USA Today reports:
Last June, 60% in a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll described Floyd's death as murder; that percentage has now dropped by double digits to 36%. ...This surprises me. Everyone in authority has called it murder. The only way someone could decide that it was not murder is if he is thinking for himself.
Nearly two-thirds of Black Americans, 64%, view Floyd's death as murder; fewer than one-third of white people, 28%, feel that way. White Americans are more likely to describe it instead as the police officer's "negligence," 33% compared with 16% of Black respondents.
This racial split reminds me of O.J. Simpson, where polls indicated Whites thought he was guilty, while Blacks said he was innocent. I guess Blacks were also thinking for themselves.
That said, Americans who have heard at least something about Chauvin's trial say 4 to 1, or 60%-15%, that they hope Chauvin is convicted. That included 54% of white Americans and 76% of Black Americans.A utilitarian would probably say that a conviction is for the better. An acquittal could result in race riots killing dozens of people. Unjustly imprisoning Officer Chauvin could be seen as the lesser harm.
The trial could change some more opinions. I expect the defense to argue that a fentanyl overdose was the cause of death; that Floyd had a dangerous excited delirium; that Chauvin followed recommended police procedures; that Chauvin's actions made Floyd less likely to die.
The NY Times reports:
Late last year, a 14-page questionnaire began to arrive in mailboxes across Minneapolis and its suburbs. It asked if the recipient had watched the video of George Floyd dying under a police officer’s knee. ...The trial may be determined by the jury selection process, more than anything else. That could also be said about the O.J. Simpson jury.
The questionnaire went out to potential jurors for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer accused of murdering Mr. Floyd, who was Black.
Minneapolis, where neighborhoods and storefronts still bear the scars of last summer’s looting and arson, is already bracing for unrest if Mr. Chauvin is acquitted. Concrete barriers around government buildings and high fencing topped with razor wire have transformed downtown into a fortress and blocked off one of the most popular sites for large demonstrations. National Guard soldiers will stand watch.
If Chauvin is found not guilty, then millions of Americans will conclude that Black Lives Matter was all a big scam. After all, George Floyd was the biggest and most obvious example of systemic racist against Blacks that anyone could find. If it turns out that there was no racism or mistreatment, then many will doubt that any Blacks are mistreated anywhere.
On the other hand, some will say that a not guilty verdict will just further prove that the systemic racism runs so deep that murderous cops are not held accountable.
I think that they should televise the trial, so there can be a consensus on the facts.