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


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.

Wow, completely inaccurate statement. What Op were you reading?

Probably not sadly. Even if he was, it would’ve been at worst involuntary manslaughter and he would’ve gotten maybe 1 year in prison if not for BLM and the protests.

Incidentally, Floyd’s autopsy states he was 6’4". A large man but “Near giant” is ridiculous.

The violence made no difference. Chauvin was getting convicted no matter what.

Tell me again who is being tried for the killing of Breonna Taylor in her own home?

If not for nationwide protests, Derek Chauvin—a police officer with a history of complaints and disciplinary action for excessive use of force, including beating a 14 year old boy in the head with a flashlight and putting his knee on the boy’s neck in a manner very similar to what he did with Floyd—would be facing disciplinary action or at most involuntary manslaughter. Great that he was actually convicted of second and third degree murder, but that this was celebrated for how unusual it is for a police officer to be charged and convicted of brutality or homicide even with video and forensic evidence tells you everything you need to know about the likely outcome for Chauvin without the public outcry and nationwide protests over the deliberate killing of George Floyd.


No. No conviction would have happened.

I heard or read somewhere that the defense found excuses to show those videos over and over and over and over and over and…to desensitize the jury to the horrible acts. And it worked.

It’s amazing to me how these questionable killings haven’t stopped—too many cops still think they have carte blanche because they’ve had it for so long. People can’t figure it was a one-time fluke or anything. The media coverage keeps it in the spotlight, keeps BLM pushing. As they’re killed all over the country, nobody can pretend it’s only a problem somewhere else.

Another one that will always stick with me:

Without the video its unlikely that Chauvin would even have made the list you linked to. According to the initial police report, Chauvin spontaneously started experiencing medical distress, to which the police responded by calling an ambulance. So the number may be even higher than what your link suggested.

Yes, I think it’s the tip of the iceberg. I’d be curious to know how it compares to other years. Now that they have body cams maybe the situation will improve?

I tend to think that the initial violence scared people enough to actually listen. However, I suspect that further violence is what allowed the narrative of “burning down cities” to catch on, which likely hurt the cause.

What I’m unsure of is if the protestors actually were responsible for that violence, of if it was primarily caused by agitators (those who wanted an excuse to be violent) and the entirely tone-deaf police response that seemed to be designed to escalate the unrest.

I am 100% sure that, without the protests, we don’t get this result. Not because it somehow improperly influenced the trial, but because it made it clear we were dealing with a systemic issue.

Also, note that, say, getting in someone’s way does not count as violence in this determination. That’s what protestors do. They are an implicit threat: look at how many of us care about this, and how much we care. You’d better do something about this!

If that wasn’t the case, then just sending in a letter or running ads or memes would be enough. The reason you need people actually going around, with signs and such, is that it tells them “we mean business.” Hence I think that sometimes some violence can reinforce that point. But said violence has to be proportionate and stop when they actually start listening. It is measured violence, not getting out of hand to the point you seem like the bad guys.

At least, that’s my theory. If protesters weren’t seen as a threat, why would the police want to be violent towards them, to try and shut them up? It’s like how I pointe out to others: if BLM didn’t have a point, why would they go after them and smear them?