Would Chauvin have been convicted of anything if the BLM protests hadn't involved violence?

This is a question that occurred to be when reading this thread.

We need to be careful about excusing violence; that said I think a case can be made that without the violence over the summer that Chauvin doesn’t get convicted of anything. The original police report of the Floyd incident is a complete white-washing. I don’t know if strictly peaceful protests create enough heat to get the state government to go after Chauvin.

The video is what caused both the prosecution, and the riots, in my opinion.

Sorry, when you say “violence” do you mean violence of the police against protesters? Cars running over protesters?

Because I would definitely not agree with characterizing the protests themselves with the misleading word “violence”.

Yes, but there’s a video and expert testimony. He would have been convicted anyway.

I misunderstood your point in the other thread. I thought you were saying the jury convicted him, in part, because of the protests. It seems you’re saying instead that he wouldn’t have been prosecuted without the protests.

Floyd was killed May 25th
May 27th the Mayor called for criminal charges to be brought
May 29th Chauvin was charged.
June 3rd, charges increased to second degree murder

I don’t think you can say “violence over the summer” was a big factor in convincing the state government to go after Chauvin.

Agreed with @Procrustus that prosecution was inevitable based on the video alone, even if there hadn’t been a peep of protest.

Many on the right (and likely Chauvin’s defense team) will argue that the jurors were influenced to deliver guilty verdicts by the prospect that new and more violent protests would otherwise follow. We’ve hashed that out in various threads here already.

Chances of a police officer being tried, let alone convicted, for the death of near giant, a known criminal, who was resisting and where the officer clearly did not intend to causedeath are basically zero IMO, without the BLM protests.

And since unlike you, most people here have the comprehension range of a potted plant, that is NOT a good thing, the fact that Chauvain was tried is a great outcome. Although I suspect it will be a one off, I hope not though.

My opinion is that he would have been charged, but possibly not actually indicted without the protests. DAs do a great job of indicting people when they want to, and a great job of not indicting them when they don’t want to.

Once indicted, I think he would have been found guilty of something without the protests. With the visibility of the protests, I think it made his conviction on second degree murder more likely, because the protests helped move the Overton window on police behavior away from letting them get away with murder.

I don’t think the violence helped at all, and possibly made it less likely that he was found guilty. (Note, I’m not saying that the Floyd protesters were responsible for the violence – maybe some, mostly not, but that’s all for another thread)

I could explain to you how all this is either false or irrelevant, but it’s enough to just point out that medics on the scene, Chauvin’s supervisors and colleagues at the police force, and forensic scientists all came to the opposite conclusion as yours. Thankfully the trial was decided by such expert testimony as well as the supporting evidence (crucially the video), and not pulled out from wherever you got your opinion from.


I think that having large, widespread protests was critical to getting him indicted, and that you basically can’t have large, widespread protests without some amount of violence. For one thing,
these things are on a bell curve: if you get 100 people mad enough to go out and protest, you’re gonna get somebody mad enough to start breaking shit. You can’t inspire the 100 without triggering the one. Furthermore, any widespread disruption will attract people who mostly want to break shit and are looking for a reason. They may even be sympathetic to the cause, but what they are chasing is the exhilaration of getting themselves all worked up and breaking shit.

So I see the violence as an inevitable unintended consequence of the protests. There was no timeline with only peaceful protests that led to conviction.

Such mass protests, even if they had remained totally peaceful, would have probably been sufficient to at least get a trial.

But I don’t think they could have. It’s just the nature of crowds and protests.

Ah sorry, I missed the “great outcome” part.
Without that, there are two alternative readings (as I say, right-wing media have claimed that the guilty verdict was just due to fear of the protesters).

Warning for AK84; this is not allowed outside the pit.

Combined with the post below, you can’t help but insult others right now in this thread. Please stop.

I think this comes closest to my own opinion. I’d like to think the demonstrations were not necessary but we have evidence in the Rodney King trial that video is not enough.

When was Chauvin indicted? I don’t know anything about Minnesota criminal procedure (or other procedure, for that matter), but I don’t see an indictment return date on the online docket sheet. I’m curious about how that fits into the timeline.

The protests probably helped get the conviction. The isolated cases of violence at the protests probably hurt.

This. It’s telling that the OP called them violent riots. What I saw was largely peaceful protesters engaging in their first amendment rights, being assaulted by police and homeland security.

If by “OP” you mean me you are mistaken. I never used the word riot and I was careful to say that some violence was involved, not that the protests were violent. I attended a brief BLM protest in Boston which was entirely peaceful but a few days before there had been some violence in the downtown Crossing area.