The recently announced guilty verdicts against the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death led to widespread celebrations by those who had been protesting over the course of the past year.
Fox News Channel personality Greg Gutfeld, however, is not convinced that Derek Chauvin received a fair trial, opining that “extortion” led to his conviction.
“I’m speaking the truth”
“So we’re dealing with what we thought was a sense of extortion,” Gutfeld said. “That if this didn’t go a certain way — I’m speaking the truth — if it didn’t go a certain way, there was going to be destruction.”
He went on to double down on his bold assertion, adding: “We know that. Why pretend otherwise? Come on.”
Chauvin, who was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest last year, was found guilty this week of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Ahead of the verdict announcement, a number of protesters and progressive politicians publicly threatened dire consequences should the ex-cop not be convicted on all counts.
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), for example, encouraged demonstrators to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if jurors did not find Chauvin guilty.
“The judge made a terrible mistake”
“We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” she added.
Gutfeld was not alone in arguing that such remarks had an impact on the decision of the jury in the case.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz reacted to the verdict by suggesting that it should be overturned, declaring: “What was done to George Floyd by Officer Chauvin was inexcusable, morally. But the verdict is very questionable, because of the outside influences of people like Al Sharpton, and people like Maxine Waters.”
Dershowitz went on to denounce “threats and intimidation and hanging the sword of Damocles over the jury, and basically saying if you don’t convict on the murder charge, on all the charges, the cities will burn, the country will be destroyed,” indicating that such rhetoric “seeped into the jury room because the judge made a terrible mistake by not sequestering the jury.”
Based on the arguments of Dershowitz and Gutfeld, it appears likely that Chauvin will pursue an appeal. For now, though, he is expected to be sentenced in about two months.