Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a recent 60 Minutes interview that there was no evidence there was any racial motivation in the way police handled the incident that cost George Floyd his life last May.
On the heels of the trial that saw former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of causing Floyd's death, Ellison said there was nothing in the case that signaled a "hate crime" or any evidence of racial bias.
"I wouldn't call it that because hate crimes are crimes where there's an explicit motive and of bias," Ellison said. "We don't have any evidence that Derek Chauvin factored in George Floyd's race as he did what he did."
This was the same conclusion reached by former U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
"I think the narrative that the police are on some, you know, epidemic of shooting unarmed black men is simply a false narrative and also the narrative that that's based on race," Barr said a month ago. "The fact of the matter is very rare for an unarmed African American to be shot by a white police officer."
Ellison, a former Democratic representative to the U.S. Congress, expressed a degree of sympathy for Chauvin, reminding everyone that "he's a human being."
"I'm not in any way wavering from my responsibility," Ellison said. "But I hope we never forget that people who are defendants in our criminal justice system, that they're human beings. They're people."