Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was on Jake Tapper’s show this weekend and the trial of Derek Chauvin inevitably came up for discussion. There’s nothing inappropriate about having Omar weigh in since the events in question took place in her district, as did much of the unrest and riots that followed the public release of the video of George Floyd’s encounter with the police. Most of her observations were unremarkable, noting that some residents are “on edge” over the televised coverage of the trial. (Most of which she claims not to have watched.)
But before concluding that section of the interview, she just had to get in one parting shot at Chauvin’s defense team. (NY Post)
The trial of former cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has left Minneapolis “on edge,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said Sunday.
During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Omar, the city’s congressional representative, told host Jake Tapper that the trial’s start has re-opened the emotional wound from Floyd’s Memorial Day 2020 death.
“It’s been re-traumatizing,” said Omar, a Democrat. “It’s been really hard. I’ve tried to avoid watching. I know a lot of us here in Minneapolis have done that. … You also want to know the details and hear from the witnesses.
“I think the one part that’s stayed with me is the fact that everyone who took the witness stand said they felt helpless.”
As I said, the majority of those comments weren’t particularly notable. It’s easy to see how people across her district might be feeling tense. Some of them, like Omar, might be siding with the prosecution or be bothered by the graphic descriptions of what happened during Floyd’s arrest. What she didn’t mention was the rest of the residents and business owners who are probably even more worried about the potential wreckage that a new round of riots would bring about if Chauvin is acquitted. Omar’s tone clearly indicated that she’s in the camp that’s hoping for a conviction.
That sentiment was reinforced when she decided to accuse Chauvin’s defense team of playing dirty pool. She said, “It’s been really horrendous to watch the defense put George Floyd on trial instead of the former police officer who’s charged with his murder.”
This just sounds like a case of Omar trying to convict Chauvin in the court of public opinion before the question has even been handed to the jury. The defense isn’t “putting George Floyd on trial.” It’s obvious that if Derek Chauvin wants to make the case that he’s not guilty, the details of the arrest and how he wound up kneeling on George Floyd’s neck were going to have to be examined. For the defense attorneys to not do that would amount to malpractice. After all, their job isn’t to convince the entire world. They’re trying to convince at least one juror to agree with the arguments being made in defense of the accused.
Omar’s remarks also sounded like something of a warning about the bad things that might happen if Derek Chauvin is acquitted. She wouldn’t be alone in that effort, either. Just this week, a professional model and BLM activist named Maya Echols issued a far more blunt and threatening warning to the jury. (The Postmillennial)
According to the Daily Wire, Echols said in a now-deleted video, “If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced, just know that all hell is gonna break loose. Don’t be surprised when building are on fire. Just sayin’.”
Echols also starts another video on her Tik Tok account, which has hundreds of thousands of followers with a BLM face mask on.
While I have no doubt in my mind that Echols is correct, that’s still a pretty blatant case of incitement when a celebrity with a huge social media following says it aloud.
Personally, I have no idea if Derek Chauvin is going to be found guilty or not, nor even whether he should be. I think the prosecutors have put on the best case they could manage thus far and they’ve painted a bleak picture of the events on the night that Floyd and Chauvin collided. The defense is going to have to convince the jurors that the high levels of drugs in the suspect’s system and the fact that he was resisting arrest justified the methods used by the police in restraining him. That’s a tough case to make, but then again, they only need to find someone on the jury who is willing to give the police the benefit of the doubt in such cases and Chauvin could go free. And if that happens, you can safely bet that we’re going to have a rerun of the “summer of love” in Minneapolis on our hands.