A day after the jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin heard testimony from a medical examiner and forensic pathologist, “Saturday Night Live” delivered a cold open sketch responding to the trial.
Chauvin was not portrayed. Instead, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon and Alex Moffat played the “Eye on Minnesota” news anchors who sat on opposite sides of a news desk to discuss what they thought would be the outcome for the man facing three charges in the death of George Floyd.
Although all four characters seemed to agree that the video footage should speak for itself and the prosecution team was doing a strong job, when it came to whether or not Chauvin would “walk away from this,” McKinnon’s character noted that it seemed like there “would be no way he would,” while Nwodim and Thompson’s characters responded with an in unison, “Well…”
“The defense trying to make a case that George Floyd’s drug use was somehow responsible is just deplorable,” Nwodim’s character said.
“It was a clear act of desperation to create doubt where there is none,” Thompson replied.
“Exactly, and there’s no way the jury’s going to fall for that,” McKinnon said.
But, being Black Americans, Nwodim and Thompson’s characters were not ready to agree with that. “Let’s just say, we’ve seen this movie before,” she said.
When McKinnon’s character added that “historically” police officers involved in similar cases have “gotten away with it,” Nwodim’s character replied, “She means every single time.”
Reflecting on the resurgence of #BlackLivesMatter protests that occurred in the summer of 2020, in the wake of Floyd’s killing (among others), McKinnon and Moffat’s characters brought up the “progress” made.
“For who?” Thompson’s character asked, while Nwodim’s character overlapped him slightly to say, “When?”
Moffat’s character dug himself a hole when he started to talk about the Black experience and wanted to quote Thomas Jefferson, as well as when he pointed out that he believed protests should be non-violent.
“We’ll be sure to tell the others,” Nwodim’s character said.
Things got heated again when, after they agreed that there is a discrepancy in the way Black individuals get treated by officers and there needs to be concrete solutions to right those wrongs, the idea of reparations came up.
The characters’ cultural differences came further into the focus at the end of the sketch when they moved on from the trial to discuss the “royalty” that passed away this week. While Nwodim’s character cited rapper and actor DMX, McKinnon said she was talking about “the Prince,” referring to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“Girl, Prince been dead,” Nwodim’s character said.
Chris Redd also appeared in the sketch as the show’s weatherman who was not excited to be pulled “into this mess.”
“I don’t want to be fired, but obviously it’s an open-and-shut case,” he said. “That being said, he’s a white cop in Minnesota, so I’m going to guess probation with pay, tops.”
Let’s just say….we’ve seen this movie before. pic.twitter.com/MWuCC2W1Qy
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 11, 2021
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.