The defense will argue that a combination of Floyd’s health conditions that Chauvin could not have known about means there is reasonable doubt about whether he ultimately caused Floyd’s death. But a succession of police officers have said Chauvin’s actions were unnecessary, as prosecutors try to convince the jury that he acted with malice.
Prosecutors have of course selected witnesses who bolster their case. But most of the officers who testified came across as sympathetic, subtly embroidering the wider arguments about police brutality in America. It’s impossible for an outsider to know what’s really going on: Is one officer being thrown overboard to shield the Minneapolis Police Department from wider claims of endemic brutality and misconduct? Or are witnesses revealing a rogue colleague whose actions left an unfair impression of the force and the police more generally?
In either case, it is highly unusual to see a parade of US police officers testify so uniformly against one of their own. More often, they close ranks.
Farewell to all that
Most of today’s surviving social networks have evolved to wield actual influence in the real world. Redditors manipulate the stock market. Facebook may sway how people vote. Twitter is a megaphone for the powerful. But over more than 15 years, Yahoo Answers never did make much impact offline, perhaps limited by its founding concept: a place for people who want answers not from actual sources of information like encyclopedias, phone books or newspapers — but from other lost souls.
Yahoo Answers closes on May 4. Until then, the site’s ceaseless questions and responses offer a glimpse of the unfiltered American psyche as it fumbles, divided, with the news of the day. Take a look.