Derek Chauvin and O.J. Simpson at Opposite Ends of Injustice

Derek Chauvin mug shot (Minnesota Department of Corrections)

It is a fact that many criminal cases are won or lost based on jury selection.  I never used to think that, until O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murders he almost certainly committed.

More recently, former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin was convicted of a murder he almost certainly did not commit.

In the case of Simpson, we learned about “jury nullification,” the concept that a person could be found not guilty because the jury wants to send a message about social justice.  In the case of Chauvin, it is apparent that he had to be found guilty to placate the anti-cop Left, and avoid racial unrest to the extent possible.  The American system of justice failed in both these cases.

Random Samplings is a service of the Texas Public Policy Foundation at TexasPolicy.com.

Why do I say O.J. Simpson is almost certainly guilty? 

The evidence.  The motive.  The opportunity.  His actions after the event took place —  the low-speed chase.  The fact that his search for “The Real Killer” because a national joke.

Johnny Cochran, his lawyer, manipulated the jury using race and the famous quote:

If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.

The trial was a total sham, and a guilty man was put back into society because of social justice attitudes that go against the concept of convicting or exonerating a defendant based on evidence.

Why do I say that Derek Chauvin is almost certainly not guilty?

Of course, it’s the evidence.  Chauvin contends that his method of restraining George Floyd was in accordance with his training.   And, of course, as is the case with most suspects who are uncooperative with police, bad things typically happen.

But it goes so much further with Floyd. 

Understand that I have compassion for people who can’t get their lives together and cannot seem to function in society.  They obviously need help, and Floyd is an extreme example.  But there is a point at which each of us, unless we are mentally ill, must make our bed and lie in it.

Both drug addiction and alcohol addiction are choices, and I’ve always had a tough time letting anyone off the hook for those excuses.  Neither is a “disease,” if you use simple definitions that were in vogue for centuries.

Floyd had apparently tried to pass a counterfeit bill, and he was drugged up.  And then there’s his failure to cooperate with police.  But look at the politically charged entry in Wikipedia, where Chauvin is portrayed essentially as the Devil, a white cop preying on a poor black man:

 George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 – May 25, 2020) was an African-American man who was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest made after a store clerk suspected Floyd may have used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill, on May 25, 2020. Derek Chauvin, one of the four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds which caused a lack of oxygen. After his murder, protests against police brutality, especially towards black people, quickly spread across the United States and globally. His dying words, “I can’t breathe”, became a rallying slogan.

Don’t get me wrong:  I do not like the part about Chauvin’s kneeling on the neck, any more than I liked what police did in the cases of Eric Garner and Tony Timpa.  But did that kill Floyd?  Did it speed up death of a man who was committing suicide by drug addiction?

Again, a somewhat mild entry on Floyd’s death from Wikipedia:

The medical examiner found that Floyd’s heart stopped while he was being restrained and that his death was a homicide, caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression”, though fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use may have increased the likelihood of death. A second autopsy, commissioned by Floyd’s family, also found his death to be a homicide, specifically citing asphyxia due to neck and back compression; it ruled out that any underlying medical problems had contributed to Floyd’s death, and said that Floyd being able to speak while under Chauvin’s knee does not mean he could breathe.

A fair and balanced accounting of Floyd’s condition at the time of his death would be useful, but Wikipedia is in full political correctness mode here.  Any rational person would say, of course Floyd had abused his body through drug use to the extent that he was hanging on by a thread.

I have no particular opinion one way or the other about Chauvin.  He may have been a bad cop.  He likely deserved some punishment for the knee on the neck.  But he did not deserve to be the sacrificial lamb to keep the Left from rioting, which they did anyway.

Tucker Carlson has posted on X about this very thing.

Carlson agrees with my thoughts on this.

So I found it interesting to see how the media jumped through hoops to declare him wrong.  Here is part of a “fact-check” from Newsweek: 

In a video clip posted on X, formerly Twitter, by Tucker Carlson’s account on October 20, 2023, and since viewed more than 21 million times, Carlson said that Floyd was not murdered by Chauvin.  Carlson said during the clip “…did he [Chauvin] actually murder George Floyd? And the answer is, well, no he didn’t murder George Floyd.  “We’re not guessing about that. We know it conclusively thanks to a new court case now underway in Hennepin County, Minnesota.”  That refers to an ongoing lawsuit by Amy Sweasy Tamburino, a prosecutor in Hennepin County, where the Chauvin case was tried. Sweasy is suing the county over a legal settlement she reached with it in 2022. She had initially filed discrimination charges against the county.  Case files include a deposition from Sweasy in which she mentioned a conversation with the county’s medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, after he performed Floyd’s autopsy.

The Newsweek piece goes on to explain Tucker’s case – that, essentially, Floyd could not have been murdered because there was no damage to his neck:

In the Carlson clip, text attributed to Sweasy read: “I called Dr. Baker early that morning to tell him about the case and to ask him if he would perform the autopsy on Mr Floyd.  “He called me later in the day on that Tuesday and he told me that there were no medical findings that showed any injury to the vital structures of Mr. Floyd’s neck.  “There were no medical indications of asphyxia or strangulation.”  Carlson then said: “In other words, George Floyd, according to the official autopsy was not murdered.” He added that Floyd died of “natural causes, which in his case would include decades of drug use, as well as the fatal concentration of fentanyl that was in his system on his final day.”

That all makes sense to me, but Newsweek has a contrary opinion.  Of course, it does.  Black Lives Matter, the Democratic Party, and the Mainstream Media have a lot of political capital invested in the Chauvin case.  It would simply not do to admit that all the riots and destruction and deaths that followed were all the result of a politically correct trial and verdict.

Besides, the public had convicted Chauvin in their minds from Day One.  And what are facts when opinions better serve a greater good?   And so, Derek Chauvin has now been stabbed in prison, and George Floyd has been deified.

At opposite ends of Injustice.

It’s best to stay out of controversy.  Taking a side that is not popular is risky.  Becoming a policeman is riskier still.  O.J. Simpson was exonerated for a cause.  Derek Chauvin was convicted for a cause.  When causes matter, what are facts?

Lynn Woolley is a Texas-based author, broadcaster, and songwriter.  Follow his podcast at https://www.PlanetLogic.us.  Check out his author’s page at https://www.Amazon.com/author/lynnwoolley.  Order books direct from Lynn at https://PlanetLogicPress.Square.Site.  Email Lynn at lwoolley9189@gmail.com.

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