Letters to the Editor: The Chauvin defense’s disgraceful attempt to put George Floyd on trial

To the editor: George Floyd’s drug use and his struggles should have no bearing in this blatant case of the use of wanton authority. If anyone’s character is to be scrutinized, it is the absolute lack of caring that former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin displayed for the nine minutes his knee was pressing on the neck of a helpless human being. (“Derek Chauvin is in the courtroom, but the character of Black people is on trial in Minneapolis,” Opinion, April 4)

The image of Chauvin’s nonchalant stance with his hand near his pocket, while the life is ebbing away from Floyd, is indelibly etched in my mind. Floyd was handcuffed with hands behind his back, he was subdued, there was no struggling; if there was, don’t you think that hand would have come away from Chauvin’s pocket?

That image, that stance, only showed an officer of the law pressing the life out of a man. When Floyd lay lifeless, Chauvin’s knee remained on his neck, and his hand remained at his side.

It’s Chauvin’s character that is on trial.

Diane Welch, Cypress


To the editor: The defense tactics in the Chauvin trial are revolting, but I’m unconvinced they’re racist. (“Derek Chauvin’s race-baiting defense is rooted in centuries-old stereotypes,” column, April 3)

Devastatingly convincing videos and witness testimony have dealt Chauvin’s lawyer a “Cool Hand Luke” hand: nothing. From this, our adversarial criminal justice system requires that he devise the most effective defense he can muster.

I can’t imagine how his approach would differ if the onlookers questioned by Chauvin’s attorney had been white.

Brian Masson, Harbor City


To the editor: Can someone invite those who say Floyd died because he took opiates to have a knee pressed against their necks for nine minutes to prove their case?

Paul Streitberger, Fullerton


To the editor: The photographs of police manhandling Floyd have affected me far more profoundly than any other image of this sordid and despicable act. In my 78 years, I have never seen a more compelling depiction of human anguish than this one.

Michael D. Mauer, Los Angeles

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