While Americans overwhelmingly approve of the guilty-on-all-counts verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, to the tune of 77 percent, a new poll showed a surprising number of Republicans disagreeing with the majority consensus.
A Morning Consult poll showed over three-quarters of all participants "strongly" or "somewhat" approving of the jury's Wednesday decision, which found Chauvin guilty of third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a tragedy that sparked months of demonstrations and violent riots all across America's major cities.
However, opinions differed somewhat along political and racial lines.
The views of White (75% approve, 16% disapprove) and Hispanic (78% approve, 13% disapprove) tracked closely with the overall response, while 91 percent of Black respondents approve of the verdict, versus 6 percent who disapprove.
But disapproval of the verdict was highest among conservative political subgroups. A full 29 percent of Republicans disapprove of the verdict, twice that of respondents overall, and about six times as many as the 5 percent of Democrats who disapprove.
The mainstream media will doubtless play that 29 percent as 'evidence' that too many Republicans favor police getting away with the murder of black people, but as is always the case with such narratives, there's more to the story. From what I've seen, conservatives angry at the verdict aren't saying that Chauvin should have walked entirely, but are instead taking issue with the political nature of the trial, especially the sense that a not guilty verdict on any of the counts would have resulted in far more death and destruction than a potentially overcharged man spending the rest of his life in prison.
Townhall senior columnist Kurt Schlichter makes the case in this column:
What happened here? Well, they piled appellate issue on the appellate issue in a towering pile of errors that would, by all rights, lead a real court of appeals to toss this case back for a retrial.
The judge refused to change the venue. He made the case be tried in a city whose inhabitants set it aflame. Seems legit.
The judge refused to sequester the jury, making them pinkie swear to ignore the Class 5 hurricane of media attention. That’ll work.
The city council decided to settle the wrongful death case right during the trial. What a coinkydink.
Minneapolis’s goofy mayor demanded a conviction. Great.
Minnesota’s governor did too. Awesome
The loathsome Maxine Waters – as part of the Army, I had to help clean up the mess she made in 1992 in LA with her “No justice, no peace” incitement – decided to encourage violence if her preferred verdict didn’t come down. Spectacular.
The leftist scumbags did their part, splashing pig’s blood on the house of someone they thought had been a defense witness for the crime of giving testimony the mob disliked. Nothing to see here.
And the media did its part, ensuring that the jurors knew they’d be doxed if they got it “wrong” (and praised if they got it “right”). Oh, the media didn’t say it expressly – but the media still made it clear.
Daily Wire's Matt Walsh wasn't a fan of the verdict either.
The judge asked elected officials not to get involved and influence the jury. In response, the mayor of Minneapolis and the President of the United States both publicly called for guilty verdicts.— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 20, 2021
These crooks have no respect for the rule of law at all. It’s a joke to them.
Neither was Ann Coulter.
Inspired by the Chauvin verdict, I'll be pitching Hollywood studios a re-make of the classic film '12 Angry Men.' Calling it '12 Complete F-ing Morons.'— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 22, 2021
This exchange between Walsh and National Review's David French displays some of the difference in thinking here between those on the right (if you can call French 'right').
A congresswoman flew from DC to Minneapolis to demand a guilty verdict and threaten violence if it wasn't delivered. Many, many media figures and activists in the street echoed this threat. The jury was not sequestered. We're "Big Mad" about all of that, yes. You should be too. https://t.co/4HAdJU5N8j— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 21, 2021
I don't envy the jury. They were placed in an impossible situation by people who should have known better. But in watching the trial, it seemed like the defense raised more than enough reasonable doubt, especially on the most serious charge. Was the verdict a foregone conclusion? The fact that they came back so quickly with guilty on all counts will likely mean that, to at least some conservatives, Derek Chauvin is now a political prisoner.
Not suspended... just doing my weekly tweet purge since I’m getting mass reported (and the dumbasses were letting me know).— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 21, 2021
Anyways... Chauvin is still a political prisoner and we are ruled by an extremist mob.