Always Relevant, Never Hearsay, Sometimes Argumentative. In each episode of Objections, Adam Klasfeld navigates listeners through the top legal stories of the week with experts in a straightforward, analytical and factual manner.
Klasfeld is a senior investigative reporter and editor for Law&Crime. Adam has reported on every corner of the legal system for more than a decade, with datelines from federal courts, state courts, the United Nations, Guantánamo Bay, the Ecuadorean Amazon, and a court-martial inside a military base near NSA headquarters.
On the night of Jan. 16, 2017, a Minneapolis mother's then-12-year-old child lapsed into a mental health crisis that left her and family feeling unsafe. She placed an emergency call, seeking help.
Instead, she says, she got Derek Chauvin.
"I felt afraid for my life, and certainly for my kid's life at that moment, because of the way that [Chauvin] was responding to my words," the mother, Amy Coughlin, told Law&Crime exclusively on the latest episode of the podcast "Objections: With Adam Klasfeld."
Revealed on the anniversary of George Floyd's death, Chauvin's brush with Coughlin and her child fell months before the officer allegedly brutalized another teenager, whose case formed the basis of a separate civil rights prosecution of the now-convicted murderer.
Like Floyd, the 14-year-old in the federal case allegedly could not breathe because Chauvin put him in the prone position in September 2017.
Coughlin claims the same thing happened to her 12-year-old, mere months earlier.
"He had placed his knee on his back and close to his neck, if not on his neck," Coughlin said in the interview. "At that point, my child was just screaming 'Mom,' screaming. And I was pleading, 'Please. He's sick. Please. He's not resisting. You're hurting him. Please, get off of him. Please, let him up.'"
Her family's story—told for the first time on this episode—powerfully speaks to an ongoing national conversation about mental health and policing.