Took forever to read this (and the earlier post) but it was worth it. In a comment on the last post I said the Glenn and John would revisit the case and predicted that they would be fair and open-minded. I think you'll agree that they were:


Very glad I upgraded to a paid subscription, and would encourage others to do so. This is difficult, time-consuming, and important work.

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Feb 15Liked by Radley Balko

Amazing research and detailed analysis. Looking forward to the third part. Thank you for your clear explanations!!

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"If Hughes spoke with a single forensic pathologist or other subject matter expert for his column, he didn’t mention them. Perhaps he has some uncanny ability to quickly grasp the complex, jargon-riddled field of forensic pathology in the time it took to write his column . . ."

Well, as Hughes finds a way to tell the audience in most podcasts, he went to Columbia.

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I can't thank you enough for this important work. The revisionism is so misplaced, and having someone take the time to go though and explain exactly why is really valuable.

I want to add a bit of support to rebut the pro-Chauvin idea that Floyd can't have been murdered because he was going to die of a drug overdose. Even if it could have been proven that Floyd really was going to die by any other cause, the law is clear that that doesn't matter. And if you think about it, the law could not possibly be otherwise.

This is how the jury in the case was instructed on the definition of "causing the death":

"'To cause death,' 'causing the death' or 'caused the death' means that the Defendant’s act or acts were a substantial causal factor in causing the death of George Floyd. The Defendant is criminally liable for all the consequences of his actions that occur in the ordinary and natural course of events, including those consequences brought about by one or more intervening causes, if such intervening causes were the natural result of the Defendant's acts. The fact that other causes contribute to the death does not relieve the Defendant of criminal liability. However, the Defendant is not criminally liable if a 'superseding cause' caused the death. A 'Superseding cause' is a cause that comes after the Defendant's acts, alters the natural sequence of events, and is the sole cause of a result that would not otherwise have occurred."

Proving the knee was "a substantial causal factor" is all that was required. The pro-Chauvin argument seems to be that the drugs were a superseding cause, but the instructions are clear that no cause is a legally relevant superseding cause that prevents criminal liability unless it "comes after the Defendant's acts"--which Floyd's ingesting drugs can not have done. This is the key: "The fact that other causes contribute to the death does not relieve the Defendant of criminal liability."

If you think about it, of course it must be the case that someone having enough drugs in their system to kill them must not mean that they cannot be murdered. If I see someone in the middle of a soon-to-be-fatal fentanyl overdose, I'm allowed to just shoot them, since they were going to die anyway? Of course not. Even if my shot wouldn't have been fatal but for the person already being in the middle of an overdose, of course I'm still guilty of murder.

And the law also has to be this way because, in reality, we obviously never know for sure whether someone is just about to die. Anything could happen to save them. So even if, by all appearances, someone is just about to die, if you're the one who pushes them over the edge, you caused the death for purposes of homicide laws. No other approach could possibly work.

Notably, Chauvin's attorneys didn't even argue on appeal that the jury instructions' definition of "causing the death" was wrong. His attorney's knew such an argument wasn't close to a winner. Presumably, they hadn't objected to the definition at trial, either.

See full jury instructions here: https://mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/High-Profile-Cases/27-CR-20-12646/JuryInstructions04192021.pdf

See Chauvin's appeal brief here: https://www.mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/High-Profile-Cases/27-CR-20-12646/Brief-Appellant.pdf

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I have only partly read the first of these two articles. Here are thee items which might be of interest:

In the judgement of Dr Pierre Kory, the expert witness who identified the cause of death: https://pierrekorymedicalmusings.com/p/george-floyd-did-not-die-of-a-fentanyl and https://pierrekorymedicalmusings.com/p/george-floyds-death-response-to-comments, asphyxiation was the cause of death. While a high level of fentanyl was found in George Floyd's bloodstream, Dr Kory argues that this was not the cause of death since his behaviour, including being able to speak, was not sufficiently affected by this level. This is apparently explicable in terms of tolerance to such high levels.

"Ultimately, it was my determination that Mr. Floyd was slowly suffocated as a result of the combined weight of multiple officers on this thoracic cage and windpipe after being placed in the prone position. It was a severely distressing way to die."

Dr Kory, is part of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) https://covid19criticalcare.com/about-the-flccc/our-physicians/ . He and his colleagues in the FLCCC have made enormous efforts to correct the failings of the mainstream COVID-19 pandemic response.

Glenn Loury and John McWhorter cite these two article in the following, in which they reconsider their earlier support for the documentary "The Fall of Minneapolis": https://glennloury.substack.com/p/john-mcwhorter-the-fall-of-minneapolis and https://glennloury.substack.com/p/we-were-too-quick-to-praise-the-fall .

Finally, since this discussion involves African Americans, please remember that without vitamin D3 supplementation in quantities well above those recommended by governments and many doctors, African Americans have even lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than Americans with white or brown skin. The immune system can only work properly with at least 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L) circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is made in the liver from ingested or ultraviolet skin exposure produced vitamin D3. This is only 1 part in 20,000,000, but most fair skinned Americans have less than half of this, in winter, unless they supplement vitamin D3 properly. (There is virtually no vitamin D3 in food, fortified or not.) Many types of immune cells need a good supply of 25-hydroxyvitamin D as an input to their intracrine (within each individual cell) signaling systems, which are crucial to the cell's ability to respond to its changing circumstances.

Please see the research articles cited and discussed at: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/00-evi/ .

The whole of human health is blighted by immune systems crippled to some extent by inadequate 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This affects most people in most countries. Dark skinned people who live far from the equator are particularly at risk of bad outcomes, from poor neurodevelopment in-utero to increased rates of dementia in old age. In between, infectious diseases, inflammatory conditions such as sepsis, and a huge range of autoimmune diseases are made far worse by low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.

There are multiple reasons for African Americans having poorer lives than they should. Proper vitamin D3 supplementation, according to body weight and obesity status, is an easy fix for a profound problem which affects most people, especially African Americans.

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