Hi, I'm a former grad student studying malignant emotions, specifically emotions leading to organized violence.

I am about to use my training and experience in reading facial expressions to explain what I find really unsettling about Chauvin's reaction to his verdict. (1/12) https://twitter.com/TasneemN/status/1384615198477234179
First, emotions are biologically hardwired & evolutionarily derived. Think of them as software that instantaneously boots up in response to stimuli. Depending on what the stimuli represent, these emotions will engage complex physiological reactions critical to our survival (2/12)
EG. Fear and anger both lead to elevated heart rates. In anger, blood flow is directed to the chest & arms to prepare for a fight. In fear, it's directed away from the digestive tract & arms into the large muscle groups in the legs so you can prepare to run the fuck away. (3/12)
Facial expressions work in the same way. Each muscle movement evolutionarily derived to give us a survival advantage; Your eyes widen when you are scared to widen your vision. Your jaw drops & you involuntarily take a breath when surprised to prepare for the unexpected. (4/12)
When you look at Chauvin's face, especially in motion, you see his eyebrows rise & his upper eyelids widen. This is your typical surprise expression. Obviously, this verdict caught him by surprise.

But what bothers me isn't the surprise... (5/12)
His eyebrows are furrowed, his eyelids are tightened & (though we can't really be sure because of the mask), there is a noticeable nose wrinkle. This is anger, possibly disgust. (6/12)
Add this to his booking photo which shows the same anger in his eyes as well as an asymmetrical head tilt & lip downturn that is typical of contempt emotions.

What is noticeably missing is any display of sadness or regret. (7/12)
We're talking about 2 separate states of heightened emotional distress & the basic emotions expressed are those of anger and outrage.

It's an expression that says, "This isn't supposed to happen to me", "Don't you know who I think I am?", and "How dare you do this to me?" (8/12)
This is the expression of a man who had never been forced to pay the piper; a man who was not expecting face sanctions & whose first response to just repercussions was "How dare you?" (10/12)
It's a face I've seen before. On many power-mad, petty tyrants in middle management. On arseholes in the champagne room when you tell them "No".

And yes, on a depressing number of cops. (11/12)
This is a system that desperately needs reform. Chauvin's face tells of a level of entitlement that can only come from a system that has repeatedly proven that it will protect him, regardless of what he & his fellow pigs do. (12/12)

#DefundThePolice #BlackLivesMatter #ACAB
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