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jca2's avatar

If you were former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin, do you think you might be feeling suicidal right about now?

Asked by jca2 (11656points) May 31st, 2020

Former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin has a bleak future ahead. One possibility for him is jail, probably for life, where he will likely be killed or hounded constantly by other prisoners, unless he’s put into Protective Custody. Another possibility is if he ends up being found not guilty, he’ll be free but hunted by someone and constantly looking over his shoulder.

I heard he is on suicide watch (TMZ reported that, I believe).

If you were him, might you be feeling suicidal now?

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29 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, probably.

Yellowdog's avatar

There is no way he will be found not guilty.

There is a world of difference between this and, say, the Michael Brown case.

Jeruba's avatar

How in the world are they going to find an unbiased jury? I’d be worried about any juror who doesn’t know about the case. Every American ought to be aware of this story.

Yellowdog's avatar

Just because you know about the story doesn’t mean you are biased,

mazingerz88's avatar

At this point, not yet suicidal. Maybe later on if I do land in jail, protective custody or not. But feeling suicidal doesn’t mean I will go through with it.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
SergeantQueen's avatar

@Yellowdog I’d look into the Autopsy. I don’t mean to stir up drama here and I won’t argue (I am basing this off of what was released, nothing else), but the fact that they are unable to link what the officer did as an exact cause of death (no signs of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation) may be an issue. Also the fact that they say that he had underlying health issues + had something in his system

My point is—they have to prove that the officers actions are 100% what caused his death, and the autopsy seems to point towards the officers actions plus other factors—and that could be enough to get him off. for criminal cases you need as close to a 100% positive that this person killed this guy for sure (beyond reasonable doubt) or in this case, that the officers actions was the sole/main reason he died, which may not (ACCORDING TO THE AUTOPSY) be the case.

Again, I’m just saying this based off the autopsy, nothing else.
I do not like the cop. I think he’s a shitty cop.Terrible, horrible, all that.

I’m just saying that your comment of “There’s no way he will be found not guilty” is kind of wrong.

Also, I do not believe it is possible to not have a bias in a case like this…

There’s the debate that the autopsy is totally wrong, I get that. But for now, that’s what it says. Just please don’t get all mad at me, I want him in jail, but there may be a few hurdles to get past when/if it goes to trial and assuming this is the autopsy they use (the family is doing an independent one, may not get used), assuming this is what they use, if they don’t play their cards right he could get off.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@SergeantQueen “they have to prove that the officers actions are 100% what caused his death”

Not for third-degree murder, they don’t. Not for second-degree manslaughter, either. And those are the two charges that have been brought against Chauvin. So while a lot of people wanted him put on trial for something more severe, the prosecutors seem to have purposefully selected charges that give them the highest chance of winning.

Overcharging police officers is a common tactic for ensuring their acquittal. That the County Attorney’s office did not do so suggests that they might actually be trying to convict him. But juries are unpredictable, so your skepticism is still warranted.

filmfann's avatar

What do I think he’s feeling?
Like he was justified doing it.
Like he is being unfairly characterized.
Like the world is full of assholes.

Don’t expect rationality from him.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Okay yeah, guess I forgot about the charges there when I made that statement. Thank you for the correction @SavoirFaire

I find it interesting, your statement “Overcharging police officers is a common tactic for ensuring their acquittal”. As I’ve been told by police, they overcharge to try and get the person to take a plea deal and avoid a trial, not have them acquitted. I guess it could be different for defendants that are cops. Still never heard that.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@SavoirFaire Also wanted to add that while that is obviously a controversial move, it is a smart one. They have to go off of facts and facts only, and if that’s the charges the evidence backs then that’s how it has to be. Unfortunate is it can be viewed, it’s better than them overreaching and getting acquitted, as you do mention.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@SergeantQueen Most defendants are intimidated by the prospect of a trial, and overcharging exacerbates that. They hear “first-degree murder” and “possible death penalty” and are almost begging to plead down. And unless they have an experienced trial lawyer, they will probably be advised to take the deal.

Police hear “first-degree murder” and think “no way I get indicted, let alone convicted.” They know the system better, they know that there are special exemptions in the law for them, and they aren’t being represented by a public defender with 70 other clients to think about. Plus, juries tend to be more deferential towards police officers.

These are generalities, of course, but they help explain the discrepancy that you brought up.

And I agree that it is a smart move. Convicting police officers is difficult, the precedent is more valuable than the actual sentence, and an acquittal could be disastrous.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Lost his job, wife filed for divorce, killed a helpless man live. Probably suicidal.

chyna's avatar

Third degree murder will get a sentence of up to 25 years, not life, according to what I have read.
Just knowing that he has had 18 complaints against him in as many years makes me wonder if he is just an ass hole bully. His wife left him immediately. Maybe he terrorized her. Who knows? But if he is a bully, he’s probably feeling proud of himself and not suicidal, IMO.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Am I the only one who finds his name oddly appropriate?
I mean, anyone who sides with him is a chauvinist.

I imagine suicide watch is not so much about him trying to off himself, as keeping him under watchful eye to prevent him from being shivved before he can be found guilty.

elbanditoroso's avatar

- assuming he ever gets out jail, he is going to have one hell of a time finding a job and getting and sort of life insurance.

- I have no sympathy for the guy. He knew exactly what he was doing.

- The Minneapolis Police department was known for their brutality for decades. This isn’t a surprise, that one of their own is a killer.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t know, I’ve gone just far enough down the conspiracy rabbit hole to believe he already knows he’ll get off and suspect he will whether by conspiracy or just simply the nature of the world we live in today. I hope I’m wrong and I don’t wish him dead, but I would like to see justice served. I want to believe his actions will impact him negatively for the rest of his life in one way or another but that’s going to be hard to believe until it happens.In the meantime, I just can’t shake the smug look on his face and my gut feeling is that he isn’t exactly a person who is deeply in touch with his feelings and I’m guessing he’s feeling pretty confident that things will be fine. Who knows.

kritiper's avatar

Probably not. It depends on one’s own personal mental fortitude.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“If you were former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin”

I would not have put my knee on someone’s neck to subdue them.

I imagine he needs to be on suicide watch. He is being charged and has been fired. Nobody has his back and hordes of people are rioting and protesting his actions. When he goes to prison he’ll be in a living hell.

SEKA's avatar

If I was Derek, there wouldn’t be any riots as I wouldn’t have chosen the path that he chose.

Now, the real Derek feels justified in what he did and he feels confident that he’ll never be convicted nor see a day behind bars once he goes to court. The lawyer he’s hired is an expert in these types of cases, so I don’t think he’ll ever be found guilty nor see a day in jail. Where I would feel remorse for my actions, he feels defiant and totally justified for what he did; so, no he’s not feeling suicidal. The suicide watch was set up to protect him from others but not from himself. It’s all smoke and mirrors

josie's avatar

I don’t know about suicidal. Probably not.


The verdict might influence that in the future.

But I am pretty sure he is wondering when his “world view” stopped being the normal one, and how he could have missed the point.

Patty_Melt's avatar

He’s working his brain through his finances and wondering if he has enough to keep alive for a while.

elbanditoroso's avatar

He may be reading Jeffrey Epstein’s book “How to committ suicide in jail in three easy lessons”

CelestialIncognito's avatar

I believe that the more broken a person is the more love they require. Triggering an explosive situation that injures everyone may be suicidal in and of itself, but no…

josie's avatar


So based on that, I infer that you feel an obligation to supply at least some of the required love to that particular broken person? How will you accomplish that?

CelestialIncognito's avatar

@josie I think all change begins at home. As a child discipline was hard and legal- even encouraged- from a child’s perspective. I noticed it was tough on women and other adults for no apparent reason, as well, at the time. The evolution of love is ongoing. If someone loves us, we may often return that love. It is much harder to initiate love when hated on, perhaps? It has to start somewhere, sometime- why not here and now?

josie's avatar

Got it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Maybe the bulls will show some TLC.

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