The prosecution in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has begun referring to the victim’s “neck area” rather than his “neck” after the defense pointed out that Chauvin’s knee was not on his neck throughout the entire encounter, as the media previously reported.
Earlier this week, Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, citing “camera perspective bias,” elicited testimony from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on cross-examination in which Arradondo agreed that Chauvin had placed his knee on Floyd’s “shoulder blade” at one point.
As Legal Insurrection analyst Andrew Branca noted on Wednesday, the prosecution has begun referring to Floyd’s “neck area” as a result:
Nelson began displaying images of the knee placement from different angles showing that Chauvin’s knee appeared to be on Floyd’s shoulders and back, rather than on Floyd’s neck. Indeed, Lt. [Johnny]Mercil, the state’s expert on MPD use-of-force training and policy explicitly agreed on cross-examination that this appeared to be the case.
So what’s the state to do when a key facet of their narrative of criminal conduct is contradicted by their own expert? Move the goals posts, of course.
Today, however, Prosecutor Schleiter and his state-paid use of force expert Stiger began to avoid the claim that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck, and instead started referring to Chauvin’s knee being on Floyd’s “neck area.”
What’s the “neck area”? Well, the shoulders and upper back!
Other elements of the prosecution’s case have been thrown into doubt on cross-examination, as Breitbart News noted Wednesday.
Yet the media continue to report the trial as if the prosecution had made an irrefutable case. The Associated Press, for example, published its analysis under the headline: “Expert: Chauvin never took knee off Floyd’s neck area.”
Critics fear that the media’s one-sided coverage of the trial could shape public expectations in a way that would encourage outrage in the event that Chauvin is not convicted.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.