Something unusual is happening in Derek Chauvin's trial

This was excerpted from the April 8 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, l'e-mail quotidiana sulla politica statunitense per i lettori globali. Clicca qui per leggere le edizioni passate e iscriverti.

Some of the most damaging testimony against the police officer on trial over the death of George Floyd is coming from fellow cops.

The second week of evidence against Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murdering Floyd, has moved on from wrenching eyewitness accounts of the Minnesota man’s death, which sparked a worldwide racial reckoning. Prosecutors are now narrowing in on Chauvin’s conduct in subduing Floyd, making a case that he acted outside reasonable police procedure.
    The defense will argue that a combination of Floyd’s health conditions that Chauvin could not have known about means there is reasonable doubt about whether he ultimately caused Floyd’s death. But a succession of police officers have said Chauvin’s actions were unnecessary, as prosecutors try to convince the jury that he acted with malice.
      Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who leads the Minneapolis Police Department’s homicide unit, said Chauvin’s use of force while Floyd was already pinned down and handcuffed wastotally unnecessary. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that officers are not trained to kneel on the necks of suspects. Sgt. Jody Stiger, an LAPD use of force expert, said Chauvin had employed “eccessivo” vigore. Another police officer, Nicole Mackenzie, said officers are required to provide medical help and to call emergency services for suspects who appear in distress.
        Prosecutors have of course selected witnesses who bolster their case. But most of the officers who testified came across as sympathetic, subtly embroidering the wider arguments about police brutality in America. It’s impossible for an outsider to know what’s really going on: Is one officer being thrown overboard to shield the Minneapolis Police Department from wider claims of endemic brutality and misconduct? Or are witnesses revealing a rogue colleague whose actions left an unfair impression of the force and the police more generally?
        In ogni caso, it is highly unusual to see a parade of US police officers testify so uniformly against one of their own. More often, they close ranks.

          Farewell to all that

          It’s been likened to the burning of the Library of Alexandriabut instead of the destruction of precious knowledge, the imminent demise of Yahoo Answers will finally close an unparalleled archive of human ignorance, the digital home to questions like Does eating hot dogs change your voice? Where can I obtain a wedgie board? Do I have to make my own wedgie board or can I buy one from a witch or a vegan? Where can I buy a frog? (Not for sexual reasons)?
          Most of today’s surviving social networks have evolved to wield actual influence in the real world. Redditors manipulate the stock market. Facebook may sway how people vote. Twitter is a megaphone for the powerful. But over more than 15 anni, Yahoo Answers never did make much impact offline, perhaps limited by its founding concept: a place for people who want answers not from actual sources of information like encyclopedias, phone books or newspapersbut from other lost souls.
          The site became notorious for questions hinting at alarming personal circumstances and gross misconceptions, from the iconic urgent queryhow is babby formed? How girl get pragnent?” per “how is cheese formed in a cow?” Più recentemente, a rich vein of rhetorical political “domande” posted by trolls or conspiracy theorists has also emerged, eclipsing the more innocent era of debating how to remove spaghetti stains from underwear.
            Yahoo Answers closes on May 4. Until then, the site’s ceaseless questions and responses offer a glimpse of the unfiltered American psyche as it fumbles, diviso, with the news of the day. Guarda.

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