ADULTHOOD'S END: Had Chris Wallace done the right thing?

TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020

The facts are always wrong:
It's a fact which has been widely noted. In recent years, Chris Wallace has possibly been the best performer among the hosts of the five Sunday morning shows.

Because Wallace is host of Fox News Sunday, this fact has occasioned surprise. That said, Wallace has often been tougher on Trump-aligned guests than other Sunday hosts have been. He's often done the best work.

Wallace has often done the best work—though this past Sunday, he may have messed up at one point. On the brighter side, his apparent error helps us establish a basic point:

In emotional matters involving race and sex, the basic facts you're led to believe will almost always be wrong.

The facts are always wrong! In this instance, Wallace was interviewing Andy Skoogman, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police. At one point, Wallace said this:
WALLACE (5/31/20): I want to pick up, though, because the police report that was filed after the incident said that George Floyd, the man who was killed, resisted arrest. And it also said that he died at the hospital, when in fact it appears clear that he was dead at the scene.

Those were both lies, which raises the question, if there had mot been a video in this case, isn't it possible, even likely, that these four officers would still be on the street?
In the end, does it even matter? Quite possibly not.

Presumably, it wouldn't matter, in the present case, whether George Floyd resisted arrest at some point. Rather plainly, the police behavior which led to his death seems to have been egregious. If Floyd had resisted arrest in some way at some previous point, that subsequent police behavior would still seem egregious.

That said, you'd like to think that someone like Wallace was keeping abreast of the facts, insofar as the facts could have been known on Sunday. In this instance, we got the distinct impression that he hadn't yet read the official "Statement of probable cause" in which former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter in the matter of Floyd's death.

We had read that official statement; it had been filed on Friday. While charging Chauvin in the manner described, it seems to say, at several points, that Floyd had resisted arrest.

Quite sensibly, Wallace was criticizing the initial police report, a masterwork of deception. But here are some passages from the criminal complaint, the document which charged one of the officers with murder:
STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE (5/29/2020):

[...]

While Officer Kueng was speaking with the front seat passenger, Officer Lane ordered Mr. Floyd out of the car, put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car. Officer Lane handcuffed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd actively resisted being handcuffed.

[...]

Officers Kueng and Lane stood Mr. Floyd up and attempted to walk Mr. Floyd to their squad car (MPD 320 ) at 8:14 p.m. Mr. Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic.

[...]

The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver's side. Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still.
At various places, that "Statement of probable cause" is poorly written, to a remarkable degree. Also, the fact that this document makes a particular claim doesn't prove that the claim is accurate.

Still, this criminal complaint seems to say that Floyd resisted arrest at at least two separate junctures. Presumably, that can't and doesn't justify Chauvin's subsequent conduct—but we evaluate the work of journalists here, not that of police officers.

Everybody makes mistakes. Wallace's work on many Sundays has been "best in class."

That said, we got the definite impression this Sunday morning that Wallace might be behind on his background reading. Even worse, he didn't denounce the particular statements in question as being "false" or "wrong," which it probably wasn't.

He denounced the statement as "a lie." Given the rules of modern speech, this proves that he's one of ours!

In fairness to Wallace, the claim that Floyd never resisted arrest had been bruited all over cable news in the preceding week. That said, the document charging Chauvin with murder had seemed to say something different.

As we've long noted, high-profile cases of police shootings or alleged sexual assaults have consistently featured bogus facts over the past eight years. Again and again, we liberals have invented false facts, disappeared real facts, and called attention to irrelevant facts as we've created the novelized tales which show the world how much we care and how strikingly moral we are.

Beyond that, we now describe all misstatements as lies, excluding only the many misstatements which have come from within our own tents. In such ways, we announce adulthood's end—the end of the need to pay attention to the complexity of many events which actually happen out there in the real world.

We've done this for the past eight years; we're never going to stop. Despondent anthropologists repeatedly say that this is the best our species can do, that this is the way we're wired.

At any rate, Wallace's surprising statement extended this long campaign, this war on unsanitized facts.

Does it matter if Floyd resisted arrest at some point? In our view, it doesn't seem that it does.

That said, this claim will likely play a role in Chauvin's defense if this matter goes to trial. Also, Wallace's statement reminds us of a remarkably stable state of affairs:

In emotional matters of this type, the facts are always wrong!

Had Wallace failed to do the right thing prior to Sunday's program? We're guessing that he had. That said, everyone makes mistakes, including the four officers we now want to ship off to jail.

One of the four has already been charged. Concerning one of the other three, we were struck by several things we read in that same statement of probable cause.

The document is amazingly jumbled at several points; the writing is strikingly bad. Still, we were struck by something we hadn't heard about one of the other three policemen whose heads we now want on a pike.

Did one of them try to do the right thing? Also, what would doing the right thing have looked like in that circumstance?

Tomorrow: Did Officer Lane try to do the right thing? Why haven't you seen this discussed?

Coming: Can you name anyone in our own tribe who has ever done the right thing?

52 comments:

  1. "Given the rules of modern speech, this proves that he's one of ours!"

    To be fair, dear Bob, your zombie-speak has become so omnipresent recently (thanks to your zombie media), that elements of your zombie-speak are occasionally picked up by actual humyns.

    "Does it matter if Floyd resisted arrest at some point? In our view, it doesn't seem that it does."

    Now, with all due respect, that's stupid, dear Bob.

    When perp is resisting arrest, he's to be subdued, incapacitated. Which is what the cop accused of manslaughter appeared to be doing. The only question being: was it done with excessive force or not.

    But if the perp wasn't resisting, then what the cop was doing to him would be completely wrong, no question about that. Big difference, dear Bob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Right-winger excusing the violation of the human rights of a black man. Is this another of those days that ends in y?

      Delete
    2. It all depends on the specific facts. There are right ways and wrong ways of subduing someone who is resisting arrest. Certainly, shooting the suspect in the head, when the resistance is non-threatening would be some type of criminal homicide. In this case, there may be more film of what happened before the cop put his foot on the guy's next for 8 minutes. It's hard to conclude otherwise than that the cop is guilty. But there are undoubtedly a lot of facts, and as unpopular as the cop is, he is entitled to a fair trial.

      Delete
    3. "he is entitled to a fair trial"

      Just like Floyd got?

      Delete
    4. "Just like Floyd got?"

      If Floyd wanted a fair trial, he should have been white.

      Delete
    5. anon 1:26 - it's always the case - someone is accused of murder, they are entitled to a fair trial. The victim didn't get a fair trial. No difference here.

      Delete
    6. Floyd is dead and Chauvin is alive. That's a big difference. Hard to exercise your right to a fair trial if you're dead.

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  2. "Wallace has often been tougher on Trump-aligned guests than other Sunday hosts have been"

    One of the problems with the Sunday shows has been that there are too many Trump-aligned guests and not enough guests with other "alignments."

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    1. "Wallace has often been tougher on Trump-aligned guests than other Sunday hosts have been"

      Faint praise of a Faux tool.

      Delete
  3. Yes, we should stick to facts. I'm not saying what we saw on the video is not accurate, but with Ferguson, as the Obama Justice Department later reported, the facts were not as some people said they were. I'm not saying that this is the case this time, but business in the past have been looted and burned because of false information. (Not that correct information excuses this behavior).

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    1. Those businesses are not being looted because of false information. They are being looted because looters want free stuff. The protests are because there are patterns of mistreatment by police that evoke outrage that comes to a head with specific cases that get a lot of media attention. The protests aren't about just George Floyd or Mark Brown, but because of the way black people in general are treated compared to white people. These are protests over racism, not about the facts of one case.

      But if you want to look at Floyd's case, there is no justification for killing a prisoner in handcuffs because he won't stand up and get in the car (true or not).

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    2. Truth.
      Many wanted to make it about Mike Brown, but it was about this.

      https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf

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    3. Going limp is a tactic that goes back to Gandhi's protests in India. It is about non-violence. It cannot be argued that Floyd posed a threat to any officer by lying down and refusing to cooperate. This is what people do when confronted by unjust authority and abuse of power. It is meant to arouse the conscience of people who see such abuses happening and it has done that in this situation.

      Somerby is not talking about the original offense much. Floyd allegedly passed a fake $20 bill in a convenience store. If he were white, after examining the bill, authorities might visit him and question him to see whether he knew it was fake or not. It would be assumed that he was not the counterfeiter but a dupe (who has thereby lost $20) since such bills do circulate from hand to hand before being discovered. But the cops apparently assumed that Floyd produced the bill himself, with enough certainty to put him in handcuffs over it. Would they make that assumption if he were white or would they have handled the whole situation differently?

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    4. anon 12:26 - maybe you are right: under the exact same circumstances the cops would have behaved differently if the suspect were white. The problem is, it's entirely speculative what would have happened. It also could be said that if the suspect had been white, he would have got into the cop car, when the cops told him to, instead of refusing to do so (if that is what in fact happened). If Floyd complied with the cop's demand (I don't know what happened in this regard, though that's what the police report says),it seems obvious this whole tragedy would never have happened. It doesn't excuse at all what the cop did - but it could have been avoided. And since you are applying your hypothetical, one could similarly hypothesize that if the suspect were white, he would have complied and got into the police car.

      Delete
    5. Maybe Floyd was aware of this:
      “Black men are more likely to be fatally shot while unarmed.
      Compared to their numbers in the overall population, an unarmed black man is about four times more likely to be killed by police than an unarmed white man.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/09/what-weve-learned-about-police-shootings-years-after-ferguson/

      Delete
    6. Everything is speculative. The white suspect might have just shot the cops, because he's a 2nd Amendment fetishist, who hates the tyranny of the government. Who knows?

      Delete
    7. "...he's a 2nd Amendment fetishist"

      Speaking of, where are the gun-owners? What's the point of tolerating the wholesale slaughter of rooms full of First Graders, just so gun-owners can keep the right to fight the tyranny of the government, if the gun-owners aren't going to exercise that right?

      Delete
  4. Somerby says: "Again and again, we liberals have invented false facts, disappeared real facts, and called attention to irrelevant facts as we've created the novelized tales which show the world how much we care and how strikingly moral we are."

    All of this presumes that Somerby knows what the "real" facts are, because how can he judge whether false facts or omitted facts exist without feeling that he has a handle on the truth of these matters?

    In this, Somerby and deadrat are identical. They accuse others of being wrong without bothering to prove their own superior handle on what really happened in these various situations.

    Then Somerby takes things further by asserting that it is because liberals feel moral superiority and invent novelized tales to support that superiority. Again, with no evidence. And without any examination of the moral superiority they themselves assert, nor the superiority claimed by the right.

    This is a fool's game. Somerby acknowledges that people make mistakes, even superior ones on Fox like Chris Wallace, but wishes to generalize from individual instances to these overarching statements about the motives of liberals, which not coincidentally are framed in the same terms as conservatives.

    I don't know for sure that Somerby and deadrat are the same person (as Bill Maher would say), but they might as well be, in their assumption of their own omniscience, their faith that they alone know the truth about sex and race.

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    1. I don't know for sure that Somerby and deadrat are the same person (as Bill Maher would say), but they might as well be, in their assumption of their own omniscience, their faith that they alone know the truth about sex and race.

      No, I’m not Somerby. You can tell because I actually read the TDH comment section. But why, again, couldn’t there be two people convinced of their own inerrant judgment?

      As for my views on my own omniscience, that’s a fair cop, but really it’s only by comparison with ignoramuses like you. Somerby, on the other hand, writes about how much all of us don’t know and how we should thereby be careful about drawing conclusions.

      Funny that you didn’t pick up on that.

      No, not funny. What’s that other word?

      Oh, yeah. Typical.

      Delete
    2. “Somerby, on the other hand, writes about how much all of us don’t know and how we should thereby be careful about drawing conclusions.”

      There’s that us again.

      It is legitimate for Somerby to speak to his own ignorance, and yours maybe, but not anyone else’s.

      Delete
    3. He could certainly speak to yours. It's hard to miss.

      But then again, I'd say that ignorance is the human condition. But YMMV on that.

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    4. Some other similarities between deadrat and Somerby:

      1. Deadrat reserves his criticism for liberals here, so does Somerby.

      2. Deadrat never admits a mistake, even when he is demonstrably wrong. Same with Somerby. (I've sent him email about typos and other mistakes and he never corrects them.)

      3. Deadrat attacks professors and so does Somerby. Corby never said she was a professor here -- deadrat tracked the piece of info down and drags it into every comment. Now he is calling mh "Corby" as if that were a bad thing.

      4. Both deadrat and Somerby are excessively focused on trivialities and both are very literal. Somerby's references to phrases from authors and songs is often seen in folks on the autism spectrum. Deadrat shows similar signs of being on the spectrum in his thinking and use of language.

      5. Every one in a while Somerby lets his nastiness show through. Deadrat wears that same kind of nastiness as a badge of honor.

      Too many intersections to be coincidence, in my opinion. Using a sockpuppet to defend yourself while pretending not to read the comments is the ultimate in dishonesty -- while Somerby seems morbidly focused on "when is a lie not really a lie?" We have seen examples of Somerby's dishonesty lately too, so such a deception is not beyond him.

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    5. If ignorance is the human condition, then you must be ignorant too, unless you aren’t human. Not an insult. Just a true statement.

      Also true: You seem to be a pompous windbag and an asshole who can’t take criticism, even where none was intended.

      No insult. Just an observation from an admittedly ignorant human.

      Delete
    6. The previous was intended for deadrat, if that wasn’t clear.

      Delete
    7. mh,

      you must be ignorant too

      Absolutely. My saving graces are that I can read for comprehension and that I check my facts. Doesn’t save me entirely from either mistakes or ignorance.

      You seem to be a pompous windbag and an asshole

      No seeming about it. You’re right on both accounts. Doesn’t affect whether I’m correct or not.

      who can’t take criticism

      What, here? There was an anonymous troll in this comment section who used my nym to parody my posts. I miss him.

      Delete
    8. Ooh! This should be good:

      1. Deadrat reserves his criticism for liberals here, so does Somerby.

      I reserve my criticism for ignoramuses in this comment section. TDH reserves his for those writing and speaking in public forums.

      2. Deadrat never admits a mistake, even when he is demonstrably wrong. Same with Somerby. (I've sent him email about typos and other mistakes and he never corrects them.)

      I’ve posted “I stand corrected” when I’m wrong. It just doesn’t happen very often. I’ve sent TDH email about errors (not typos, though) and he has responded a couple of times. He once said he rarely reads the email account associated with his old blog.

      3. Deadrat attacks professors and so does Somerby. Corby never said she was a professor here -- deadrat tracked the piece of info down and drags it into every comment. Now he is calling mh "Corby" as if that were a bad thing.

      You can’t name a professror I’ve “attacked” — I assume you mean criticized — other than Corby. I didn’t have to “track down” that piece of info: it’s in her profile, to be had by clicking on her nym. Don’t make out like I’ve doxed her.

      I’m not calling mh “Corby.” I’m comparing him to Corby, as an example of boneheaded ignorance. Which, in my opinion, is a bad thing. YMMV

      4. Both deadrat and Somerby are excessively focused on trivialities and both are very literal. Somerby's references to phrases from authors and songs is often seen in folks on the autism spectrum. Deadrat shows similar signs of being on the spectrum in his thinking and use of language.

      Yeah, a diagnosis based on submittals to a blog’s comment section. Pathetic. I don’t refer to “phrases from authors and songs,” but I suppose I could start. With reference to you, how about Dylan’s “Idiot Wind”?

      5. Every one in a while Somerby lets his nastiness show through. Deadrat wears that same kind of nastiness as a badge of honor.

      But that’s a difference, not a similarity. Try to keep up with your own nonsense.

      Delete
    9. "I didn’t have to “track down” that piece of info: it’s in her profile, to be had by clicking on her nym. Don’t make out like I’ve doxed her."

      You did. A person's residence is also a matter of public record. That doesn't mean it belongs on the internet. When you spread it around online, it becomes a threat, the equivalent of saying "I know where you live."

      You are the only one here who has said anything about Corby being a professor. You did it gratuitously, with no relevance to anything being said here. That singles out professors as a reason to mock Corby, but only Somerby thinks being a professor is something wrong...and you, apparently. There was no reason for you to talk about Corby's profile or anything on it, except as a personal attack, and yes, nastiness makes your comments attacks, not comments (or even "criticism") since it is focused on the individual and not the content of her remarks.

      Now you are starting in on mh. What has mh done here besides express liberal viewpoints that contrast with Somerby's views? Just as Corby has done. But your attack on mh begins by calling him or her out as another professor, another Corby, as if anyone here were sympathetic with your bullying of Corby.

      Back off and play nice deadrat, especially if you are Somerby and not some random speck of internet lice.

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    10. "I’ve posted “I stand corrected” when I’m wrong."

      Like when you insisted to the bitter end that there was no such thing as tone in writing?

      Delete
    11. When you spread it around….

      So now you’re saying I posted the professor’s address?

      Or is it that you just can’t do analogies?

      Corby put her profession on the internet in her pubic profile. Calling her by her title is not a threat and reveals nothing that could endanger her. Or at least nothing more than she voluntarily revealed about herself.

      Let me state it again, and really I can’t type any slower in the hope that you can follow.

      I. am. mocking. Corby. Not. all. professors.

      I call her professor to underscore how far she falls below the standard that should be required of any professor. I’d put her title in scare quotes, but she really is a professor, as sad as that is.

      And, I’m sorry, Snowflake @9:04A, that you think a criticism of someone’s arguments is an “attack.” Here’s a mantra for you: if you don’t want to be called ridiculous, stop saying ridiculous things. I have never mentioned, let alone “focused” on any of Corby’s personal failings. You’re acting like I read her comments and then call her fat and ugly.

      Your attack on mh begins by calling him or her out as another professor, another Corby, as if anyone here were sympathetic with your bullying of Corby.

      Again with attack. I’m not calling mh another professor; I’m saying he’s acting like Corby. Here, try this. (Sound out the big words if you have to.)

      When I say someone is “another Donald Trump,” I don’t mean that person is a real estate investor or President. I mean he’s acting like a toxic narcissist.

      Get it? Let me spell it out. When I say that mh is “going Corby,” I don’t mean he’s a professor. I mean he, like Corby, has failed to read for comprehension and isn’t arguing logically. In fact, mh (unlike Corby) often writes cogent comments, in particular when he presents evidence against TDH’s over-broad claims that indict all liberals for the sins of a few. And I’ve posted comments to that effect.

      as if anyone here were sympathetic with your bullying of Corby

      Presumably Corby couldn’t give any more of a shit about me than I do whether anyone here is “sympathetic” with me. Given that and my complete inability to affect her life offline, let’s not call my comments “bullying.” It diminishes acts, online and off, that really harm and intimidate people.

      Back off and play nice deadrat, especially if you are Somerby

      I don’t wanna play nice. The political days of playing nice are over, even if you are Corby, hiding behind Anonymous.

      I’m not Somerby. You can tell because I read the TDH comment section.

      and not some random speck of internet lice.

      Now there’s a comment nastier than anything I’ve said about Corby. It would have hurt my feelings if I had any. Just don’t expect me to call it an “attack.”

      Delete
  5. Why does Somerby assume that the statement of probably cause is correct and not the police report filed after the incident? If there are two documents and they disagree, how do you determine which is right?

    Somerby seems to just know that the statement of probably cause is the right one, when there may be political reasons or other reasons why such a second-hand document might be changed. I'm not saying it is. I am questioning Somerby's sureness that it is the correct set of facts, and not the more immediate response of the officers at the scene.

    It seems odd that a big liberal like Somerby would be willing to set aside important liberal values simply because a cable guy says "lie" instead of "untruth". Does he think it is a lie that black arrestees are treated differently than white ones? That is why there are protesters in the streets, not because of anything Chris Wallace says, right or wrong.

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    1. spell check changes probable to probably

      Delete
  6. “we evaluate the work of journalists here”

    But

    “we liberals have invented false facts, disappeared real facts, and called attention to irrelevant facts as we've created the novelized tales which show the world how much we care and how strikingly moral we are.”

    Somerby constantly does this. He says it’s about journalists, but then he launches a tirade against liberals, as if the two are equivalent. What’s up with that?

    And this in a post chastising Chris Wallace of Fox News, whom Somerby now lumps in with liberals because he used the word “lie.”

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  7. "Adulthood's End"

    Does Somerby imagine that Arthur C. Clarke would approve of anything he has been writing?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Off topic, but about faulty news coverage

    An ABC News headline says,

    Coronavirus updates: US reports over 21,000 new cases amid mass protests

    The headline makes it sound like the number 21,000 has some significance. In fact, it's the normal level right now. The article also falsely says, "the United States has become the worst-affected country." As has been pointed out here, many countries have worse mortality rates than the US.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/coronavirus-updates-us-reports-21000-cases-amid-mass/story?id=71014105&cid=social_fb_abcn&fbclid=IwAR1vYJWH3pltiSLdL2S3wDWoCmiB46qORMvruqWr6NGfXaToeLehKr5SA-Q

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Distraction

      Delete
    2. David in Cal,
      No "but Obama" about Trump ordering the firing of tear gas at peaceful protesters, so he can stroke his own ego?
      You're slipping.

      Delete
    3. @1:09 - you have been taken in by fake news.

      Negating media, police say smoke cannisters, not tear gas used before Trump church visit; officers did not know he would be arriving

      WTOP reporter Neal Augenstein quoted a source within the Park Police and said "tear gas was never used -- instead smoke cannisters were deployed, which don't have an uncomfortable irritant in them."

      The police source also said that Park Police did not know President Trump would be walking across the park several minutes later, and that they fired the smoke cannisters to disperse the crowd because officers were being pelted with objects.


      https://disrn.com/news/park-police-smoke-cannisters-not-tear-gas-used-at-lafayette-park-police-did-not-know-trump-was-walking-to-church

      Delete
    4. church visit

      Bwahahaha!!!!!!

      Click those heels David, you fascist bastard.

      Delete
    5. Off topic, but ...."

      Off your rocker, but here you are anyway. Dr. Lee, David needs your help.

      Delete
  9. This part of the police report is...curious:

    “The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.”

    Mr Floyd was in the squad car, handcuffed. Why was he pulled back out of the car?

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    Replies
    1. In case they had to shoot him for being black, they wouldn't have to clean the inside of the car.

      Delete
  10. I want to post this again from the statement of probable cause:

    “The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.”

    Floyd was not resisting arrest at the time he was pulled out of the squad car and killed. He was already handcuffed in the squad car. The officer pulled him back out.

    Thus, Chris Wallace was correct.

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    Replies
    1. From what I've read in other situations, it seems that cops and many commenters believe that if a person can talk they can't possibly be asphyxiating. So they would not listen to such pleas. Maybe this cop had the same mistaken belief. If so, that speaks to training and cop culture.

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  11. Does Somerby really want to argue that the statements in the police report were mere accidental misstatements, rather than deliberate lies, given that the whole thing was documented on body cameras and cell phone video?

    Yes. Yes he does.

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    Replies
    1. Don't go all Corby on me. TDH calls the police report a "masterwork of deception." The statement of probable cause is submitted to a court, and prosecutors know that judges are generally unamused when officers of the court lie to them. Doesn't mean that the SOPC is correct, of course.

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    2. "... prosecutors know that judges are generally unamused when officers of the court lie to them."

      Depends on the jurisdiction.

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