University Communications

Criminal Justice Expert Commentary

Criminal Justice faculty offer expert commentary during Chauvin trial

Shawn WilliamsProfessors of Criminal Justice John D. Baker, J.D. and Shawn L. Williams, Ed.D. have been very busy outside of the classroom in recent weeks using their expertise and experience to speak to media on the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Before becoming faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice, Baker and Williams banked nearly 30 years combined experience in their prior professions – Baker a criminal defense attorney and Williams a police officer and trainer.

The media have found Baker and Williams to be expert sources in their coverage of the trial for their experience in Minnesota.

Earning a juris doctorate after 22 years as a Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Baker was a criminal defense attorney, representing clients in Minnesota State and Federal Courts. He teaches criminal law and procedure courses at St. Cloud State.

In addition to conducting interviews, Baker presents the Chauvin Trial Husky Update, a series of vlogs guiding the Husky community through the process of the trial.

From a policing perspective, Williams has a deep understanding of what it means to be one, actively serving from 2001 to 2016. As an officer, Williams spent the majority of his time with the Minneapolis Police Department.

John BakerHe is experienced and well-versed in training practices, having worked at the state’s largest Skills program to lead and instruct all use of force programming.

Since the death of George Floyd in May of 2020, Williams has been speaking to media on use of force training, practices, and the challenges of the occupation.

Serving an important role at St. Cloud State as the Professional Peace Officer Education (PPOE) coordinator, Williams ensures that [future] peace officers attending St. Cloud State are receiving a comprehensive education on 21st Century Policing methods, training, and trends.

Media Links

Dr. Shawn Williams

NBC News Now interview
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Peaceful protesters march in Minneapolis as Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd's death slowed by legal wrangling
WGN9: George Floyd's death prompts questions about police tactics
NBC: Minneapolis police rendered 44 people unconscious with neck restraints in five years
St. Cloud Times: Two SCSU professors consider strengths, areas of improvement for law enforcement training
WCCO and CBS local stations: Daunte Wright Shooting: How does an officer confuse their taser for a gun

John D. Baker

Reuters: Chauvin likely to appeal, claiming trial tainted by civil settlement, media coverage 
WJON: SCSU law professor expects Derek Chauvin to get 25 years
Yahoo!Money: Will Derek Chauvin appeal guilty verdict in George Floyd murder?
The Standard: Murder convict Derek Chauvin likely to appeal but experts say chances of success slim
KNSI: Legal expert says settlement could taint jury pool