSNews cbsn-fusion-alternate-juror-in-chauvin-trial-speaks-out-about-case-witnesses-guilty-verdict-exclusive-thumbnail-698718-640×360.jpg

She was an alternate juror, so she did not have a role in the verdict, but in an exclusive interview for “CBS This Morning,” she said she was happy with the jury’s decision to convict Chauvin after weeks of hard testimony. Christensen said she was reluctant to be on the jury when she was first called up.

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Derek Chauvin’s Murder Trial Is Smashing Cops’ ‘Blue Wall of Silence’

Cops are testifying against a cop. That almost never happens.

By Trone Dowd

Left: Lt. Zimmerman testifies during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in Hennepin County Court in downtown Minneapolis (CourtTV). Middle: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is escorted from the rear of the Hennepin

LEFT: LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN TESTIFIES DURING THE TRIAL OF FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER DEREK CHAUVIN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY COURT IN DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS (COURTTV). MIDDLE: DEREK CHAUVIN IS ESCORTED FROM THE REAR OF THE HENNEPIN COUNTY FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2020, IN MINNEAPOLIS. (DAVID JOLES/STAR TRIBUNE VIA AP). RIGHT: MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO TESTIFIES DURING THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY COURT. (COURTTV).

The unspoken bond among police to defend each other, often no matter the circumstances, has continuously hindered investigating and prosecuting officers accused of wrongdoing. But that so-called Blue Wall of Silence is now crumbling around Derek Chauvin, who’s facing up to 65 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

“In no way, shape, or form is what Officer Chauvin did part of our training, ethics, or values,” Minneapolis’ first Black police chief, Medaria Arradondo, said plainly in front of the jury Monday.

In the last four days of Chauvin’s murder trial, several high-ranking police officers have taken the stand and openly condemned his actions, which reignited a national movement against police violence last summer. Law enforcement witnesses have repeatedly testified that Chauvin never should have kneeled on Floyd’s neck, and certainly not for more than 9 minutes when the 46-year-old Black man wasn’t actively resisting. They’ve also said that doing so violated their training, department policies, and moral promise to serve. 

“To rally around Chauvin and say, ‘This is policing as normal, this is acceptable practice,’ would risk greater harm to the reputation of the police than basically just coming forward and saying, ‘This is not who we are, and this is not what we do,” Daniel Medwed, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University’s School of Law, told VICE News. “I think all of them are aligned with coming forward and saying Chauvin is outside of our group: that he is a bad apple but we are a good tree.”

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Calling Chauvin a “Bad Apple” Denies Systemic Nature of Racist Police Violence

Law enforcement stands guard outside the Hennepin County Government Center, as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues inside, on April 2, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Law enforcement stands guard outside the Hennepin County Government Center, as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues inside, on April 2, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd proceeds, the prosecution will try to portray the defendant as a “bad apple.” In his opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell alerted the jurors that they would hear police officials testify Chauvin used excessive force in violation of departmental policy to apply restraints only as necessary to bring a person under control. However, this argument obfuscates the racist violence inherent in the U.S. system of policing.

The first prosecution witness to testify about Minnesota Police Department (MPD) policies was retired Sgt. David Ploeger, the supervising police sergeant on duty the day Chauvin killed Floyd. It was his job to conduct use of force reviews. Ploeger testified, “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officer,” when he was handcuffed on the ground and no longer resisting, “they could have ended the restraint.”

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