Defense attorney Eric Nelson focused heavily in his closing argument on George Floyd‘s health and drug use, claiming they were more responsible for Floyd’s death than Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck, as seen in now-infamous footage.
Alcindor, however, appeared to fact-check Nelson by relying on the prosecution’s case, which exclusively focused on Chauvin’s use of force.
“Chauvin’s lawyer said it flies in the face of common sense to say Floyd’s death was not caused at least in part by his underlying conditions or drug use,” Alcindor tweeted. “This argument is in direct contradiction to the prosecution’s case which says believe your eyes, Chauvin’s knee killed Floyd.”
Critics mocked the taxpayer-funded reporter for her less-than-trenchant analysis.
“Yeah wow so weird that the defense is contradicting the prosecution,” conservative commentator Matt Walsh reacted.
“Yes, typically the defense and the prosecution do present contradictory arguments,” Daily Caller reporter Dylan Housman told Alcindor.
“Does not seem odd or surprising that the defense case would be in ‘direct contradiction’ to the prosecution case. That’s the way it works,” Washington Examiner senior political correspondent Byron York chimed in.
“Is she really confused or outraged that the defense and prosecution might have differing views on a case? How does someone so clueless get a job anywhere?” radio host Derek Hunter asked.
“I have news about the kinds of arguments made every single day by criminal defense lawyers,” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin said.
Alcindor wasn’t the only journalist to share questionable analysis of the Chauvin trial. CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates tweeted: “Defense begins the closing by defining reasonable doubt, not with why #DerekChauvin is innocent. Think about that,” an apparent dismissal of the bedrock principles of the American justice system.
MSNBC legal analysts Glenn Kirschner and Barb McQuade similarly focused on Nelson’s “reasonable doubt” arguments.
“When you have NO compelling facts/evidence supporting your defense, you start with long-winded discussions of legal principles like presumption of innocence & proof beyond reasonable doubt. That’s how defense attorney Nelson started his closing argument. That is a tell…” wrote Kirschner, a former Army prosecutor.
“I have found that the defense spends more time on presumption of evidence and reasonable doubt when he does not want to focus on the facts of his own case,” tweeted McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney appointed by Barack Obama.