‘Blue wall of silence’ takes hit in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial

Police accused of wrongdoing can usually count on the blue wall of silence – protection from fellow officers that includes everything from shutting off body cameras to refusing to cooperate with investigators. But that’s not the case with Derek Chauvin, with many colleagues quick to condemn his actions in George Floyd’s death, some even taking the stand against him.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that Chauvin’s kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck was “in no way, shape or form” in line with department policy or training. Homicide detective Lt. Richard Zimmerman testified, “If your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill him.”
Chauvin’s former supervisor, retired Sgt. David Ploeger, testified that the force used on Floyd went on too long and should have ended when the Black man was handcuffed and stopped resisting. An inspector acquainted with Chauvin for two decades and an officer who said the defendant spent a day as her training officer took the witness stand as well.
The criticism didn’t start at trial. Fourteen officers, including Zimmerman, signed an open letter last year saying Chauvin “failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are.”
It’s unclear whether officers are becoming more willing to call out a colleague, or if the extraordinary circumstances of this particular case are at play. While police agencies across the country have instituted reforms that promote more ethical behavior, some experts say the unblinking video of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck as the dying man pleads for air is the impetus for fellow officers to stand against Chauvin.
“I sincerely wish I could see a crumbling of the blue wall, but sadly I do not see that,” said Bill Hall, a former Justice Department mediator who handled brutality cases, and a political science adjunct professor at Webster University in Missouri.
The damning police testimony – and the public criticism – against Chauvin is coming from the top of the department, not patrol officers. All 14 signers of the June letter were ranked as sergeant or higher. Hall said supervisory police officials have incentive to show the fault lies with the officer, not with their policies and procedures.
Still, in June, the head of the Minneapolis police union, Lt. Bob Kroll, a usually militant defender of officers, agreed that Chauvin’s firing was warranted, calling what was shown on camera “horrific.” Meanwhile, the three other officers charged in Floyd’s death, fired soon after and facing their own trials in August, are likely to blame the far more senior Chauvin for what happened.
The number of Chauvin’s Minneapolis colleagues who have turned on him is telling, said Rick Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“We don’t usually see a dozen or more police officers from the very same agency come out opposed to the actions taken by a police officer,” Rosenfeld said.
It’s a far cry from the code of silence that has surrounded cases of police brutality and killings for so long in so many places – including Minneapolis.
In 2017, Officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond as she approached Noor’s squad car in the alley behind her home. Court testimony showed that an incident commander turned off her body camera when talking to Noor shortly after the shooting. Other officers told him not to say anything.
Noor was one of the rare officers to be convicted anyway. He is serving a 12½-year prison term.
In another Minnesota case, former St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted in the July 2016 killing of Philando Castile. Fellow officers were in court throughout that trial supporting Yanez.
Chauvin still has the legal support of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. The association’s legal defense fund is paying for his defense, and is obligated to do so because his years paying dues to his local union earned him the right to representation, said Brian Peters, executive director of the association.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, is one of 12 attorneys for the MPPOA who take turns handling officer-involved cases.
Some new programs seek to address the blue wall head-on.
New Orleans police in 2015 implemented a program called Ethical Policing Is Courageous,” or EPIC. Training emphasizes peer intervention if an officer is doing something wrong such as committing an assault or planting evidence. The idea is that if one bystander officer intervenes, others will follow and the peer pressure will halt the bad act.
New Orleans Chief of Detectives Paul Noel said Floyd’s death could have been prevented if Minneapolis police had a program like EPIC.
“It would have taken just one officer to say, ‘hey, get off of him,’” Noel said.
But John Kleinig, professor emeritus of criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York, believes that in most cases, police officers will remain inclined toward actions that protect their wayward colleagues.
“For the police, it’s not a simple matter of coverup,” Kleinig said. “There’s a moral impetus to the blue wall of silence. In other words, ‘we owe loyalty to each other.’”

'Blue wall of silence' takes hit in Derek Chauvin's murder trial

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LG promises three years of Android updates despite exiting phone business

LG has announced a pledge to issue future Android OS updates to many of its smartphones despite confirming earlier this week that it’ll be leaving the phone business altogether. The Velvet, Wing, and G- and V- series phones from 2019 or later should be getting three Android updates from their year of release, and “certain 2020 models such as LG Stylo and K series” will get two updates.

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Mass Effect Legendary Edition – Das sind die Unterschiede zum Original

Als Mass Effect 2007 auf den Markt kam, wurde die Messlatte für RPGs aus der 360-Ära hochgelegt. Was Mass Effect anders machte, als viele andere Games: Voice-Acting von diesem Ausmaß hatte man selten zuvor in einem RPG erlebt. In Unterhaltungen hatten Spieler mit einer Vielzahl von Auswahlmöglichkeiten die volle Kontrolle darüber, in welche Richtung sich das Spiel entwickeln sollte. Zudem sollten viele Erzählstränge über die gesamte Trilogie hinweg erzählt werden.

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Former Adidas owner tied up and beaten in burglary

PARIS: Former French minister and scandal-ridden tycoon Bernard Tapie, once the owner of Adidas, was attacked along with his wife during a midnight burglary of their home, police said Sunday.
The couple were asleep when four men broke into the house in Combs-la-Ville near Paris around 00:30 AM Sunday (2230 GMT Saturday, beat them and tied them up with electrical cords before making off with their loot.
Dominique Tapie managed to free herself and made her way to a neighbour’s home, from where she called the police. Slightly injured from several blows to the face, she was taken to hospital for a check-up.
“She is doing well,” Tapie’s grandson Rodolphe Tapie told AFP.
During the burglary the perpetrators “pulled her by the hair because they wanted to know where the treasure was”, the mayor of Combs-La-Ville, Guy Geoffroy, told AFP. “But of course there was no treasure, and the fact that they didn’t find one made the violence only worse.”
Tapie himself, who is 78, received a blow to the head with a club, prosecutor Beatrice Angelelli told AFP, but he declined to be taken into medial care.
“My grandfather refused to be taken away,” Rodolphe Tapie said. “He is shattered, very tired. He was sitting on a chair when he was hit with a club.”
The burglars broke into Tapie’s home, a vast estate known as the “Moulin de Breuil”, through a first-floor window, undetected by the guards.
They made off with two watches, including a Rolex, earrings, bracelets and a ring, according to a source close to the investigation.
Tapie was a Socialist minister who rose from humble beginnings to build a sporting and media empire, but later ran into a string of legal problems.
He made a fortune in the early part of his career by taking over failing companies in corporate raids, stripping them of their assets and selling them for profit during the high-rolling years of financial deregulation in France.
He often flaunted his wealth, including by buying a 72-metre yacht and a football club, Olympique de Marseille, which won the French championship while he was their owner.
He has also been under suspicion of match-fixing in France’s top football league.
He was briefly minister for urban affairs in Francois Mitterrand’s government in 1992.
Tapie was found guilty in a series of cases for corruption, tax fraud and misuse of corporate assets, went to prison for five months and was stripped of the right to stand in any election in France.
After his release from prison in 1997, Tapie added showbiz to his various activities, trying his hand at acting, singing and hosting radio and TV shows.
In 2012 he also became a media boss, taking over southern French daily La Provence and other newspapers.
One fraud case has dogged Tapie for decades, involving a hugely controversial settlement worth 400 million euros ($470 million at current rates awarded to him by a government arbitration panel, the size of which sent shockwaves through France.
The panel judged he had been the victim of fraud when he sold his stake in the Adidas sports apparel company in 1993 to state-run French bank Credit Lyonnais, which was found to have undervalued the sportswear brand.
The case also ensnared then-finance minister Christine Lagarde, who now runs the European Central Bank. She was found guilty of “negligence”.
Lagarde’s handling of the case sparked suspicion that her former boss Nicolas Sarkozy, whom Tapie had backed for president in 2007, was favourably disposed towards the businessman — allegations Sarkozy has vehemently denied.
Last autumn, Tapie’s fraud trial was postponed for reasons of ill health because he was suffering a double stomach cancer and cancer of the oesophagus which were getting worse.
The trial is due to resume in May, with Tapie “determined” to be present, according to his lawyer.
Police are treating Sunday’s incident as a violent robbery and kidnapping, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

Former Adidas owner tied up and beaten in burglary

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