He Knows It’s Important to Admit Mistakes. He’s Made Many.

Glenn Loury thought maybe the world — maybe he — had been wrong about Derek Chauvin, the police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd in 2020. Loury had watched a documentary, “The Fall of Minneapolis,” that had circulated largely on right-wing social media, arguing that Chauvin had been wrongly convicted, and found himself persuaded. Was it possible, he wondered, that Floyd had actually died of a drug overdose?

Floyd’s death had ignited protests nationwide and spurred a passionate national debate about racism that often left Loury, a prominent Black conservative, at odds with many other Black intellectuals and with much of the American left.

He welcomed the film’s creators, Liz Collin and JC Chaix, as guests on his podcast, “The Glenn Show,” which has over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube.

The blowback was swift and harsh.

“Really, you’re going to take Chauvin’s side?” friends emailed Loury. Commenters on his newsletter and social media also took issue. Then Radley Balko, an independent journalist, published a lengthy and meticulous critique of the film, calling it “all nonsense.”

“Frankly, I felt exposed,” Loury told me. We were sitting by the fireplace of his living room on a chilly April afternoon in Providence, R.I., where he is a professor at Brown University. “I felt that my integrity could potentially be called into question.” He needed to “come clean.”

“I pride myself on remaining open to evidence and reason, even if they disconfirm something I had formerly thought to be true,” Loury wrote in a mea culpa for his Substack, calling his error egregious. That weekend, he had Minnesota’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, who oversaw the prosecution of Chauvin in the Floyd case, on his podcast, to hear the other side of the story.

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