David S. Weinstein Comments in Law360 on Prosecution Tactics in George Floyd Murder Case
Hinshaw attorney David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, was quoted in a Law360 story titled "Start To Floyd Case Hints At Why Cops Are Rarely Convicted." Weinstein commented on local prosecutor Mike Freeman's initial criminal complaint against Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, whose death has sparked worldwide protests. Freeman has since been replaced as lead prosecutor by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, and new charges have been brought against Chauvin.
Weinstein noted the initial complaint's description of Floyd's underlying health problems, "coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease," and its citing of the medical examiner's preliminary findings that those health conditions, the officers' restraint tactics, and intoxicants in Floyd's system "likely contributed to his death." Weinstein said that this was an unusual admission for a charging document, and that while criminal complaints against law enforcement officers tend to take on a neutral tone, this particular complaint was so neutral it appeared at times to be arguing against itself.
"Coronary artery disease is high cholesterol. That means you've got some fat deposits. Hypertensive heart disease means you have high blood pressure. I think there are a large number of people that have both of those. That's not going to kill you," he said. "For them to focus on that, I think that they're going a little past being neutral."
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Weinstein also discussed on PM Tampa Bay the topic of potential legal strategies for both the prosecution and the defense in the charges against Chauvin and three other police officers in the death of George Floyd.
"Start To Floyd Case Hints At Why Cops Are Rarely Convicted" was published by Law360, June 7, 2020.