1. Okay, guys, it’s crunch time. Attorneys in the Derek Chauvin trial present their closing arguments today then the jury will sequester and begin deliberations.
2. I have a lot of feelings.
3. I know what I believe the verdict has to be. I know those jurors must be feeling the eyes of the world on them, and I’d hope that would force a just verdict. But I’m also scared of what the verdict might be in the end.
4. What I’m determined not to be is surprised if they let this man off without a conviction.
5. I’m gob smocked (that’s a thing, right?) at the number of witnesses who testified for the prosecution. Not that they found that many — I’m sure hundreds more would have gladly stepped forward to speak the truth — but the fact the prosecutor felt the need to layer that sort of backup under his case speaks volumes.
6. Nobody, and I mean nobody, who’s seen the video can sit through nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into the back of George Floyd’s neck as he’s restrained face down on the pavement and argue it was a reasonable response to Mr. Floyd’s behavior.
7. Personally I’d argue there’s no situation in which kneeling on a restrained person’s neck is appropriate law enforcement behavior but I suppose that’s a conversation for another day.
8. Tensions are running high. We’ve been watching and waiting for a year, looking to see if someone might finally be held accountable for murder while wearing a badge, and this is it. The city knows it; they’ve set their students for fully remote learning starting on Wednesday in anticipation of the verdict.
9. As if the stress of this one trial wasn’t enough we’re in a tinderbox time. Two more police killings became public over the last couple of weeks as well as the attack on Army officer Nazario during a traffic stop back in December. Plus it seems we’re averaging mass shootings daily at the moment.
10. It’s a perfect storm forming. The increased gun sales during the pandemic and protests/riots over the last year; a barely contained rage spanning everyone who believes the Big Election Lie to a those unwilling to ignore one more Black lynching. Cities are right to brace for the Derek Chauvin verdict. I just worry that overwhelming police presence in the streets this week will lead to more pain and suffering like the Floyd family is experiencing.