News/Q&A: June 4, 2020 (George Floyd)

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Hey folks,

NOTE: You can find all our coverage of the George Floyd case here:

Update: You can find the criminal complaints against the charged officers as well as the full-text of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s report, all referenced in today’s show, here:

George Floyd: Criminal Complaints & Medical Examiner Report

Today’s show focuses on the charges brought against Officer Chauvin in the arrest-related death case of George Floyd, including the just-added second-degree murder charge, and also on the charges just brought against an additional three officers of aiding and abetting Chauvin, and considers those charges in the context of the evidence known to us.

We conclude the prospect of convicting Chauvin on any of the charges brought against him is unlikely, on the merits, and without convicting Chauvin the aiding and abetting charges against the other three officers also go away.

Apparently the MN Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has taken over this case as lead prosecutor, agrees with my conclusion because he’s widely cautioning the general public about how difficult it will be to obtain convictions in this case.

Enjoy the show for our legal analysis.

Here are links to the various Minnesota statutes covered in today’s News/Q&A Show:

§609.02 DEFINITIONS (Assault)





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Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

16 thoughts on “News/Q&A: June 4, 2020 (George Floyd)”

  1. Pingback: George Floyd Files – Law of Self Defense

    1. Attorney Andrew Branca

      It was really all stuff I already shared with members here, so it would be pretty repetitive.

      Also, there’s issues with timing, I generally don’t re-post interviews until the people who did the interview post it themselves–for the live interviews I can re-post right away, but some were recorded for use this weekend, for example, so I’d have to delay on re-posting those, anyway.

      There wasn’t anything interesting you wouldn’t already have seen here, however.


      Attorney Andrew F. Branca
      Law of Self Defense LLC

    2. Wow – this is a very weak argument. I understand how laws work, but I’ sorry, if the cop just lets the guy breathe (which any HUMANE person would do) we are not having this conversation and the victim would still be alive? This is the crux of the matter and what the jury will use to make their decision. And a bruise on the neck is NOT needed at all to stop blood flow to the brain. If cops are LEGALLY able to do this, than ALL of us are not much more than farm animals. This pisses me off to no end. We are supposed to have “Peace Officers” not quasi-military soldiers, who press on someone’s neck, AFTER he is handcuffed. No excuse. What their intentions are, shouldn’t even matter? If I kill someone by accident with a car, that doesn’t exonerate me from the incident. He did what far too many cops do, and it just ended in a death, unlike other times, when an officer just gets lucky and the victim survives. And the cop doesn’t have to apply much pressure at all, to obstruct his breathing. You can choke someone to death in a few seconds, by blocking the arteries to the neck. This is a case where this cop used bad judgment and if he isn’t charged with any crime, I hope the country plans on the absolute mayhem that will erupt afterwards. We will see unprecedented rioting and looting. It is almost a matter of national security, as far as I’m concerned, and the smaller wrong may have to suffice for the larger wrong that is to come. And after the guy is facedown and handcuffed, it is ridiculous to even have to put any knee on his neck in the first place? I don’t give a damn how afraid he may feel do to a threatening crowd, that doesn’t give him permission to abuse his authority. Everybody is involved in dangerous situations ever day? Otherwise, they could kill anyone, at anytime, and always have an excuse for doing so. This is the part the police do not get, and they often let their egos get them in trouble, and then say it was just an accident? This death is the direct result of his abuse of force. What the cop did was egregious, and far more force than what was needed. And we do not know what his intentions were? Maybe he hates black people and wanted to choke the guy out slowly? It is terrible that police use excessive force and I cannot even believe that some still employ the chokehold today. We are seeing a society largely manipulated by the think-tanks and corporations that own America, and people are not considered much more than “economic units”. They gain from the citizenry always fighting and involved in chaos.

  2. During the live show you said based on the legal merits there is a good chance of acquittal, but nonetheless there is still a 30-40 percent chance that Officer Chauvin will be found guilty. From what you have seen in previous cases, if Chauvin is found guilty despite the case lacking legal merits, are his chances of winning at the appellate level any better or worse as a result of the lack of merits?

    – Mike Pierce

    1. Attorney Andrew Branca

      Probably not. Appellate courts generally review only the legal decisions of a trial. Evidence issues are generally only assessed on appeal to make sure there was some greater-than-zero evidence on an issue. Once there is at least some evidence an issue it’s up to the jury to make the call, and the appellate courts very much do not like reviewing the decisions of juries.

      So, the case could be done legally correct from a technical perspective, leaving it technically perfect for purposes of appeal, but the jury could just say “screw it, we just want to find these officers guilty so our city stops burning down,” and so long as there was ANY evidence to support guilt the appellate court will defer to the jury’s call.

      For example, could a knee that left not a bruise really be the proximate cause of Floyd’s death, in preference to his heart disease, atherosclerosis, fentanyl and methamphetamine use, and his decision to forcibly resist lawful arrest for 10 minutes, likely inducing cardiac arrest?

      I’d suggest there exists at least a reasonable doubt that the knee killed Floyd. But the jury could watch the video, say they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the knee killed Floyd, find the officers guilty on that basis, and the prospects of an appellate court reversing that decision is effectively zero.


      Attorney Andrew F. Branca
      Law of Self Defense LLC

    1. Attorney Andrew Branca

      Could be. That certainly appears to be the case in the Ahmed Arbery case.

      The prosecution charges the man who made the video with felony murder predicated on attempted felony unlawful imprisonment, and suddenly for the first time yesterday in the preliminary hearing that man “remembers” one of the McMichaels using the n-word over Arbery’s dead body.

      Is it credible that we’d be hearing about that use of the n-word for the first time yesterday? I’d suggest not. But the sudden recollection is certainly helpful to the prosecution, and provides an opening to Benjamin Crump to file a civil rights case in Federal court.


      Attorney Andrew F. Branca
      Law of Self Defense LLC

  3. Hi: Just an aside, I am a retired Anesthetist. If you google fentanyl “they” say that that a lethal dose of fentanyl is about 3 mg. I can tell you that 3 mg. is huge if given as a single dose. Typically (70 kg. male) , a patient would need ventilatory support at doses of around 750 micrograms (0.75mg.). Of course I am not talking about total doses given over time.

  4. Pingback: George Floyd: Criminal Complaints & Medical Examiner Report – Law of Self Defense

  5. So, the predicate felony for the 2nd degree murder charge is assault in the 3rd degree, basically, that you intentionally assaulted somebody with deadly force. In this case, the assault led to death. So the felony murder charge is (1) the officer intentionally assaulted Floyd with deadly force, and (2) Floyd died as a direct result of that felonious deadly assault. How is that any different than an actual intentional murder charge? I’m having a lot of trouble with the question of intent here. How is the mens rea any different between this felony murder charge and straight intentional murder? That is, how can the murder be “unintentional” if, at the same time, the deadly force that killed Floyd was intentional? What am I missing here?

    1. Yeronimus Pretorius

      It depends on what Chauvin was trying to do with that force. Was he simply trying to effect a lawful arrest, was he trying to hurt or punish Floyd, was he reckless or negligent in using that force, or was he trying to kill him?

  6. Yeronimus Pretorius

    Chauvin was stupid to restrain Floyd. Has he been living under a rock for the past eight post-Trayvon years? Did the names Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, etc., ad nauseum, mean nothing to him? He should have refused to arrest him on the grounds that it may incriminate him.

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