‘The Nation’ on Derek Chauvin Jury: System Set up by Whites to ‘Go Free’ for Killing Black People

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 26: (L-R) John Fugelsang, Stephanie Miller and Elie Mystal speak onstage during the 2019 Politicon at Music City Center on October 26, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon)
Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon

The Nation published an article Thursday blasting the “deeply flawed” jury selection process for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, asserting the jury system “set up by white people” allows “white people [to] go free when they kill black people.

The piece, penned by Nation justice correspondent Elie Mystal and titled “The Acquittal of Derek Chauvin Has Already Begun,” carries a sub-headline which claims the jury selection process “shows how the cop who killed George Floyd can, and likely will, win.” The article begins by stating Chauvin need not be referred to as having “allegedly” killed George Floyd, because the author “saw it.”

Mystal (pictured) laments that a jury, “comprised mainly of white people,” will decide whether “killing a black man should be a crime,” and then proclaims a trial should not even be necessary. 

“In a reasonable world, this trial would be perfunctory,” he writes. “Hell, in a reasonable world, there wouldn’t even be a trial: Chauvin would have accepted some kind of plea deal.”

Mystal openly states white cops, for the most part, can easily get away with murdering black people.

“But we don’t live in a reasonable world—we live in a white one,” he writes. “Chauvin is white, and he’s a cop. And his victim was black. In most situations, that’s all you need to get away with murder.”

Prejudging the case as a matter of clear-cut racism leading to Floyd’s death, Mystal claims any potential arguments in Chauvin’s defense by his attorneys are “ludicrous.” 

“Floyd is dead because he was black, and Chauvin figured it was okay to choke a black person to death,” he writes. 

Mystal then claims, due to his belief black people and white people should be treated the same, he would not be permitted by the “white”-run system to be part of the jury.

“He will not be judged by me or anybody like me,” Mystal writes. “I’m not ‘impartial’ about whether black people should be treated with the same basic human dignity as white people. According to the white people who run this system, that makes me too ‘biased’ to sit on Chauvin’s jury.”

Declaring the jury system “set up by white people” must fail in order to allow for justice, Mystal claims its primary functions include letting “white people go free when they kill black people.”

Mystal continues by stereotyping whites and arguing they are unable to provide a just decision.

“Chauvin will be tried in front of a jury composed predominately of white people who haven’t yet made up their minds on the whole violent police brutality question,” he writes. “You know the people I’m talking about: the ‘maybe all lives should matter?’ folks.”

Claiming jury selection is “deeply flawed” and only the “least-informed” and uneducated will serve as the jury, Mystal states “the system” will label its unjust verdict as just.

“The system will trot out 12 of the least-informed people it can find, people who didn’t even bother to fully educate themselves on why there was a massive uprising of black people throughout the country all summer,” he writes. “And then that system will call their judgment ‘justice.’”

Mystal further asserts the very jury questionnaire is geared to covertly “weed out anybody black.” 

Only if you “buy” into the “false equivalency between Black Lives Matter and the racist counter-trope, Blue Lives Matter,” would you likely be accepted, he writes. 

“The defense is getting exactly the kind of white people it wants,” he adds.

Referring to one of the men reported to have been selected to serve on the jury, Mystal blasts him for being described as one who thinks “analytically” and works to “find facts,” yet had not viewed the clip of Floyd’s death.

“Here’s a guy who thinks he likes facts but couldn’t be bothered to learn the facts behind why black people all across this country were risking Covid-19 exposure and police brutality to protest all last summer,” Mystal writes.

Mystal notes how videos of the deaths of Terence Crutcher in 2016 and Eric Garner in 2014 at the hands of police officers, as well as the beating of Rodney King in 1991, were not helpful in charging officers. 

“It only takes one white person who thinks the cops should be allowed to hunt and murder black people to hang a jury,” he writes.

In a tweet promoting his essay, Mystal writes “it’s pretty clear how the white justice system is trying to get [Chauvin] off.”

“The jury system works FOR white people, not for justice,” he adds.

On Wednesday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson questioned if Chauvin could have a fair trial given how the incident had played out in the media and nationally. 

Another concern is prospective jurors are legitimately concerned for their own safety.

“One can only imagine what will happen to Minneapolis and other Democrat-run cities if Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, is found not guilty,” wrote Breitbart’s John Nolte.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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