(Politicizd) ---- As the trial of the decade comes to a close, the city of Minneapolis is bracing for another potentially volatile situation. The trial, Chauvin V. Minneapolis, marks the criminal case against the now-infamous Derek Chauvin for his actions contributing to the death of George Floyd.
The official charges include second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
However, as the case has grown more complex, the defense has made increasingly successful pushes to further Chauvin's likelihood of acquittal. Or more accurately put; the defense team has essentially guaranteed the impossibility of a conviction on second-degree murder.
Second- Degree Murder, alleging Chauvin had intended to kill Floyd must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, an essentially impossible task given the evidence.
Meanwhile, as these details emerge, the media has received criticism for its increasingly tilted coverage. In fact, in various circumstances the media has swung testimony to illuminate the possibility of a conviction on second-degree murder. As a result, many fear the public is incredibly uninformed and thus more likely to misunderstand the eventual verdict as a major injustice.
Last week when Eric Nelson, Chauvin's lead Defense Attorney, played video of Floyd at the scene stating he "ate too many drugs", CNN, Jake Tapper reiterated that the tape was insignificant. Critics of Tapper were outraged as the video lays potential evidence to a an alternate cause of death. In fact, it was later revealed that Floyd had three times the lethal dose of Fentanyl in his system upon death.
Yet, Tapper insisted, Floyd must have been misheard, and remarked:
"I've never heard anyone say 'I ate too many drugs' in my life. It's just not really a common expression".
Later, Conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro illustrated this dangerous media tilt, in a headline from WaPo, "Trial to resume after training officer says an unauthorized neck restraint was used on George Floyd". The headline, Shapiro notes, is widely misleading. Instead, he emphasized how the "use-of-force officer admitted that Chauvin's procedure (use of body weight and pressure) was a LESSER use of force than adopted in the past, that it wasn't a chokehold..... that use of force standards change based on drug use or physical stature of a suspect, that he had personally restrained suspects until EMS arrived, that some suspects quickly regain consciousness and thus sometimes suppression is necessary despite appearances." (Via @benshapiro, Twitter.com)
Yet, despite these glaring holes in the prosecution, many worry that the media's absence in reporting it will lead to massive uproar and pushback.
In fact, YouGov, the bipartisan polling site, found this to be evident, as the public's beliefs about conviction are widely disproportional to what is likely. YouGov reports that 84% of Democrats, and 57% of all Americans feel that a guilty murder verdict is suffice. Hence, when considering the possibility of Chauvin's acquittal on murder, it is completely reasonable to expect protesting and looting across the country.
On the flip side, journalists of the conservative viewpoint have been quick to point out the case's unproven link to racism. This controversial viewpoint, has stated that there is zero evidence of the killing being related to Floyd's skin color. Additionally, many feel that illuminating the fact that Chauvin has no prior racist history and was attempting to contain a criminal resisting arrest, could aid in the limiting of future rioting.
Overall, as another trial looms big on the nation, the question of justice remains incredibly unclear, often corresponding to the political affiliation of the viewer.