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June 2, 2020

CAFE Insider 6/2: George Floyd & America in Turmoil

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In this episode of CAFE Insider, “George Floyd & America in Turmoil,” Preet and Anne discuss the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the legal and policy dimensions of the case, and the protests breaking out in cities across the country. 

We hope you’re finding CAFE Insider informative. Email us at [email protected] with your suggestions and questions for Preet and Anne. 

References and Supplemental materials below. 

REFERENCES & SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS

BACKGROUND AND FACTS

VIDEO: “8 Minutes and 45 Seconds: How George Floyd was killed in police custody,” New York Times, 5/31/20

“George Floyd Protests: A Timeline,” New York Times, 6/2/20

“Two autopsies both find George Floyd died by homicide, but differ on some key details,” CBS, 6/2/20

“Officer charged in George Floyd’s death used fatal force before and had history of complaints,” Washington Post, 5/29/20

“Breonna Taylor’s death: What We Know,” New York Times, 5/31/20

“Eric Garner’s death will not lead to federal charges for N.Y.P.D. officer,” New York Times, 6/19/19

Ex-Rikers Guard Is Sentenced to 30 Years in Fatal Beating of Inmate, New York Times, 9/13/17

THE CRIMINAL CASE

Hennepin County criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin, 5/29/20

Minnesota Statute for Murder in the First Degree

Minnesota Statute for Murder in the Second Degree

Minnesota Statute for Murder in the Third Degree

Minnesota Statute for Manslaughter in the Second Degree 

18 U.S. Code § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law

18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights

PROTESTS & CIVIL UNREST

AUDIO: Trump tells Governors to “dominate” protestors, New York Times, 6/1/20

VIDEO: Bill Barr addresses Floyd case; protesters, 5/30/20

VIDEO: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressing protesters, 5/29/20

“Inside the push to tear-gas protesters ahead of a Trump photo op,” Washington Post, 6/1/20

Congressional Research Service report on the Posse Comitatus Act

Insurrection Act of 1807

Texas Law Professor Steve Vladeck’s twitter thread on the domestic use of the military to quell unrest, 5/30/20

“Members Of Camden County Police Department March Alongside Residents To Honor George Floyd,” CBS 3 Philadelphia, 5/31/20

President Barack Obama’s Medium statement on the Floyd killing, 6/1/10

Preet Bharara:

From CAFE, welcome to CAFE Insider. I’m Preet Bharara

Anne Milgram:

And I’m Anne Milgram.

Preet Bharara:

Anne, what a difference a week makes.

Anne Milgram:

Yeah, agreed.

Preet Bharara:

It’s an incredibly difficult time in this country. Obviously everyone is talking about George Floyd and the reaction to the violence in that case and the reaction to his death at the hands of multiple police officers. But I thought it might make sense to talk about the context in which people are protesting. It’s not just about George Floyd, I don’t think. There have been a number of incidents that have been tragic and horrible and inexplicable, except in terms of racism. First, something we’ve talked about a bunch on this show and on Stay Tuned was the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery by two white men for not really doing anything at all. That became a big issue. Even though the shooting was on February 23rd, it became a big issue when the video tape was released, made public on May 5th.

Anne Milgram:

Yes. And then on March 13th, Breonna Taylor, who was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician in Louisville, Kentucky, was shot and killed by plainclothes police officers who entered her home at night with a no knock warrant. So they basically just came in armed and shot and killed her, shot her eight times and she died. And then on, of course, last week on Memorial Day, May 25th, George Floyd was killed by officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. So we’ve spent the better part of this past week, I think, thinking about all of these killings and murders. And also I think because of this national conversation, starting to have a long and hard conversation about the systemic racism that exists in the American criminal justice system and has long been a part of the system that we know, whether it’s policing or prosecution or courts, jails and prisons, but this is really brought up for people. And also Eric Garner in Brooklyn, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This is a part of a longer national conversation that is starting-

Preet Bharara:

It’s all recent history. And can I mention two more things?

Anne Milgram:

Please.

Preet Bharara:

One of which is not quite as serious, but another thing happened on Memorial Day. May 25th, you had this incident with a woman named Amy Cooper who was told by an African-American man who was a birder, a birdwatcher, to leash her dog and she decided to call 911 on him, threatened that she would say an African-American man is threatening me and my dog, which was a lie. She ended up being fired. But it’s just another example of a way in which there are certain people who think, yeah, but also who think that the police will act a certain way if the suspect is described as black or African-American.

Anne Milgram:

And also her attempt was to use the power of the state, basically to use the police against a black man who had asked her to obey the rules in Central Park to leash her dog. And so instead of complying with the rules, which exist for everyone, white, black, everyone who walks into that park, instead she tried to basically get the police to make an arrest. So she was trying to corruptly use the power of the state against a black man. And frankly in making that call she was counting on the fact that, you’re right, that the police would basically see the world the way she saw it.

Preet Bharara:

Right. This problem that we’re going to get into in some depth is not just about what the police do, but it also is about what other people, often white people, think that the police will do and how they can weaponize the police. And by the way, all of this is happening against the backdrop of the coronavirus, this pandemic that has been shown in case after case after case, in community after community, to be effecting African-Americans in this country and other people of color disproportionately to their membership in the population. So, it’s overall a revealing time with respect to how much racism there is.

Anne Milgram:

Yeah. And we should also say that, I think we talked recently about, we did a study, we worked with a number of local jurisdictions in the United States. We worked with one, they pulled the data matching people, basically meaning looking at people who were black or white, who were Latino, who had committed the same crime and had the same prior criminal history looking at the outcomes. And essentially people of color, they were more likely to be held in jail, they’re more likely to be convicted and they’re more likely to be detained for longer periods of time.

Anne Milgram:

And so, there is a lot that we know about the system already, put COVID on top of it and the healthcare disparities, but there’s also… we’re very aware of rates of incarceration in the United States, rates of bail and detention in the United States are dramatically worse for African-Americans and Latinos and people of color when matched exactly up with white people who’ve committed the same crimes and have the same criminal history. And I think what we’re seeing is something that we know exists, but it has been in many ways, I think, below the surface of American consciousness. And what we have seen in this past week is that the George Floyd murder has pushed it over. It’s bubbled out into our collective consciousness. We see people taking to the streets to protest, to basically call for change to what is a deeply broken system.

Preet Bharara:

Look, by now hopefully the whole world is familiar with the facts relating to the death of George Floyd, but maybe we should just go over it quickly as we talk about what the response has been from the prosecutor’s office, what the likelihood of success is with respect to any criminal charges, what future charges might be coming. George Floyd went to a store in Minneapolis on the evening of May 25th, Memorial Day, bought some merchandise with what the proprietors of the store believed was a fake $20 bill. He leaves the store, they call the cops, and then what happens?

Anne Milgram:

It’s a fake $20 bill. Floyd buy cigarettes. The clerk notices the ink is still running from the bill. He calls the police, it’s the store protocol to do that. The police show up and they find Floyd sitting in a car with two other people. Essentially they make a decision that they’re going to place him under arrest. And so, the conversation starts in a fairly calm way. When he’s in the car, they get him out of the car. They decide to place him under arrest. And Floyd basically essentially says that he feels claustrophobic. And so he’s-

Preet Bharara:

Before he goes down.

Anne Milgram:

Before he goes down, yes. He’s basically being taken out of the car by officers. There are four officers who are on the scene, I think people know this, but it’s important to note that officer Chauvin is one of four officers.

Preet Bharara:

He was not one. I just wish to make one point that he wasn’t one of the original officers, he shows up later as the arrest is taking place.

Anne Milgram:

That’s right. Officers Kueng and Lane are the first officers who get there and they basically are taking him out of the car. They’re walking him to their squad car. They’re going to place him under arrest. And he basically stiffens up according to the charges that have been now brought against Derek Chauvin. He stiffens up and he falls to the ground and tells the officers that he’s claustrophobic. At that point Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, who’s now been charged as we know, we’ll talk about the charges in a minute, and another officer, officer Thao, arrive in a separate police car.

Anne Milgram:

They try to get Mr. Floyd into the backseat of a squad car. Mr. Floyd was not getting in to that car. He fell down, said he was not going in the car. And then officer Chauvin tries to get Mr. Floyd into the car again, with the help of the other officers. At some point officer Chauvin, who’s now been fired, pulls Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the car, puts him on the ground face down. Floyd has already been handcuffed. He was initially handcuffed by the original officers. So essentially they have him in a prone position, his chest is on the ground, and Chauvin puts his left knee into George Floyd’s head and neck. He says repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.” He says that multiple times.

Preet Bharara:

I think he says it 16 times in the course of five minutes.

Anne Milgram:

And this is filmed by a bystander. He says at one point he calls out for his mama. He says please. One of the things that struck me watching the video was how respectful he was. He said, “Officer, sir, please I can’t breathe.” It is profoundly clear and easy to understand that he’s essentially calling out for help and saying that he cannot breathe. Chauvin stays in that position. The other officers who’ve helped initially to restrain Chauvin, there’s one video that shows this. They basically say to George Floyd, “You are talking fine,” right? So they’re basically trying to say to him like, you’re saying you can’t breathe but you can talk. One of the officers, officer-

Preet Bharara:

Initially.

Anne Milgram:

Yes, initially. And we should note that this goes on for almost nine minutes, but the last sort of over two minutes, at that point Floyd is, he’s motionless. He’s not responsive. He’s died.

Preet Bharara:

Not that it matters so much, but I think his name might be pronounced Chauvin. But more importantly, so 8:25, according to the complaint, the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. That’s when one of the other officers, Lane, says, “Want to roll his side.” A third officer checks Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” Nonetheless, none of the officers moved from their positions. And then an 8:27, almost two full minutes later, so the knee is pressed on the back of the neck of George Floyd for almost two full minutes after there’s no pulse, right?

Preet Bharara:

And that will become important when we talk about potential charges against the other three officers because at this moment, we should reiterate that we’re recording this between 10 and 11:00 AM on the morning of Tuesday, June 2nd. By the time you listen to this in a few hours, there may be more charges. There may be more information known. This thing changes rapidly hour by hour. But at this moment only one of the officers has been charged. And the other three officers, it seems clearly had knowledge and good reason to believe that George Floyd had stopped breathing and still permitted two more minutes of the knee restraint on the back of his neck.

Anne Milgram:

That’s right. The total amount of time that officer Chauvin has his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck is eight minutes and 46 seconds; two minutes and 53 seconds of that was after Mr. Floyd was nonresponsive, after he stopped moving. And we should note that Chauvin doesn’t take his knee off of George Floyd’s body until the emergency medical technicians arrive, until the EMT and the ambulance arrives. He keeps him on the ground in that position until then. And we should also say that when you listen to the videos, you hear bystanders and passengers basically also crying out for help.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible 00:10:42]. How long they got to hold him down?

Anne Milgram:

There’s a lot of people who are basically saying like, he’s not resisting you. The other point I want to make, Preet, which I think is worth saying and we’ll talk about this more when we talk about the charges, but the position that George Floyd was held in is specifically prohibited by police departments. It is a prone position. There is a lot of research that shows that people are far more likely to have a fixation to not be able to breathe if they’re in this position. When I was in the civil rights division at the department of justice, I handled an investigation, it was a correctional officer case. It was essentially an individual who’d been hogtied, basically his hands and feet behind his back, put in a prone position like this. It is prohibited by the police departments. All four of those officers would have been trained. Yes, would have been trained and knew that.

Preet Bharara:

One of the most important sentences in the entire criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin is the second to last sentence, which says further to what you were just describing, “Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.” And that will become very important with respect to the criminal case and the defenses that the officer or officers will end up making. One more thing, by the way, unlike some of these other cases that have been controversial where somebody has died in police custody, I can’t remember a case in recent memory where basically police chiefs from around the country and law enforcement experts from around the country are essentially unanimous in criticizing this, in condemning this, right?

Anne Milgram:

Yeah, I agree.

Preet Bharara:

In the Eric Garner case in New York which bears some resemblance to this, whatever you think of the case, there was some disagreement. There was a disagreement between the Washington folks at DOJ and the folks in the Eastern District of New York US attorney’s office. And there were differences of opinion within the NYPD and the NYPD did not go around saying that what happened in that case was necessarily against training or against policy. It may have been, but the point is here-

Anne Milgram:

Well, ultimately in the Garner case the officer was fired for violating policy. But I think the difference with Garner, what you’re sort of alluding to and this is a point that’s worth making is that there, there was a lot more question. And this was, the law was a federal civil rights law which we’ll talk about in a minute, but there was a lot more question in Garner of whether they could prove that the officer intentionally acted to kill Eric Garner because the time, it was a matter of seconds not minutes that he was in a chokehold, they had fallen together.

Anne Milgram:

I personally believe that case should have been prosecuted as a federal civil rights crime, but the debate was, is there sufficient evidence of intent here? And a lot of officers basically and a lot of police chiefs did not speak out, and the ones that did were mixed on it. And in part, I think it was because of this question of the line between what’s a legitimate use of force when somebody is resisting arrest and what is an excessive use of force. And so, that was a debate. Again, I don’t agree with it, but I think you’re right to point out that there was a very different conversation here.

Preet Bharara:

And there was a different result in the local DA’s office, too.

Anne Milgram:

Yes, yes. There was no bail, the grand jury did not return indictment in the Eric Garner case in the local Staten Island grand jury. Now here, across the country police chiefs have basically said, “This is wrong. It shouldn’t happen.” And a number of chiefs have gone out and said, it’s bad for all of us, for the police officers who follow the law and follow the rules because this makes it look like we’re all engaged in this kind of behavior which we do not support.

Preet Bharara:

And the four officers were fired pretty quickly-

Anne Milgram:

The next day, which is very quickly, yes.

Preet Bharara:

It’s not how quickly most of these things happen. The other thing I kept thinking when I was reading about the facts of the Floyd case are the continuing statements that I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. And the reason that sort of disturbing on many levels, but when you think back to the Eric Garner case, that’s what Eric Garner said and then he ended up dying. Every police in the United States of America and probably in large portions of the world is familiar with the Eric Garner case and knows what happened in that case. I don’t know how much legal significance this may necessarily have, but I wonder what went through the minds of Derek Chauvin and the other officers knowing full well what happened in the Eric Garner case, which was not that long ago.

Preet Bharara:

And if you’re in that profession, you know about that case and you know what happened there and you know that there was a death. And now you have the exact same utterances happening and you know you’re engaged in a restraint that is inherently dangerous because you’ve been told that and you know that and any idiot would know that. That I think bears on the state of mind, potentially of Chauvin and the others with respect to what the intent was given the history of the Eric Garner case. Do you think I’m overstating that?

Anne Milgram:

No. I mean, I thought the same thing which is that to me it’s a sign of how broken the system we have. And frankly the Minneapolis Police Department has struggled. They have had other officer-involved shootings. They’ve been under federal investigation previously. They’ve had a lot of challenges. So I think that this is a part of the conversation about how deeply this goes. There is no way in my mind that you can look at four police officers; and look, Chauvin is by far the most culpable. He keeps him down. He is responsible personally for the murder.

Anne Milgram:

But to me the other officers are also culpable. They are all aware they’re doing something wrong, they’re harming someone, they’re being told 16 times by the person that they can’t breathe. There’s no evidence. And remember, the original call came through that he was potentially intoxicated. There’s evidence that Floyd may have not been completely compliant with the officers but there is zero evidence that he was fighting resisting, that there was any appropriate use of force. At that moment he was already handcuffed. And so, it basically, once you take all of that out and you put on top of that the fact that he’s in a position that is not permitted by the police department, basically they’re told not to do it.

Preet Bharara:

Can I mention one thing that I think is relevant and we shouldn’t lose sight of, and that is, this use of force and this death was a consequence of an alleged crime involving a fake $20 bill. There’s a thing called proportionality in policing. When people see folks who go into a church or somewhere else and shoot people and kill them and there is not an overreaction by the police, and then here you have a $20 fake bill and this amount of force was used. Separate and apart from what the legal standard is, just the idea that you would have to engage in this amount of force and restraint when you’re talking about a $20 case I think should not be lost on people.

Anne Milgram:

Yeah. I mean, look, this amount of force shouldn’t be used. I mean, this is a murder as I think you and I both see it and this amount of force shouldn’t be used regardless of what crime someone has committed, right? Whether it’s, as you say-

Preet Bharara:

Yeah, I’m talking about the restraint in the first place.

Anne Milgram:

Yes. I agree.

Preet Bharara:

Even in the beginning, obviously yes, it ends up being a murder, and we can talk about whether it was premeditated or not. Look, the Eric Garner case was sort of similar. It was a small alleged crime. I don’t know why the police have to overreact in the way that they do given the danger.

Anne Milgram:

I mean, I think the right question you’re asking is basically like, how should we be enforcing violations of the law that are this minimal and should we be bringing this level of arrest and policing? And then on top of it, what’s really important is that there is zero… you and I have both heard 911 calls where the calls come through that someone has a gun and a police officer gets to a scene and rightly or wrongly, they’re prepared for someone who’s potentially violent against them. Here the call is forged $20 bill, there’s some evidence he might be intoxicated but zero of violence.

Anne Milgram:

And so, the way that they approach the situation and the level of force that they use in a situation that was absolutely like there’s no evidence of any threat to the police officers. First of all, that’s legally important because the officers are going to try to argue… One officer, officer Chauvin, has been charged. I expect the other three officers will be charged as well. It is impossible to watch that video and not believe that this is a deeper sign of the problems in the department when you see not a single officer intervene, out of four officers that no one stops this. And again, there’s no zero evidence that there was any threat to the officers or the officers’ safety.

Preet Bharara:

But you should point out that there were reports that in the last I think four or five years, Minnesota police have rendered 44 people unconscious by using a neck restraint. So, when we get to the part about what the Department of Justice should do or not do, that’s relevant, that’s significant. And obviously things escalate. But if you begin with a certain amount of force, the escalation is something that ends up being a homicide as a smaller step than if you begin in a more restrained way.

Anne Milgram:

Yeah. Look, we should also talk about, as we start to think about it and the police department, that this is an officer, officer Chauvin, who had 18 complaints that have been made against him, two of which he was reprimanded for. We don’t have the details of any of those complaints so we don’t know whether the ones that he wasn’t reprimanded for were legitimate. But we do know that this is a separate and an important conversation about why there’s no centralized record keeping about police use of force and complaints made against them and basically monitoring for excessive force.

Anne Milgram:

And again, it’s part of the larger conversation, but you have an officer with a very problematic track record. And again, we haven’t seen the underlying reports but he’s an officer with a history and it’s worth just noting when you think about the department and the way the department is run with all these different uses of forces that you just mentioned, these become really important questions about what is happening in the department and how it can be fixed.

Preet Bharara:

Yeah. The event happens and the death happens on Monday the 25th. There’s a lot of pressure because people see the videotape and normal reasonable minds think this was a murder, and I agree with them, but it’s up to the prosecutor’s office to figure out what the charges are. Sometimes there’s a delay because you want to lock in witnesses because it will become important what it is that other people around, so not just what George Floyd said but what other people said, what the cops may have said that wasn’t caught on videotape, et cetera, et cetera. And I think as of Thursday, the prosecutors looked like they were going to bring a charge, they didn’t. There was a lot of complaining and there was a lot of protesting after that.

Preet Bharara:

And then on Friday, the Hennepin County prosecutor announced two charges against Derek Chauvin, the principal person who put the knee to the neck. Some people were disappointed in the charges, but they are these for now. Murder in the third degree and manslaughter in the second degree. Murder in the third degree in Minnesota requires, like it does in a lot of jurisdictions, requires the causing of death but without intent to effect the death of any person so long as the act that caused the death was eminently dangerous to others, evinced a depraved mind as they say, without regard for human life. So that means so long as you can prove that this defendant, this officer, caused the death of George Floyd and had a depraved mind and was not acting with regard to human life, he can be convicted of third degree murder.

Preet Bharara:

I think that’s a pretty straightforward charge. I think some people are not happy, including the lawyers for George Floyd that there wasn’t a murder in the first degree or a murder in the second degree charge. By the way, the maximum penalty for murder in the third is still 25 years in prison. So it’s a substantial charge. We should also note that when you move this quickly, it is often the case and we’ve done this before in a variety of matters, you bring the sort of easiest case you can bring at the outset, nothing precludes you from superseding and bringing additional charges later but you want to start with something that sets the ball rolling. Do you think we’ll have a further charge?

Anne Milgram:

Yes, I do think we’ll have further charges. I don’t agree that that’s what was happening last week. I think that the local DA took a very conservative path, and we’ll talk about murder one and murder two in a second, but I think it was undercharged given the facts of the case. And remember I did civil rights work at the Department of Justice, I prosecuted police cases. And it’s worth noting just upfront that police cases are very difficult cases. They are unlike many other cases, and that’s for a variety of reasons. Like you just said, you have to basically put everyone who’s at a scene into the grand jury to lock down their stories so nobody changes their story later, particularly other police officers.

Anne Milgram:

Here I think you actually have the filing of a false report initially. At the point at which George Floyd died, I think that there’s likely also potential charges around filing of a false report. But the bottom line is that these are tough cases and that you work very hard and they do generally take a fair amount of work and effort to basically be able to prosecute them. Now that said, when you look at the charges here, murder three is basically exactly what you just said. You didn’t have to intend it, that you had a depraved indifference to human life which obviously the facts here, I think nine minutes with your knee on somebody’s neck when they’re saying repeatedly that they can’t breathe, it’s a very clear, very straightforward charge. What I think is odd-

Preet Bharara:

But can I ask you. Is it your view that the murder three is very strong slam dunk? How would you describe a strong [crosstalk 00:24:14]?

Anne Milgram:

I would say very strong. I never say slam dunk, Preet, because as you and I both know, we’ve tried a lot of cases. There’s no such thing. And police cases are hard because if you get one person on a jury that thinks that being a police officer is a tough job, which it is, that they risk their life and limb, which they do, and basically decides that they’re going to make judgements and some of those judgements are wrong but they give this benefit of the doubt to a police officer. We see that nationally with juries all the time. And so, nothing is a slam dunk, but very, very strong. I would feel very confident in trying a case with that charge. But I would also feel very confident in trying a case with higher charges.

Anne Milgram:

Murder one in Minnesota is actually a little bit unusual. It requires both premeditation, essentially planning, forethought, and intent. An intent is just, really the best way I think to describe it is that at that moment in time you are intending to do something. Your goal is to achieve a certain result. We talk about this a lot when you talk to juries in trials, but intent can be formed in an instant. You can walk out of your front door intending to go to a coffee shop, walk past a dry cleaner, decide instead to go to a dry cleaner. The minute you decide to go to that dry cleaner you have an intent to go to that dry cleaner. It doesn’t have to be done in advance, it can be done in an instant.

Anne Milgram:

The difference with premeditation is that it isn’t just that one incident where you form the intent, that doesn’t count as premeditation. Premeditation is, there’s a process of planning and then execution of an action that constitutes the crime. That’s murder one. Murder two is intent, meaning you intentionally caused. Here it’d be that the police officer intentionally caused the death of George Floyd.

Preet Bharara:

Well, it’s not just cause the death, it’s intending that… in other words, you and your mind have decided you want this person to be dead, you want to kill this person, as opposed to a botched robbery or a botched assault or a bar fight, or some other thing that happens domestically where you intend to cause harm, you tend to swing your fist, you intend to punch someone or hit them with a bat, but not necessarily intending them to die. Both murder one and murder two in Minnesota and in most places requires not just an intent to cause harm but a specific intent to kill that person because there’s lots of deaths that are caused by people who are not necessarily intending at that moment to cause the murder.

Anne Milgram:

Right. And there’s also a felony murder which we talked a little bit about with Ahmaud Arbery which could also be coming to play here, right? If someone dies in the commission of another felony, you could potentially charge felony murder, but keep that aside just for a second. The key point from the civil rights perspective on the intent, and you start to go through some of these facts upfront when we were talking about the situation and what happened is that, can you prove that there was intentional conduct to kill George Floyd? And the conversation here then goes to the fact that he was put in a prone position which is very dangerous and is known to cause death, which the officers would have known and have been trained on, and officer Chauvin would have known that. The fact that it’s nine minutes of restraint, the fact that there are 16 times where he’s saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Anne Milgram:

So all of these pieces are going to come into play. And the question is, can you convince a jury and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those nine minutes constitute an intent to kill George Floyd because of the failure to take other actions: to roll him to his side, to stop pushing pressure on, to basically do anything different than was done here. And so, I would argue that the case was undercharged because I believe that that length of time and the various facts and conduct-

Preet Bharara:

Yeah. Is it murder one or is it murder two? Murder one can potentially be very-

Anne Milgram:

Murder one is a very hard charge here, very hard.

Preet Bharara:

It’s very difficult. And I think you and I spent some time looking at what the potential jury instructions are. How the jury is counseled on what the law is with respect to premeditation. Premeditation requires some amount of planning, some amount of forethought, as you said. Does that mean that the person has to have written a list at home of things to put together? Is it something that can happen in a minute or two? There are people who have argued that there’s premeditation here because at some point, after the body went lifeless and after there was no pulse, the main defendant continued to put his knee into the back of the neck. Could premeditation have been formed there or is that just merely intent? I don’t know enough about how Minnesota cases have judged what premeditation requires so I think it’s a little bit tough. I don’t know if we’re going to see a murder one.

Anne Milgram:

I would suspect we’re going to see murder two, and I’ll tell you why, because I think people can debate premeditation of murder one, but there is a case that I looked up last night that basically said that intent and premeditation can not be formed at the same time, which basically means that there has to be premeditation and then intent. And that is a bit of a higher bar, particularly when this is one continuous event for nine minutes. Again, I’m not saying it can’t be proven. It’s one of those things where it’s going to be very difficult. Obviously officer Chauvin is not going to tell you that he premeditated this. And so you have to do it through circumstantial evidence through all the things we’re talking about: the length of time, the cries for help, the position he’s in.

Anne Milgram:

And it really comes down to the question of, do you want to basically charge something that I think is going to be incredibly difficult to prove or do you want to charge murder two, focus on proving intent? And remember that you can also charge murder three? That’s an important point, which is that it’s not that the government has to choose murder two or murder three. Obviously if you went to trial against Chauvin and he was convicted of murder two, the jury would not consider murder three. But if he was acquitted, meaning found not guilty on murder two, the jury would consider the charge in murder three.

Preet Bharara:

Yeah. There’s no really harm, right? Prosecutors do this all the time. You charge more substantial, more serious crimes under certain statutes, and then you charge the lesser ones and sometimes juries split the difference.

Anne Milgram:

And I will say, I mean, I’ve tried cases. I second sat a case that was overcharged. It was a violent case that I believe at the time was overcharged. I didn’t charge it. I jumped on for the trial as a second seat to help out. The jury really struggled. And so, it ended up being more complicated for the jury when… it was something that they could debate but it was really going to be hard for it to be unanimous as a conviction to find something and it would have been the better course and the cleaner course if they had just basically said to the jury like, this is what it is. There would have been no debate how do we not overcharge it.

Anne Milgram:

So, I just want to basically caution that it’s a reasonable thing for a prosecutor to think about, which is like, if they go for murder one and the jury ends up being hung or getting tied up on it and they end up having a difficult time, that can hurt the ability to convict a murder two or a murder three as well. So, there are reasonable reasons why we might see murder two and murder three, and also the manslaughter charges which there’s already one charge of manslaughter that’s been brought-

Preet Bharara:

In the second degree, right?

Anne Milgram:

Exactly. Which is negligent, which is basically creating unreasonable risk. And so, I think that’s also a very strong charge that’s already been brought and I would expect that both murder three and man two, manslaughter in the second degree, will be part of the final charges, but I would expect that additional charges will be added. And we should just note that the county prosecutor you were talking about, Mike Freeman, in Hennepin County, he has stepped out of the case and is now being handled by Attorney General Ellison at the request of the governor, at the request of George Floyd’s family. And so, I would not be surprised at all to see another indictment that charges Chauvin with additional counts as well as the other three officers being charged.

Preet Bharara:

Let’s talk about the other three officers for a moment. I think based on what I see that there is a lot of discussion about their culpability. I’ve heard people in Minnesota in Minneapolis say basically that they’re just as culpable. Whether that’s true morally or ethically, that may be true, but legally there is going to be a difference between the person who presses knee in the back of George Floyd neck as opposed to the other people who didn’t take that action. And so, what charges are potentially able to be brought against the other three officers, from what I see from the manslaughter in the second degree, I think that’s basically made out.

Anne Milgram:

Agreed, yeah.

Preet Bharara:

As you said, a person who causes the death of another person by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree. And that includes the person’s culpable negligence, whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another. George Floyd’s lawyers made the argument, and you got to go back and look at the video tape to make sure this applies to everyone. It is the case that some of the other officers also contributed to placing a weight on the body of George Floyd.

Anne Milgram:

Right. Two of the other officers helped officer Chauvin.

Preet Bharara:

Yeah, so they were not standing 10 feet away and simply permitting it to happen, although there’s arguments there too. I think there’s a possibility of an aiding and abetting charge. I think it will be a little bit more difficult for the other three officers, even though all of them were fired at once. I think that will be a criminal case against the others. I don’t think you’re going to be looking at murder one or murder two, or perhaps even a murder three.

Anne Milgram:

I think you could look at murder three.

Preet Bharara:

Maybe.

Anne Milgram:

I think the debate will be, could they be charged with murder three? And I absolutely agree on manslaughter in the second degree. I also think that it’s very likely that they’ll be charged with filing a false report, basically not being truthful in the report that they initially filed on the incident with George Floyd, and they can be charged with conspiracy under federal civil rights laws, and we’ll talk about the federal laws in a second. But you’re talking about aiding and abetting, which is the way you would do it in state. You’d basically say they were working with Chauvin and this was the end result.

Anne Milgram:

The one thing to note about the other officers and the thing that I think mitigates in favor of them being charged with a number of offenses is that this is a long time, and you watch that video and it is painful to watch. It is not 10 seconds. It is not 30 seconds. It is almost nine minutes. They stood there. You could see a prosecutor playing the video or basically saying, “Let’s just sit for nine minutes and talk about how long it was that went on with those officers not saying a word to stop this.”

Preet Bharara:

But I mean, it’s even worse than that, right? Because one of the officers, as the complaint describes, check Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” And then in one of the more devastating sentences in the complaint, the next sentence says, “None of the officers moved from their positions.”

Anne Milgram:

Exactly.

Preet Bharara:

So here’s someone who completely understands having personally checked for a pulse, doesn’t find one, doesn’t do anything-

Anne Milgram:

Different. Exactly. Yup, exactly. So I personally think they will be charged. I think it’s a question in my mind as to whether they’re charged with murder three as well as manslaughter in the second degree. And I think they’ll all be charged with filing false reports as well most likely.

Preet Bharara:

Can I talk about one more thing that’s in the complaint that caused people to be somewhat disconcerted and looked like it might be some kind of defense for one or more of these officers. I just want to put my thoughts on the record on it. And this is with respect to the initial preliminary medical examiner report. Now there’s been another independent medical examiner report that has a different finding. I think all of these are preliminary, we don’t have the final full reports. But there’s something that was included in the complaint that bothered a lot of people.

Preet Bharara:

“The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.” Which caused some people to start to wonder, well, are they seeding this complaint with something that would amount to a defense for Chauvin or any of the others because it wasn’t the knee in the back of the neck. It wasn’t asphyxiation that caused the death.

Preet Bharara:

Now, there may be medical reasons to attribute death to one thing versus another thing. But to my mind, both ethically, morally, and more importantly, legally, it should make no difference at all. And I’m reminded of a case that we brought against a correction officer at Rikers Island who literally beat an inmate to death by kicking him in the head repeatedly and intended to kill him obviously and said to him right before he kicked him in the head, “I want you to remember that I’m the one who did this to you.”

Preet Bharara:

The coroner’s report came back and he did not die of blunt force trauma to the head, he died of cardiac arrhythmia because the kick to the head caused that to happen. People tried to argue to the contrary in court that was overcome by the AAOS in the courtroom who argued that the only reason the person died was because he was kicked in the head. Whether the ultimate medical cause of death was a cardiac arrhythmia or a blunt force trauma did not matter, and I submit it should not matter in this case either.

Anne Milgram:

Yeah. I agree with you completely. I agree with you. It sort of looks like a potential matter that the defense could take up. What’s also interesting is that there was an independent coroner’s report that basically says he dies from asphyxiation. We may even see a little bit of a battle of experts, but to me I agree with you, on the legal side it’s not going to matter at all. But I do think, like I understand it’s a very human reaction for people who haven’t done cases like you and I have done to basically look at this and say like, “Are you kidding me? And how is that possible?” So I think there was that reaction, but again, as a legal matter, the death was caused by the actions of the officer. There’s no question and it won’t be a problem to prove that at trial.

Preet Bharara:

The Department of Justice that you and I used to be a part of has opened up a civil rights investigation. Typically those things will happen a little bit more slowly. Depending on the circumstances here, there has been at least one arrest. Maybe others will be forthcoming. That to my mind probably buys the DOJ a little more time. They like to be very thorough. They’d like to put everyone into the grand jury. It also happens to be the case that will discuss that the statute section 242 as everyone knows it causes a pretty high burden to be placed on the prosecution. That usually it’s the case that local laws are varied enough and flexible enough that you can fit the conduct into a statute like murder in the third or manslaughter two, the Civil Rights Statute is very, very difficult and it has a high burden of proof. Has that been your experience?

Anne Milgram:

Yes and no. I mean, look, I think the burden of proof is very high. The federal civil rights law 18 United States code section 242 and the conspiracy of section 241, the civil rights law is basically a willful violation by someone acting under color of law. So you have to prove, again, intent, you have to prove the intentional violation and then you have to prove that it was an intentional violation of a right that’s guaranteed either in the constitutional laws. Here it would be the Fourth Amendment to the United States constitution which says that all of us are free and should be free from unreasonable search and seizures.

Anne Milgram:

But the intent piece is always the complicated part with any policing case, whether you’re talking about the Minneapolis Statute or the federal law, because you have to prove that the officer intentionally caused the death. I do think it’s a hard statute in many ways and I do think it’s a very high burden, but I want to say very clearly that the section that I was in at the Department of Justice has charged it repeatedly for many years. I mean, it was charged in the Rodney King case in Los Angeles and it is a hard case to prove-

Preet Bharara:

It wasn’t charged in Ferguson.

Anne Milgram:

It wasn’t charged in Ferguson. It is a provable statute though. So, I don’t want… some of the things that were sort of moving in Twitter were, we have to change the standard, it’s too hard to prove. I agree we should change the standard. But I do think that here I would argue that this is a case that can be charged under section 242 of the federal statutes and that it’s provable under that statute. Again, there’s a lot more we have to learn but all the same facts that you and I just talked through apply here when it comes to deciding whether or not there’s intent.

Anne Milgram:

And the one thing about federal prosecutions, I want to give a lot of deference to the state but there’s a number of points to be made, which is: number one, these are people who do these cases all the time so they’ve experience in dealing with police cases. Number two, you’ve got federal agents who are investigators who also have been handling these types of cases for a long time. They often don’t have the same close relationships with local law enforcement that can be difficult to work through when you’re prosecuting police officers. And so, there’s a lot of reasons why I think it’s important to also look at this from the federal viewpoint.

Preet Bharara:

Look, and there’s also other things that the Department of Justice can do because remember, it’s not just the case that you prosecute one person in a police department and that solves all the problems. Sometimes you have a systemic problem. You have a pervasive problem and the Justice Department is empowered to do what’s called a pattern or practice investigation, the kind of thing that we did with respect to Rikers Island initially, and you can sometimes have more systemic change. At the end of the day you can enter into a consent decree with the police department through which it would engage in reforms, change training practices, change disciplinary practices. And maybe that will happen here, I guess we don’t know that yet.

Anne Milgram:

Yeah. The point to be made about pattern or practice is that it is essential that it be done here. And right now the Department of Justice under President Trump and Bill Barr has pulled back from consent decrees. They’ve really, really scaled back. We’ve seen this before. We saw it under George W. Bush as well, that the department pulled back from doing consent decrees. They started doing memorandums of understanding, which are much weaker. But here there needs to be something happening with the police department.

Anne Milgram:

There needs to be some type of pattern or practice investigation. That is the only way you will get into the systemic problems, that is the only way you’ll start to understand whether officers like Chauvin and others should have been fired for misconduct. You’ll start to understand what’s happening in the police department, what changes need to be made. And the prosecution of the individual officers is very important. I don’t want to suggest anything other than that those officers need to be held accountable. But if you don’t hold the department itself accountable, you’re not going to fix the underlying problems that are systemic.

Anne Milgram:

And so, I think this is really important. I think you and I should continue to watch this and see what happens. I mean, usually in a situation like this, the department would have already announced a pattern or practice investigation. And so, I think we have to keep watching this and trying to figure out. The prosecution’s people are focused on but at the end of the day, the institutional systematic work has to also happen. We’ve talked about this a little bit. I oversaw the consent decree. There was a pattern or practice investigation of the New Jersey State Police before I became AG. That consent decree was still in effect when I was AG. We ended up doing a lot of work around that. Ultimately, the governor signed into law a bill that would basically keep permanently a lot of aspects of the consent decree, basically institutionalize it, so there would be no backsliding once the consent decree was lifted. But these are, it’s really an important part of institutional reform.

Preet Bharara:

Look, a lot has happened in last week in reaction and righteous anger relating to the death of George Floyd. People have taken to the streets or protested in multiple cities. I’ve not seen anything like this that I can remember. I don’t know if you can. And the question is, what is the appropriate response from local governments and the federal government? The president had kind of a nutty, nutty is not the right word. Disgusting might be a better word, stunt that he pulled yesterday, which we don’t have to spend a lot of time on. We should focus on the fact that he has said:

Donald Trump:

You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.

Preet Bharara:

And there’s been a lot of confusion about what the president’s permitted to do. I’ve seen a lot of good people who we know and who opine on these issues, I think, get it wrong. So let’s do just a quick summary of what the president can and cannot do. Generally speaking in this country, the military is not allowed to enforce laws because we don’t want to live in that kind of a country. We live in a democracy where civilians enforce the laws and the military operates abroad and keeps the homeland safe and engages in battle as necessary. Under a law called the Posse Comitatus Act, that codifies that principle that is important one in our country.

Preet Bharara:

Lots of people have been saying, “Well, the president can’t do what he said he wants to do, which is send the military into the streets to deal with protests.” That’s not correct. There happens to be a prior law from 1807 called the Insurrection Act which in certain limited circumstances allows the president to do what he said he wants to do. And it’s been used a number of times in our history. Under one provision of the Insurrection Act, if the local government asks the executive branch, asks the president to send in the military, that can be done. Most famously, that was done the last time 28 years ago after the Rodney King situation in Los Angeles and the federal military came in and helped to deal with those protests and effect law and order and keep the peace.

Preet Bharara:

So a lot of people now are saying, well, only if the local government asks for it can the president send in the military. That’s also not correct. It happens to be the case that under the Insurrection Act, if the president makes a determination that he needs troops to deal with domestic violence or other kinds of conspiracies and combinations, he can send in troops. And then third, if there’s an impediment to the enforcement of local or federal law, you can send in local troops domestically. That by the way was used in a good way, a lot of listeners will understand, in the 1950s and the 1960s when President Eisenhower and President Kennedy used federal troops to deal with the enforcement of civil rights law. So it is not correct that the president has no ability to do these things. It may not be right, it may be toxic, it may be counterproductive, it may be overly militaristic, but he’s permitted.

Anne Milgram:

I agree with you. And I think the interesting question is where that line is and under what circumstances that power should be invoked. And frankly, whether the military, if the president gives what they consider to be an overreach, an unlawful order that people in local communities think it’s going to exacerbate problem and not make it better, at one point what we see is military leadership basically say we’re not going to do it. It is a controversial thing for the president to use the military in this way in communities that have not asked the president to do so. And again, you’re right, there’s precedent to do it. But there’s also, what the president did yesterday, it was sickening, it was a show where he basically had rubber bullets and tear gas put on protesters so he could walk across the street to a church and then walk back to the White House. There was this-

Preet Bharara:

No, no. He did more than that. Anne, he did more than that. He held up a Bible.

Anne Milgram:

He did.

Preet Bharara:

That was not his Bible. He didn’t pray. He didn’t go into church. He didn’t give condolences for anyone who suffered from COVID. He didn’t do any of those things. But he did hold up a Bible after rubber bullets and tear gas were used on peaceful protesters so he could walk across the street.

Anne Milgram:

Right. For basically no point. So we should be very much on the lookout for the president to abuse this power. But I agree with you completely that it exists. I also, I want to just sort of say we’re watching the protest. The protest are an expression of rage and anger and frustration at systemic racism, at the way that American policing has become this discriminatory arm of the United States government. There’s very justified and very righteous anger. There’s also people who are taking advantage of the protests, who are hurting others, who are destroying property. No one can or should condone that. And obviously the mayors and the governors are working hard to basically keep the protest as peaceful as possible.

Anne Milgram:

But I want to just say one thing that gave me a moment of, I don’t even know what the right word is, but I think you and I were probably both watching this. We were watching basically these protests, they were angry and they were basically, it’s us versus them, right? This sort of feeling of just this incredible division. And then you look at the sheriff in Flint, Michigan, who marched with the protestors. You look at the Camden, New Jersey Police Department which I led many years ago and has overseen an incredible transformation under Chief Thompson until last year.

Anne Milgram:

But going back to where we started in 2007, to look this past weekend at the men and women in Camden locked arms with the police chief and police officers, all of them protesting together against police brutality and injustice and discrimination against black people and people of color, it just, it was a moment of… Philadelphia was having very difficult protests. And I watched Camden, a police department that we worked so hard to reform, and it just gave me this glimmer of hope that it’s not us versus them. That there’s a way through.

Anne Milgram:

Most police departments have not realized this yet, they haven’t done it, but Camden gave me a moment of hopefulness that the police department has changed so much there and they’re so community forward in their policing and they track every statistic on use of force, on discipline, on everything that matters, and they hold themselves accountable to the community. And then you watch them marching arm in arm and to me it’s just, it’s a symbol at this very, very dark time of what is possible. I personally like, I have to hold onto that as the way forward.

Preet Bharara:

Yeah. I think there are a lot of positive examples. I’ve seen terrible examples too of police targeting the press and for no reason at all singling out people and spraying pepper spray in their faces. I want to go back just for one minute, because going forward it’s unclear what the president is going to do. This idea that you’re going to bring the military into the streets is a form of escalation which you need to think about because it’s undue police force and escalation that got us to this point in the first place. We should be in a mode of deescalation, whether you’re talking about individual cases and individual responses to alleged crimes, or you’re talking about responses to the overall protests that are going on in various cities.

Preet Bharara:

Whether what the president wants to do is lawful or not, and there are arguments that it wouldn’t be given the circumstances and if you could make out an argument under the Insurrection Act. Like so many other things in the world, there’s not much that anybody’s going to be able to do about it, right? Because suppose you could challenge it in court. I don’t know who would make the challenge, I don’t know how long it would take. Courts generally speaking would defer to the executive on a decision about whether or not to invoke the Insurrection Act and send troops into the streets to deal with the protests.

Preet Bharara:

But more pragmatically that would take a while. And so, if the president of United States decides to call up troops to send them into LA or Philadelphia or some other place, by the time a court got around to dealing with it, even if it wanted to deal with it, the use of the military would probably be over. And so this is the kind of thing about which there can be a political constraint but not so much a lawful or judicial restraint.

Preet Bharara:

And I think it goes to the members of the house and the Senate to draw a line and make sure this is done in an inappropriate way. I don’t have a lot of confidence about that either, not to continue to be negative. You have Senator Tom Cotton who has wholeheartedly endorsed the idea of sending the military in. The president, I think, is viewing this not as a way to sort of calm the country but a path towards reelection by being sort of militaristic in his words and in his thinking strong. And he might actually use this power. Although on other occasions he has threatened to use powers that he may or may not have and hasn’t used them.

Preet Bharara:

And then on yet other occasions like happened over the last few days, he does something that’s quite peculiar. He takes some action that has no meaning whatsoever. For example when he decided in a tweet to say that he is now designating Antifa, a terrorist organization, a tweet that got hundreds and hundreds of thousands of likes and made his base very happy. It has no consequence, it has no meaning whatsoever. There’s only a mechanism in our law to designate foreign terrorist organizations, FTOs. And the idea that he is in a tweet “designating Antifa terrorist organization” makes no difference in the work of federal prosecutors.

Preet Bharara:

It makes no difference in the work of the intel community. It doesn’t do anything at all except serve as a slogan and a sort of pretend toughness that has no consequence. The Insurrection Act is different, but it’s useful to point out that the president sometimes likes to say stuff to appear strong and say he has certain powers but doesn’t actually do anything to exercise them.

Anne Milgram:

I think those are great points. I would also add that in a lot of states where we’re seeing protests, the governors have asked the National Guard to come out. Governors have the ability to invoke the National Guard and they’ve done that. They’ve asked for help to basically calm the streets, to basically make sure that curfews are enforced. And so, there’s already been a fair amount of action that’s been taken and that I think that mayors and governors are taking right now to basically get a handle on the protest. I also agree with you very much that you have to look at what the ultimate goal is. The ultimate goal is to give people the ability to peacefully protest, to have a voice, to basically express their anger and sadness and frustration and rage in a way that’s safe and does not destroy property or hurt others.

Anne Milgram:

And so if you escalate it and you up in some of the images with the sort of full BDUs, the military clothing, with the gas masks and the sort of weapons, I mean, it is very likely to escalate and to lead to additional violence. And so the goal here has to be, how do you calm the situation, not how do you put gasoline on it? And so I think that is why the decisions that get made in the next few days on this are so critically important because the president always doubles down. He doubles down as a matter of ego and pride not as a matter of getting to the right result. And here I think, I’m very hopeful that the local mayors and the governors will get the respect that they deserve from the president to basically handle these situations.

Anne Milgram:

I do personally believe that if a governor of any political party needs additional help, that they will ask for it right now. I mean, these are very serious questions. And again, you want to basically clear the way for peaceful protesters to be able to protest and to legitimately protest. And by the way, I’m not worried for what it’s worth about, do people need permits to protest? I think we have to all understand that this is a moment where we talked about this, but the systemic racism and discrimination has bubbled over and people need the opportunity to express that. What I do think the line is, and I thought the former president Obama said this well yesterday, we don’t hurt others, we don’t destroy property, it makes it worse for the communities that we care about. And so that’s the line, but we have to create more space for people to be able to express the anger that they feel over what’s happened.

Preet Bharara:

Look, some people like fight, some people like confrontation. Some people, individual cops included and some protestors, want to have that. And I just keep thinking back to the words of Mayor Keisha Bottoms of Atlanta who spoke so eloquently a few nights ago talking about people who were engaged in looting or burning property.

Keisha Bottoms:

So if you love this city, this city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs and people who care about this city where more than 50% of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners, if you care about this city then go home.

Preet Bharara:

George Floyd’s own brother urged people not to loot and not to destroy property. There’s a lot to be very, very angry about. There’s a lot that needs to be reformed. There’s a lot of reflection that a lot of people need to engage in, especially in the non-black community. And a lot of these reforms are overdue and we’ll talk about some of the ways that we can make things better in the coming weeks, but the looting doesn’t help anyone. One other thing that doesn’t help anyone is the politicization of this whole thing.

Preet Bharara:

Now, Bill Barr has made blanket statements that all of this is going on and the violence is happening only at the hands of people who are far left, in his language. Maybe that’s the case, maybe it’s not the case. I’d like to see some evidence of that. But you see, in this instance, like so many others, an attorney general trying to serve as not just a law enforcement officer but a sloganier for the president in a way that helps him politically, that causes everybody to shift their attention away from the underlying bad police practices and systemic racism in law enforcement, to anger against real or imagined radicals and agitators that are coming in from out of town to do this bad work.

Anne Milgram:

I agree with that very strongly and I think we all have to be on the watch for that as well.

Preet Bharara:

Anne, I think it would be useful in the coming weeks to talk about specific reforms and some of the proposals that are out there. And also by the way to talk about some things that have flown under the radar because of all the focus correctly on the George Floyd situation; the Michael Flynn transcripts, his calls with Kislyak declassified and made public. Donald Trump has gotten into a fight with Twitter, issued an executive order that is very controversial, and we’ll find time to come back to those things in the coming weeks. And obviously this is a very fluid situation. A lot can happen between now and next week. We hope that everybody remains safe, remains focused, remains healthy, especially given the coronavirus is not gone away yet.

Anne Milgram:

Yes, very much. And I do think there will be more for us to report on next week, that this is a really fluid situation and we’ll keep monitoring it and watching it. And yes, I hope everyone stays safe and we will talk to you soon.

Preet Bharara:

I hope you found our conversation informative. We’ll continue to follow this story and break down politically charged legal matters making the headlines. You can now try the CAFE Insider membership free for two weeks. To join, head to cafe.com/insider. That’s cafe.com/insider. To all our Insiders, thank you for supporting our work.

Preet Bharara:

That’s it for this week’s Insider Podcast. Your hosts are Preet Bharara and Anne Milgram. The executive producer is Tamara Sepper. The senior audio producer is David Tatasciore, and the CAFE team is Matthew Billy, David Kurlander, Sam Ozer-Staton, Calvin Lord, Noa Azulai and Geoff Isenman. Our music is by Andrew Dost. Thank you for being a part of the CAFE Insider community.

 

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CAFE Insider 6/2: George Floyd & America in Turmoil

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