Derek Chauvin trial: Ben Shapiro slams biased media coverage, says it's 'paving way for riots'

Shapiro has accused the media of “ignoring the prosecution’s difficulties” and giving a one-sided view of the trial to the public. He also argued that despite the case being legally complex, such complexities “have been abandoned in favor of narrative” of a racist America


                            Derek Chauvin trial: Ben Shapiro slams biased media coverage, says it's 'paving way for riots'
Derek Chauvin's trial coverage in the media was criticized by Ben Shapiro (Getty Images)

Conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro, the editor emeritus of The Daily Wire, a right-wing news website, slammed the media over its coverage of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with murder in the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Shapiro accused the media on Wednesday, April 7, of “ignoring the prosecution’s difficulties” and giving a one-sided view of the trial to the public.

“If you watch the actual Chauvin trial and then watch the media coverage of the Chauvin trial, the gap is stunning. The media are paving the way for riots by ignoring the prosecution’s difficulties – and his acquittal is not a remote possibility based on those difficulties,” Shapiro said. “WaPo headline: ‘Trial to resume after training officer says an unauthorized neck restraint was used on George Floyd.’ This ignores the actual takeaway from the use-of-force expert’s testimony.”

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“The use-of-force officer admitted that Chauvin’s procedure (use of body weight and pressure) was a lesser use of force than adopted in the past, that it wasn’t a chokehold, that use of force standards change based on drug use or physical stature of a suspect, that he had personally restrained suspects until EMS arrived, that some suspects quickly regain consciousness and thus sometimes suppression is necessary despite appearances,” he said on Twitter.



 

Shapiro was talking about Los Angeles Police sergeant Jody Stiger, who served as a prosecution witness on Wednesday at Chauvin’s murder trial. Stiger said that based on his review of video evidence, Chauvin applied pressure to Floyd’s neck or neck area from the time officers began pinning Floyd to the ground until paramedics began to move him to a stretcher.

When prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked, “That particular force did not change during the entire restraint period?” showing the jury a composite of five still images, Stiger said, “Correct.”

Stiger said earlier that “you can have a situation whereby law it looks horrible to the common eye, but based on the state law, it’s lawful.” When Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson argued that the officers on the scene were distracted by what they perceived as an increasingly hostile crowd of onlookers, Stiger told the jury, “I did not perceive them as being a threat.”

A protester holds a sign with a photo of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during demonstrations following the death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

When Chauvin’s lawyer noted that dispatchers had described Floyd as between 6 feet and 6-foot-6 and possibly under the influence. Stiger agreed it was reasonable for Chauvin to come to the scene with a heightened sense of awareness. Stiger further agreed with Nelson that an officer’s actions must be judged from the point of view of a reasonable officer on the scene, not in hindsight. 

Stiger also said, “As the time went on, clearly in the video, you could see that Mr Floyd’s ... health was deteriorating. His breath was getting lower. His tone of voice was getting lower. His movements were starting to cease. So at that point, as an officer on scene, you have a responsibility to realize that, ‘OK, something is not right. Something has changed drastically from what was occurring earlier.’ So therefore you have a responsibility to take some type of action.”

In an op-ed of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shapiro argued, “The Chauvin case, then, is a legally complex one. But such complexities have been abandoned in favor of narrative. Should Mr Chauvin be acquitted, we are likely to hear that America has proved its racism once again. The only thing that has already been proved, however, is that the ‘America as white supremacist’ lie will remain the media’s dominant narrative, no matter the data.”

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