Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison Discusses Chauvin Sentencing

Today Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Floyd family attorney Ben Crump were both guests on SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” to discuss yesterday’s verdict and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

When asked by Madison what sentencing recommendation AG Ellison will make to the judge in the Derek Chauvin case, Ellison responded “I think everybody can count on us recommending a sentence that is commensurate with the nine-minute and 29 second slow death of George Floyd.”

While stating that he couldn’t discuss the fate of the other three officers publicly, Ellison said “it’s possible” they will cut a deal before their August trials. On the potential passing of the Policing Act, Ellison also said it’s incredibly important: “Paramount. Paramount. Critically important. And if we pass that, it’s another substantial step towards justice.”

In a separate interview, attorney Crump agreed: “And my prayer is that is the new precedent now – that black people don’t have to pick one or the other, only get partial justice. We have a right to get full justice. And so your audience, we’ve got to go to our local senators and Congress – well, senators now, Congress has already passed it – and get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed so it could become law. Until that, justice for George Floyd is not complete.”

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison Shares Sentencing Recommendations:
AUDIO credit: credit SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” (weekdays from 6-10am ET on Urban View channel 126).

JOE MADISON, HOST: Final question. And again, I thank you because I know it’s going to be a busy day and it’s been a busy night for you. Does your office make recommendations to the judge on the sentencing?

ATTORNEY GENERAL KEITH ELLISON: Yes. Yeah, we do.

MADISON: Have you decided what you will be recommending to the judge?

AG ELLISON: We’re in the middle of working all that up, that is something that I probably should not talk about because it’s prospective, but I think everybody can count on us recommending a sentence that is commensurate with the nine minute and 29 seconds slow death of George Floyd.

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison on Policing Reform                                                                                                                          Audio Credit: SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” (weekdays from 6-10am ET on Urban View channel 126).

JOE MADISON, HOST: We played your clip from yesterday, which everybody is referring to, when you pointed out there’s a difference between justice and accountability. Can you elaborate on that comment?

AG KEITH ELLISON: Well, in my mind, justice implies restoration. Justice implies a rebalancing as to where it should be. And we’re not there. We’re not anywhere close to there. But we did take a substantial step because accountability and holding somebody accountable for their actions is a step toward justice. But when you look at all the cases, it’s just still too many of them to say that yesterday achieved a standard of justice. It signaled that a true and fair, accountable, trial was possible. It signaled the right things, but getting us where we gotta go means that we’re gonna stop seeing this rash and these series of killing that we’ve been seeing them for years and years. You and I are from Detroit, we know that Coleman Young got elected on stopping STRESS — Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets, with a police unit that killed so many African Americans that he ran on a platform of getting rid of it. Do you remember that Joe?

MADISON: Oh, I remember that. And do you remember the cat hair case?

AG ELLISON: Yeah. Yeah.

MADISON: I don’t know. You might have been too young at that time, but remember the cat hair case?

AG ELLISON: I do remember the Algiers Hotel. I don’t remember it, but I know about it. And there’s so many things that have happened, and so how do we get to a state of true justice? Well, it’s going to take more than one case for sure, but it is going to take this case. This case is an important step. We’re proud of it, but we have many miles to go.

MADISON: Now I want to go back to the other three officers. Is it too late or can they cut a deal before their August trial? Or is it too late?

AG ELLISON: It’s possible, but that’s stuff that I wouldn’t be able to discuss publicly.

MADISON: Okay. All right, I appreciate that. And so let me ask you about your position as a former legislator, former member of Congress, the importance of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. I think you referred to it yesterday in your press conference.

AG ELLISON: Paramount. Paramount. Critically important. And if we pass that, it’s another substantial step towards justice.

MADISON: And what does it do for you, for example, how does it help you in Minnesota?

AG ELLISON: Well, just having more, better data collection, having banning certain choke holds, banning certain police practices. I mean, it could, it’ll bring more transparency, more accountability, and it will allow, the system to get rid of people who don’t belong in it. Policing is not for everybody. There needs to be a better system to route the bad people out. And so it will be, I believe a substantial step forward for us.

Ben Crump Says Justice is Not Complete Until George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Is Passed
AUDIO credit: SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” (weekdays from 6-10am ET on Urban View channel 126)

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JOE MADISON, HOST: What do you want my audience and other audiences to do? I’m one of these, as you know, I always say everybody can do something and let me piggyback on how important, how significant was that video that, that 17 year old young girl took.

ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP: Joe, we’ve been doing this a lot. And the one thing we know is that videos are the game changer. Now we know from Eric Garner it’s no guarantee that even if you have a video that they’re going to hold these, killer cops accountable, but what Darnella, that 17 year old high school student did, interrupted the false police narrative that has been forced down our throat so often because you know, the first day Joe, as they killed George Floyd, they put out a statement and they never once mentioned that Derek Chauvin had his knee on his neck. And the other officers had their knees on the back. They said George Floyd was resisting arrest and whi;le he was resisting arrest and struggling, he died from natural causes. And that was it. And so had we not had that video [from] Darnella that would have been the story of George Floyd, and nobody would have had this worldwide movement.

Nobody would have been talking about George Floyd Justice for Policing Act. So as my mother says, all things work together for good, for those who believe in God. And I think about the historic nature where we have a black family achieved something that black people rarely achieve in America. And that is full justice, getting a historic $27 million civil settlement with all types of policy reforms for the city of Minneapolis, commiserate with the Seventh Amendment justice of the United States constitution with me and my legal team can control. That’s all we can control is the civil part, but then they also got criminal convictions under the 10th Amendment, which is controlled by the prosecutor who was none other than a brother who was magnificent, Keith Ellison, the first African-American prosecutor, Attorney General in the state of Minnesota. And I knew when Keith got on the case and we talked constantly like every other night at one and two in the morning about how we get justice.

Keith had a track record, had been a champion of civil rights. And when Keith got on the case, he did something unprecedented, he took in private lawyers to help out his prosecution team to make sure that they have the best lawyers available to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for torturing George Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds with his knee on his neck. And so that’s how we got full justice for George Floyd’s family. And my prayer is that is the new precedent now – that black people don’t have to pick one or the other, only get partial justice. We have a right to get full justice. And so your audience, we’ve got to go to our local senators and Congress – well, senators now, Congress has already passed it – and get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed so it could become law. Until that, justice for George Floyd is not complete.

 

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