Cases of the Week: June 9, 2020

Hey folks,

In this episode of our Cases of the Week show we cover an appellate court decision out of Pennsylvania handed down just yesterday, which illustrates the necessity of a narrative of self-defense being based an actual evidence, from which reasonable inferences of a threat can be made, and not merely based on a speculative or imaginative fear of harm.

We also discuss the legal incoherence of many of the criminal charges brought against the police officers in the George Floyd arrest-related death case, particularly the aiding and abetting charges brought against Officers Keung, Lane, and Thao.

Enjoy the show!

[UPDATE: Transcript of show added below my signature, for those who prefer to read the show rather than watch or listen.]

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You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC



Hey folks, welcome to the Law of Self Defense Cases for the Week Show for June 9, 2020. Thank you all for joining us. Come on in Come on in. As you do come in. If you could please leave a comment with your city and state that’s greatly appreciated provides me with some geographic context of where you’re all from.  Also, if you could please click that share arrow at the top. And that like a thumbs up that helps fool the Facebook algorithm into sharing our programs more broadly. So that’s all much appreciated, as well. Come on in. Make yourselves at home.

Today, of course is our Cases of the Week Show, which we do every Tuesday at 2pm. Eastern time or within a few minutes of 2pm Eastern Time. We take a look at the most important appellate court decisions case law on self defense from the prior week, translate those into plain English so you can see how the courts actually apply the actual law of self defense to actual people in actual use of force cases. So come on in Come on in.

For those who may be new to the program. I am attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Thank you very much. That’s much appreciated.

Law of Self Defense where we provide actionable insight into self-defense law, use-of-force law, translating all the legalese into plain English so that you are as prepared to win the legal fight as you are to win the physical fight.

As I mentioned, in our normal case of the week show cases of the week show we take the most important use of force court decisions appellate court decisions of the prior week. Usually we review 40 or 50 of those is a typical number for a week. And then we choose two or three of those to translate into English for all of you. As it sometimes happens, has happened this week, I reviewed about 50 appellate court decisions on self-defense from last week, the prior week. And frankly, none of them were particularly interesting.

So we won’t be doing that because I’m not interested in wasting your time. And I’m sure you’re not interested in having your time wasted.

What we do have, however, is a very interesting case out of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, what other states would normally call the Court of Appeals, that was handed down just yesterday, so not from last week, but from yesterday this week, and I’d like to share that with you. So that will be our case of the week.

And to provide you with more than just 15 minutes or so of content. I’d also like to share with you some further thoughts I’ve had these criminal charges brought in the George Floyd case, particularly the criminal charges brought against the three officers who did not have a knee on Floyd’s neck, the three officers besides Officer Chauvin, and the aiding & abetting charges are brought against them. And why in my informed legal opinion, those charges are simply legally incoherent. They don’t make rational sense from a legal perspective, which makes you wonder why they were brought at all. So we’ll cover that as well.


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Commonwealth v. Brozenick (PA Ct. App. 2020): Speculative Fear Not enough

So let’s take a look at the case I wanted to share with all of you today. This case is Commonwealth v Brozenick, 2020 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1890 (PA Ct. App. 2020). It’s out of the Pennsylvania Court of Appeals what Pennsylvania actually calls their Superior Court. I’m going to refer to it as a court of appeals because for most of you this mid-level appellate court would be called the Court of Appeals.

In a decision handed down just yesterday, so June 8 2020, and the key issues in this appeal are not really self-defense issues. Self-defense was an issue at trial. But it’s not really why this defendant, this appellant now that he’s at the appellate level, this appellant is appealing his decision. He’s not really appealing on the basis of self-defense issues.

He’s appealing on the basis of Brady issues, Brady issues ore issues involving the prosecution failing to share exculpatory evidence with the defense. It’s deals with issues around a missing witness. So one of the witnesses whose testimony was critical to one of the criminal charges simply was not, did not appear in court. So that would be a basis for having that particular charge dismissed, which is, in fact what happened here, but there were many other charges that did not get dismissed, because those witnesses did show up. It has issues around the prosecution being permitted to restart their argument of the case even after they had rested, so they were done with their argument. And the defense had made a motion for the charges to be dismissed on the basis that even though the prosecution made their entire argument, they had failed to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. And the prosecution basically said, well give us a second chance. And the judge said, okay. Which is rather unusual.

So those were all issues on which this conviction, a conviction obviously or we wouldn’t be in the appellate courts, this conviction was appealed. None of which has really anything to do with self-defense. So why are we talking about this?

Because I think this this case, raises a really important issue that comes up in a lot of self-defense scenarios and a misconception that many people have about what’s required in order to have a substantive and robust claim of self-defense.

We’ve probably all heard from various self defense instructors in our lives, especially in the in the self-defense Lock component of whatever the class is that you need to be able to articulate your narrative of self-defense, you need to be able to have a story of self-defense to tell in order to justify your threat or use of force that would otherwise be unlawful.

That’s how self-defense works. you’re charged with a criminal offense based on the threat or use of force. And your defense is not it wasn’t me, I wasn’t there, somebody else must have done it your defenses? Well, sure I did that I pointed that gun or fired that shot or whatever the case might be the physical action, that’s the basis for the criminal charge against you. I did that, I did that I concede it but I did it with the justification of self-defense or defensive others or defensive property, depending on the facts of the case.

And then you have to be able to provide a narrative what made itself defense what made it defensive others what did you observe that led to your decision making to make that display or use of force justified?

And it’s true, that is all true. You need to be able to articulate a coherent narrative of self-defense.

But an articulated narrative, while it’s necessary, is not sufficient by itself to have a robust claim of self-defense. That narrative has to be supported by actual evidence. Evidence. The narrative cannot be based on speculation or imaginative fears. An articulated narrative of self-defense that is not based on evidence is absolutely worthless for legal purposes.

So let’s look at the particular case. The defendant in this case, was in his home and the observed for people parked in a car outside his home middle of the afternoon. He thought they looked kind of fishy.. His car was parked right next to there. So he went outside to inspect his own car, I guess to make sure it wasn’t broken into. Or being damaged or whatever the case might be.

And while he was by his own car now adjacent to this strange car, the suspicious car, he saw a smoking device in use. The appellate court would refer to it as some kind of vaporizer device used for smoking marijuana. I’m sure the car was full of steam or smoke or whatever results from that kind of use.

So the defendant concluded that there was at the very least a drug use taking place. But he also concluded, well, this could well be a drug transaction taking place. And while he’s observing the other car, and this is the Defendant’s narrative of self-defense, this is the most favorable narrative for the defense came from the defense, he says, well, I saw the driver reach between his legs, and I felt threatened because I thought the driver was reaching for a weapon.

The defendant then pulled out his own gun, swept it over the four people in the car, told them to leave and that he was calling 911.

Now this conduct would be would result in numerous aggravated rather simple assault and terroristic threat charges. Actually, I think it was charged with aggravated assault but ultimately got convicted of a lesser included offense. The jury found the defendant guilty of simple assault four counts one for each of the people in the car and terroristic threatening. Another four counts again, one for each of the four people in the car.

Now remember, the defendants defense here is well I felt threatened. I displayed my gun in an act of self-defense therefore, that conduct which would otherwise legitimately be the basis for terroristic threatening and assault charges, was legally justified because I was in fear. That is the defense.

Unfortunately for that to be an effective defense, your fear has to be a reasonable fear, meaning it has to be fear that’s not based on speculation or imagined, but based on actual evidence. And what was the actual evidence in this case from which the defendant could reasonably fear a weapon, infer the presence of the weapon?

Really, there was nothing, he never saw a weapon. He never was threatened by the people in the car with the use of a hypothetical weapon. The most he could say was that he saw the driver reach between his legs. Well, that’s, that’s not inherently reaching for a weapon, especially absent of threat or threatening behavior, which even the defendant was not able to say he observed among the passengers of the car.

So there really was no substantive evidence from which a reasonable inference could be made that these passengers were about to threaten him with a weapon. The fear of the weapon was, in fact, purely speculative, imaginative on the part of the defendant and a speculative fear of harm is not sufficient to justify the use or threat of defensive force, you need more than that you need something from which you can reasonably infer evidence, your decision making in self-defense has to be evidence based reasonable inferences from observed evidence. You cannot have a reasonable decision in the absence of evidence that’s a speculative imagine at this decision.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you even for example, need to see an actual weapon. If someone threatens to shoot you and then reaches for their waistband is that they’re reaching for a weapon. You can make an inference from that speech from that threat, that verbalized threat and in combination with their conduct, that they’re about to display a weapon that would be a reasonable inference to make. But note there that it’s that combination of the threat and the otherwise ambiguous conduct that would be ambiguous absent that verbal threat that’s required for a reasonable inference.

Now, it’s not even required that you’d be right about the inference, it’s perfectly acceptable that you’re mistaken about the inference. mistakes and self-defense are okay, we’re not required to make perfect decisions in sel- defense, we’re required to make reasonable decisions in self-defense.

But those mistakes are okay only if they are reasonable mistakes. So that guy who threatens to shoot you reaches for his waistband as if he’s reaching for a gun and it turns out he doesn’t actually have a gun, you were mistaken about him having a gun, that can be perfectly acceptable, so long as your mistake is a reasonable mistake, meaning your inference that he had the gun was based on actual evidence and was not merely speculative.

So that is the case I wanted to discuss with you today. Let me just pull it back up. As always, if you go to the text version of today’s show over at the law of self-defense blog, we will have this case hype linked. So you can read the entire decision. I do always encourage you to do that. Commonwealth v Brozenick, 2020 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1890 (PA Ct. App. 2020)

As I say, it’s not purely really a self-defense case except for the fact that it raises this very important issue that just having a narrative of self-defense by itself is not enough. If that narrative is not based on actual evidence that you can also build into your articulation of that need for self-defense. You need to keep your head folks you need to make good decisions, good decisions based on evidence, not panicked, unreasonable decisions, unreasonable self-defense, folks.

If you kill somebody is manslaughter period, as opposed to perfect self-defense which results in the acquittal of the criminal charges zero criminal liability. Your use of threat or force under that circumstance simply was not criminal conduct, period. But unreasonable decision making and self-defense is a path to a manslaughter conviction.

Legal Incoherence of Charges in George Floyd ARD Case

The other issue I wanted to talk with all of you about with some of these charging decisions in the George Floyd case, this being the knee on the neck during arrest case in Minnesota, that has served as a catalyst for all the fun and games currently occurring in many cities across the US.

The more I look at these charges, the more frankly incoherent they largely appear to be. And that’s particularly true in the context of the three officers other than officer Chauvin. So, Officer Chauvin was the officer with his knee on George Floyd’s neck, and he’s been charged with a variety of charges, some of which are also facially incoherent.

But the really incoherent charges are the ones that recently followed on three other officers, Officers Keung, Lane and Thoa, who were also involved in the arrest, and therefore the arrest-related death (ARD) of George Floyd.

So let’s take a look at what I mean by these incoherent charges. And this is a little technical folks. Sorry about that. But these charges are legally incoherent. They are literally irrational. They simply don’t make sense from an actual legal perspective.

So let’s take a look at Officer Chauvin. One of the charges brought against him was third-degree murder. This is murder based on a depraved mind. This was the first charge brought against him when the mob was screaming for a murder charge against the officer.

And this is a legally incoherent charge on the facts of this case, as I’ve discussed previously, because under Minnesota law third degree murder this depraved mind murder does not apply to a situation where a killer has a depraved mind to a particular individual.

If there’s an intentional malice to a particular individual, that’s what first degree murder is for under Minnesota law. Third degree murder under Minnesota law is when there is not a depraved mind towards a particular individual but a depraved mind to the public generally.

And the example here would be if someone’s drunk driving, they go out drunk driving, they don’t have an intent to harm any particular individual, they probably just want to go home. But of course, drunk driving is an inherently dangerous activity threatens the life of the public, generally anybody you might come across. If they run someone over and kill them, while drunk driving third degree murder would be the appropriate charge.

In this drunk driving example, they did not have a specific intent to kill that person. So first-degree murder would not apply. But they were conducting themselves in an inherently dangerous mind that evidence a depraved mind and inherently dangerous way that evidence a depraved mind to the public generally, and that’s what third-degree murder is for.

Which means third-degree murder does not apply if there’s a specific individual being targeted. And the prosecution here is saying, of course, that Officer Chauvin had a particular targeted individual, which was George Floyd.

So third-degree murder simply does not apply to this case from a strictly technical perspective under Minnesota law. So, in that sense, it’s a legally incoherent charge, although I guess it served the purpose to momentarily mollified, the mob, we think because officer Chauvin had finally been charged with murder.

Now, ,Chauvin was later also charged with second-degree murder and with second-degree manslaughter. And I’m not going to talk about those charges today with respect to officers Chauvin himself, on the legal merits. That’s a good conversation to have, very interesting legal elements to those charges brought against Officer Chauvin that frankly, I think makes a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt rather unlikely in both those cases.

But even if I don’t talk about those charges on their legal merits, the second degree murder and the second degree manslaughter charges brought against with respect to Chauvin, they’re still relevant to the charges brought against the other three officers.

And the reason they are relevant is that the other three officers have been charged not with any intentional unlawful act of themselves, but with aiding & abetting the conduct of Officer Cahuvin. And specifically, they’ve been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding & abetting second degree manslaughter second degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, the charges brought against Officer Chauvin.  The other officers, Keung, Lane, Thao, have been charged not doing anything wrong in and of themselves, but in aiding & abetting the wrongdoing of Officer Chauvin.

So what is this idea of aiding & abetting now? Keep in mind, we have these charges against Cahuvin, and it’s important to understand how these charges work

These charges against Chauvin, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. What’s interesting about both these charges is their lack of intent component.

So second-degree murder under Minnesota law is what most states in the context of this case is what most states would call felony murder, meaning the killing was not an intentional killing. There were some underlying felony taking place, arguably, and someone died in the course of that underlying felony being committed, and therefore the death qualifies as felony murder. So the killing itself was not an intentional act.

Second-degree manslaughter, the other charge brought against Officer Chauvin, is a manslaughter based on negligence meaning not In intentional meaning, essentially involuntary manslaughter.

So, there’s really two forms of manslaughter. One is voluntary manslaughter, where you intend to cause someone deadly harm, and you do, but you do it under what the law calls a heat of passion, or sufficient provocation. You walk into your bedroom and you find your spouse in bed with somebody else, and in a rage you kill them. The law says under that heat of passion, under that sufficient provocation, your mind was unable to form the specific intent required for the crime of murder. We’re not going to let you get away with the killings, we’re still going to hold you accountable, but to a lesser degree than murder, we’re going to call that voluntary manslaughter. Your use of force against them had the intent to cause them harm but you didn’t have the specific intent required for murder. That’s voluntary manslaughter.

That’s not what’s being claimed. Here what’s being claimed here is involuntary manslaughter. involuntary manslaughter is when you do not intend to cause someone else’s death. But you arguably conduct yourself in an inherently dangerous way from which death should have been a reasonably foreseeable outcome of your use of force. And again, a good example here could well be drunk driving. So drunk driving, you don’t intend to kill anybody, but you’re acting in an inherently dangerous way. If you do manage to kill somebody in voluntary manslaughter, which in many states is simply we labeled as vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide would be an appropriate charge under that circumstance. But the key is, again, secondary manslaughter based on negligence does not require an intent to cause harm. There’s no intentional harm being formed in the mind there.

These are both crimes lacking intent to kill. Now, why is that relevant?

Well, because the other three officers are all charged with aiding & abetting, second-degree murder (unintentional felony murder) and second-degree manslaughter (unintentional killing, involuntary manslaughter), both of these are uninentional crimes.

Now, aiding & abetting has its own specific elements. These are not just not from Minnesota law, but kind of how it would be taught in law school.  A person can be convicted, found guilty of aiding and abetting another person’s crime, if:

  1. in fact, the other crime was committed, and
  2. the person being accused of aiding and abetting actually intentionally aided, assisted in the commission of the crime,
  3. they did so with the intent to facilitate the outcome of the crime
  4. and the person being charged with aiding and abetting did this before the crime was completed.

So if they helped after the crime was completed, they could could still be criminally liable but it would be as an accessory after the fact. Aiding & abetting applies before the crime was completed.

And when we look at those elements, something that’s implicit in all of them, although it doesn’t state it explicitly, is that you’re aiding & abetting an intentional act, an intentional crime being committed by the other person.

You can’t aid & abet an unintentional crime, if the other person is committing some criminal offense that they themselves are not intentionally committing. You can aid & abet something another person’s not intentionally committing. You can’t be helping someone to do something that they’re not intending to do.

If it’s an act of negligence or an act in the heat of passion, or otherwise there’s a lack of intent there, if their underlying crime is one of negligence lacking intent, well, you can’t be helping someone commit an act of negligence at least you can’t be intentionally helping someone commit an act of negligence.

Aiding & abetting applies when that other person is intending to commit a crime and you’re helping them do that. If they’re not intending to commit a crime, if the crime they’re charged with is one lacking intent, you can’t logically aid & abet unintentional crime.

So Keung and Lane and Thao, they could be logically charged with aiding & abetting Officer Chauvin for having committed an intentional crime. And there is an intentional crime here in the mix. So the felony murder charge against Officer Chauvin is based on the claimed underlying predicate felony of assault in the third degree. So, Chevron’s charged with assault, felony murder predicated on assault in the third degree.

Now, there would be a would be a reasonable logical basis on which you could say that the three officers were aiding and abetting Chauvin’s assault in the third degree, because that’s a crime of intent. The state is arguing he intentionally committed assault in the third degree.

But that’s not what the three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting on. They’ve been charged with aiding and abetting not an assault in the third degree but on those second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges which are not intentional crimes.

So you can’t logically be an accessory to be aiding & abetting in unintentional crime. I can’t help you commit a crime you’re not intentionally committing.

So, again, Chevron’s felony murder charge, the second-degree murder unintentional charge is predicated on third-degree assault, which is an intent crime. Essentially, they’re arguing that Chauvin used excessive force, unlawful force in making the arrest of Floyd.

Now, I would note that Chauvin’s knee left not even a bruise on Floyd’s neck. I see a lot of domestic violence cases where the accusation is that a male choked a female for example and the evidence in support of that claim is that there’s red marks on the female’s neck, where the female never lost consciousness never was seriously injured. But even the low-level choking that never resulted in serious injury nevertheless left red marks bruises on the neck that officers could see when they arrived on the scene.

We don’t have that here in the Floyd case. Both the medical examiners, the County Medical Examiner’s report, and the report from the medical examiner, the forensic pathologist, hired by Floyd’s family themselves, really hired by their lawyer Benjamin Crump, none of those found any sign of physical injury at all, none, to Floyd’s neck,

So what killed Floyd? Was it was Chauvin’s knee, or was it Floyd’s existing serious heart disease, his atherosclerosis, hs fentanyl, and methamphetamine toxicity, combined with the fact that he fought lawful arrest for 10 minutes?

What really killed Floyd ? I don’t know, absolutely. But I have to wonder if those are the mix of facts, is there not reasonable doubt that Chauvin’s knee was actually the proximate cause of Floyd’s death? I would suggest there’s at least reasonable doubt.

But in any case, in theory, there would be a basis for that third-degree assault charge And the three officers Keung, Lane, Thao, could theoretically be charged with aiding & abetting Chauvin’s intentional crime of third-degree assault, but not aiding & abetting felony murder, predicated on the assault, because that’s an unintentional act, an unintentional killing, not aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, which is involuntary manslaughter, which does not require intent, but aiding & abetting third-degree assault.

But these officers have not been charged with aiding & abetting Chauvin’s third-degree assault, which would be intentional, they’ve been charged with aiding & abetting unintentional crimes, which legally makes absolutely no sense.

So why haven’t they been charged with aiding & abetting third-degree assault? Well, first of all, wouldn’t get them to kind of a murder level of conviction. And second of all, arguably, the facts simply do not support that charge, for reasons I’ve already discussed, which makes me wonder with all these incoherent charges being brought, the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, these nonsensical aiding & abetting unintentional killing charges brought against these other three officers.

Presumably by experts, by legal experts, right? The state Attorney General is bringing these charges, you’d think they would know better.

So why are these charges being brought? Is it possible that all this is nothing but political theater? I don’t know. open question.

Okay, folks, I am going to scroll through your comments for questions. Before I do that, I do want to remind all of you first of all, thanks to the many of you many of you, who provided invaluable feedback to the video we currently are finalizing this week, our video on “Lawful Defense Against Rioters, Looters, and Arsonists.”

We had made available a draft of that video last week and asked for feedback from all of you. We got a ton of it. We got a ton of additional options. video clips and links to include in the finalized version of this. So thank you all very much for that the feedback period is over for that. So that draft version of the video is no longer freely accessible. It is of course accessible, accessible to our law, self defense members, they can find it both as a blog post and in the Member Area of our law self defense website.

If you’re a Law of Self Defense Member you can access that draft of “Lawful Defense Against Rioters, Looters, and Arsonists” by clicking the image or link below:

We will be finalizing the video this week, including additional videos and commentary and so forth, so t’s already in excess of an hour in draft form, it will be probably close to two hours on lawful defense against rioting, looting, and arson by the time we’re all done by the end of the week.

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Okay, so let’s take a look through the comments. I see one comment here from David Douglas about being able to sign into his account. David, I’m going to ask you to call email I’m afraid I’m not the solution for technical issues. I don’t know anything about that stuff. But if you contact, they should be able to fix that for you, without any trouble. We do have, it seems, an intermittent problem with some people’s settings on the website, two-level authentication or something like that, but we can always adjust those settings if you let us know about them at our support line.

Okay, folks, let’s see what questions come in. Thanks to all of you for leaving your comments with your city and states.

Patrick here says I fear the reaction of the officers are not convicted. Yeah, unfortunately, what happens is in many of these cases when charges are brought for political purposes, those charges prove to not be viable in the court room, and that makes the prospects for an acquittal are pretty darn high because ultimately, this all ends up in a courtroom where they will be a hopefully a robust, capable defense against the criminal charges.

I don’t see these crimes, these charges holding up to that attack by the defense. I don’t see these criminal charges being likely to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, certainly not the charges against the aiding & abetting charges against the officers. Those charges should be dismissed before they ever get to trial. But also the charges against Chauvin.

In fact, the Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison is himself going out in public cautioning that a conviction will be difficult in this case. He’s the prosecutor, nobody wants these cops convicted more than him, and he’s cautioning us that it’s going to be hard to do and I concur with him. I don’t think this is by any means an easy conviction for the prosecution, not if the defense has a competent defense.

So it’s quite possible the world will be shocked, right, just like the world was shocked that George Zimmerman was acquitted, appropriately so, that all the officers charged in the Freddie Gray case were acquitted, appropriately so, that the officer who shot Michael Brown wasn’t even indicted by the grand jury, they declined to indict him, appropriately so.

But when people are told for months or years that these were clearly acts of murder, and then the purported murderer gets to walk free, they’re naturally outraged. I get it. I’ve given a lot of talks on many of these cases, including at the FBI Academy. And I’m always obliged to tell people, listen, unfortunately, you were lied to. If I believed the things that you believe about this case, I’d also be outraged that these people were acquitted or not indicted. But in fact, I know the actual evidence and the actual law and the actual truth, and I don’t believe the lies that were propagandized.

So it did not surprise me at all that they were acquitted or not indicted. But if people believe the lies the media tells them repetitively for months and years, then yes, it is shocking, and outrage is a reasonable result. If you believe the lies you’ve been told.

And I would fully expect that to be the case here.  By the time these officers get to trial, people will have been told for perhaps a year, maybe more, that this was obviously a murder by police of an unarmed black man. And then if the legal result I expect occurs and they get acquitted, people are naturally going to be outraged whether that outrage is based on reality or based on propaganda, the outcome will be the same.

Can a fair and impartial trial be seated? Yeah, it’s a good question. I mean, of course, the defense can request change of venue to a different, you know, court system outside of the city of Minneapolis.

That’s not often granted. Typically, the judge will say, well, let’s see if we can find an impartial jury here first, and they’ll start doing the voir dire process and almost invariably you end up with a jury that at least says they’re going to be impartial.

Of course, all those jurors also know they have to eventually go back to live in their communities, and if they acquit, the acquittal is unanimous. So it’s not like they can say, if there’s an acquittal, they can’t say, Well, I voted for guilty, it was the other jurors that let these murderers go. Now, if it’s an acquittal, every juror voted for that acquittal. And they know they have to go back and live in their communities now having been identified as people who voted to acquit these purported racist murderers.

Yeah, it’s a very difficult situation to be in. Imagine if you were one of those jurors having to go back to that community. How much pressure there is, even if it’s just implicit, on finding the officer guilty of something just so you don’t have to be that juror who voted for acquittal of a purported racist murderer.

Okay, folks, I think that’s about all the comments. Holy cow, we went 40 minutes anyway, so I do my best to keep these short, but obviously I’m not very good at it.

Alright folks, I won’t hold you up any longer .

Before I go, I will of course as always remind all of you once more that if you carry a gun so that you’re hard to kill and that’s certainly why I carry a gun so I’m hard to kill my family is hard to kill.

Make sure you also know the law so that you’re hard to convict so that you’re as prepared to win that legal battle after the fight as you were to win the fight itself.

Alright, folks, I’m Attorney Andrew Branca, for Law of Self Defense, stay safe.

3 thoughts on “Cases of the Week: June 9, 2020”


    There are several, interesting, medically relevant issues to consider:

    1) The side of the neck, where the pressure was being applied, does not contain the airway or the carotid arteries. Hard pressure on the side of the neck may have broken the cervical spine, but it wouldn’t have impeded his breathing nor would it have caused him to black-out. Pressure induced asphyxia would need to have been applied to the trachea in the very front of the neck, which it was not. Pressure induced syncope (transient loss of consciousness) would need to have been applied to the carotid arteries (which run right next to the trachea in the front of the neck), which it was not. Therefore, pressure on the side of the neck did not cause him to have trouble breathing nor did it cause him to black-out.

    2) One of the more complete cell phone videos of the arrest showed him fall to the ground by the side of the squad car rather than being taken to the ground. Syncope, or near-syncope, that causes one to fall to the ground indicates a cardiac issue that is in progress before any pressure was put on the neck.

    3) Floyd can be seen “foaming” at the mouth in one of the videos. That is a classic presentation of acute, severe, pulmonary edema (congestion), which is what one would expect if he were having a heart attack that suddenly compromised his ability to get blood out of the lungs and back to the heart. The blood would pool in the lungs causing immediate congestion that would be heard as “rales,” if one listened with a stethoscope, and witnessed as clear-white frothy material bubbling up the trachea and out of the mouth.

    I think the medical evidence strongly supports the premise that he suffered an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) as a result of his drug-induced, hyper-dynamic state (methamphetamine and Fentanyl were found at autopsy) in the presence of underlying, diffuse, severe, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) – also found at autopsy. An AMI would not show-up on dissection of the heart at autopsy because you have to survive the AMI for a number of hours in order for a pathologist to be able to identify that specific area of pre-morbid cell death (the area of the heart where the AMI occurred) that caused a cardio-pulmonary arrest and death. So, while the cop could have been quicker to note that Floyd was no longer moving and remove the knee from the neck, his actions did not kill Floyd or even contribute to his death. Floyd was already dying when he hit the ground.

    In my opinion,

    Bruce Wapen, MD, FACEP
    Emergency Medicine Expert

  2. Yeronimus Pretorius

    Nobody should worry about riots as a result of charges, lack of charges, conviction, or lack of… that problem can be handled later. We can’t throw a defendant under the bus, violating his due process rights, for any reason at all.

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