George Floyd died in police custody with a knee on his neck. It's all on video. Now try finding a jury that can hear both sides of that case. Try being a juror knowing that Floyd's death caused a summer of rioting across America, and that how you rule in this case could cause more violence and destruction.
On Tiffany Cross's weekend MSNBC show, MSNBC regular Elie Mystal -- "justice correspondent" for The Nation -- apparently believes that former policeman Derek Chauvin's jury should be composed of people...who had already decided to convict him! He decried the "ignorance" of the Chauvin jury, saying it was chosen by people who either had not seen the video of the arrest of George Floyd, or maybe "saw the video and couldn’t decide if sometimes, maybe black people do need to be choked to death."
In other words, Mystal wanted a jury composed of people who had decided—in advance of seeing any evidence—that Chauvin had no valid defense. Or that anyone who hadn't seen the video are far too stupid or self-involved to be trustworthy jurors.
Mystal is so blindingly anti-police that he compared Floyd to the victims of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing. Police are domestic terrorists like al-Qaeda. Speaking of ignorance, Mystal also led viewers to believe that the three other police officers involved in the Floyd arrest were all white. He said:
"We don’t let terrorists blame the victims for the terrorism. That’s not what happens in this country, unless the victim is black. And when the victim is black, these white, domestic, state-sponsored terrorists—which is what Derek Chauvin and his three accomplices were that day—state-sponsored terrorists. When the terrorism is against black people, it is suddenly okay for lawyers to make the arguments and judges to allow evidence suggesting that the victim of the terrorism was at fault for their own death."
In fact, two of the three accompanying police officers were not white. Alex Kueng is black, and Tou Thao is Asian-American. With this kind of ignorance, would Mystal disqualify himself from jury duty?
And note also Mystal's slur of the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota. He refers to the cops not merely as "domestic" terrorists, but as "state-sponsored" terrorists. Has Elie forgotten that Minneapolis and Minnesota are controlled by liberal Democrats? Does the MSNBC audience agree whole-heartedly that liberal Democrats sponsor domestic terrorists in their police departments?
Mystal also claimed Floyd was killed "with impunity," when Chauvin in now on trial, he's been removed from the police force, and the city of Minneapolis agreed in March to pay $27 million in a civil settlement to Floyd's family, which was mentioned in this segment. That's not the dictionary definition of "impunity."
Host Cross, far from correcting or criticizing Mystal's misstatements about the nature of the justice system and the identity of the other police officers, predictably praised him: "Elie, you're so good! I hope you can stick around for the next hour!" He did.
Before the show, MSNBC touted the appearance of this "great guest."
MSNBC regular Elie Mystal saying he was "frightened" that the Chauvin jury was "seeded with ignorance" because it is composed of people who hadn't decided in advance that Chauvin is guilty, was sponsored in part by Jeep, Planters, Allegra, Tide, and Dell.
Here's the transcript.
The Cross Connection
10:21 am EDT
ELIE MYSTAL: Now, the testimony that the prosecution has put on from the other police officers should, to my mind, blunt this defense argument that Chauvin behaved like a reasonable cop. Literally, other cops are saying that he didn’t.
But then we have to think about the jury. And you have to remember, this jury has been seeded with ignorance. It's been seeded with people who either did not see the video, which is almost impossible to do in this country, or, saw the video and couldn’t decide if sometimes, maybe black people do need to be choked to death for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Maybe they had it coming!
So those are the people that wer're talking to here. It’s not talking to me; it's not trying to convince you. That ship sailed long ago. They’re trying to convince 12 people that have been picked specifically for not knowing things. And so, that’s what — that’s what frightens me. No, they don’t need to put Chauvin on the stand. They need one juror to refuse to see a reason.
. . .
MYSTAL [earlier in the segment] Of course, we don’t let terrorists blame the victims for the terrorism. That’s not what happens in this country, unless the victim is black. And when the victim is black, these white, domestic, state-sponsored terrorists—which is what Derek Chauvin and his three accomplices were that day—state-sponsored terrorists. When the terrorism is against black people, it is suddenly okay for lawyers to make the arguments and judges to allow evidence suggesting that the victim of the terrorism was at fault for their own death.