This is what a BLM activist recently posted:
“If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced, just know that all hell is gonna break loose. Don’t be surprised when buildings are on fire. Just saying,” Echols threatened in a since-deleted video.
Of course a trial in US courts starts with the presumption of innocence. It is up to the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but I doubt that this what most of the media are telling their viewers/readers.
What responsibility do the media have for deaths and destruction if Ms. Echols predictions come true?
Are the media liable for damages from violence that results from misrepresenting the trial?
Can Chauvin collect damages for defamation?
Or are they free to distort the coverage and fans the flames of violence without any consequence?
For background consider some testimony from yesterday, where the defense attorney got prosecution witnesses to admit that Chauvin’s actions were reasonable given the circumstances. Here are summaries of testimony from MPD Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, Use-of-Force Trainer, that probably did not appear on CNN or the Washington Post:
Dangerous job, being a police officer? Yes. Are people generally unhappy about being arrested? Very rarely are they happy, Mercil answered. Do suspects frequently engage in a wide variety of behaviors to avoid arrest, including fighting, arguing, making excuses? Yes, they do, answered Mercil.
Indeed, when asked if he himself had ever disbelieved a suspect’s claim of a medical emergency as an apparent effort to avoid arrest, Mercil answered that he personally had done so.
All of this, of course, undercuts the part of the prosecution narrative that is relying on Floyd’s purported pleas and excuses about claustrophobia and anxiety and crying out for mama. . .
When asked explicitly if any of the video of the event showed Chauvin placing Floyd in a “choke hold” (in this context meaning a respiratory choke but the term has been used with careless disregard for accuracy) Mercil was obliged to answer that it did not.
When asked if a carotid choke, or what MPD would refer to as an “unconscious neck restraint” required both of the carotid arteries to be compressed, Mercil answered that it did. So much for MMA expert Williams’ testimony to the contrary. . .
To ensure the point: The state’s own use-of-force expert testified on cross that he personally had engaged in use-of-force conduct that the state had been using to demonize Chauvin as an unlawful killer. That’s not a good day for the state.