Those who were involved in prosecuting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin want the judge to change wording in the memo. According to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, they want the wording to be changed to indicate that the girls who witnessed the death of George Floyd did in fact experience trauma.
According to Minnesota Public Radio, the prosecutors want the judge “to rewrite his sentencing order to delete suggestions that child witnesses did not suffer trauma.” In a letter to Judge Peter Cahill, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison wrote that “discounting the trauma of the children who testified at trial — in an authoritative judicial opinion, no less — will only exacerbate the trauma they have suffered. The Court should correct the public record to avoid that result.”
In the memo, Judge Peter Cahill explained that the presence of children at the scene of George Floyd’s death, while tragic, did not lead him to extending the sentencing. He said that he did agree with the defense’s argument that the children were free to leave at any time and that “two were seen smiling and laughing as officers kept Floyd pinned down.”
Ellison wrote that “a growing body of research suggests that observers discount the experiences of young Black girls” and that they are seen “as needing less protection and nurturing than White girls.” He said that it is a process called “adultification.”
Also, Ellison in his wrote, “The Court should remove the reference to the children’s failure to leave the scene because the law does not require children to be unable to walk away.” He also asked the court to “remove the language suggesting these children were not traumatized.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]