The fate of Derek Chauvin has been placed in the hands of a Minnesota jury. Here are key takeaways from the murder trial:
Key takeaways from the Derek Chauvin murder trial, Day 15
Key moments from Derek Chauvin trialThe former Minneapolis police officer was charged with the murder of George Floyd after restraining him on May 25, 2020.Pool via ReutersThe fate of Derek Chauvin was placed in the hands of a Minnesota jury on Monday after the panel heard about five hours of closing arguments from prosecutors and the former police officer's defense attorney who offered radically different views on what killed
George Floydduring a May 2020 arrest.The jury, which is being sequestered in a hotel throughout its deliberations, got the case just before 4 p.m. CT after theattorneys' summationson the evidence in the case, including the testimonies from 45 witnesses and multiple videos from bystanders, surveillance cameras and police body cameras.
While prosecutor Steve Schleicher told the panel the state had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Chauvin is guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, defense attorney Eric Nelson told the jurors the state fell short of meeting its burden and therefore they should find Chauvin not guilty on all of the charges. headtopics.com
Pool via ReutersFormer Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin attends closing arguments during his trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 19, 2021.Prior to handing over the case to the jury, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill dismissed two alternate members of the panel -- Juror 96, a white woman in her 50s who works in customer service and is interested in homeless issues, and Juror 118, a white twentysomething social worker.
Cahill also issued some final advice and legal instructions to the jury, saying,"During your deliberations, you must not let bias, prejudice, passion, sympathy, or public opinion influence your decision.""Now, members of the jury, the case is in your hands as judges of the facts," Cahill said."I'm certain that you realize this case is important, serious, and, therefore, deserves your careful consideration."
Defense calls for mistrialOnce the 12 jurors were sent to deliberate, Nelson asked Cahill to declare a mistrial, arguing that prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, who gave the rebuttal for the state, belittled the defense in front of the jury by accusing it of telling"Halloween stories,""shading" the truth, and misrepresenting and fabricating facts.
Nelson also complained about inflammatory public comments made over the weekend by a member of Congress.During a Black Lives Matter rally in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, calling for justice in the police-involved fatal shooting there of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, Rep. Maxine Water, D-Calif., voiced her views of what the verdict in the Chauvin trial should be. headtopics.com
"I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty," Water's said."And if we don't, we cannot go away. We've got to stay on the street. We get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."
Adrees Latif/ReutersPhilonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, raises his fist as he arrives with family members and Reverend Al Sharpton to the Hennepin County Government Center for closing arguments in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 19, 2021.
Nelson told Cahill that Water's statement can be"reasonably interpreted to be threats against the sanctity of the jury process.""And now that we have U.S. representatives, threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case is mind-boggling," Nelson told Cahill.
Cahill responded that Waters"may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trail being overturned."The judge agreed that politicians like Waters should be"respectful" of the jury process and said"failing to do so I think is abhorrent." headtopics.com
He denied the motion for a mistrial, adding,"a congresswoman's opinion really doesn't matter a whole lot."9 minutes, 29 secondsThe prosecution was called on first to give a closing argument. Schleicher began his summation by talking about George Perry Floyd Jr., who he said was looked up to by his siblings and"was surrounded by people who he cared about and who cared about him throughout his life, throughout his childhood in that house, through his adolescence, into his adulthood.
Schleicher quickly moved to May 25, 2020, the day Floyd fell unconscious, lost a pulse and died while handcuffed and being held in the prone position by three officers, including Chauvin pressing his knee into the back of his neck.Pool via ReutersProsecutor Steve Schleicher makes closing arguments during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 19, 2021.
"Nine minutes and 29 seconds," Schleicher said."During this time, George Floyd struggled, desperate to breathe, to make enough room in his chest to breathe. But the force was too much. He was trapped. He was trapped with the unyielding pavement underneath him, as unyielding as the man who held him down, pushing him, a knee to the neck, a knee to the back, twisting his fingers, holding his legs for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, the defendants' weight on him."
He reminded the jury of Floyd's final words, noting Floyd called Chauvin referred to as"Mr. officer.""'Please, I can't breathe,'" Schleicher told the jurors of what Floyd repeated 27 times in 4 minutes and 45 seconds until he could no longer speak.
He reminded jurors that the use of deadly force was applied to Floyd, who was accused of using a phony $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a Cub Foods store, a misdemeanor that multiple law enforcement officers testified did not merit an arrest."No courage was required. All that was required was a little compassion," Schleicher said."And none was shown on that day."
Schleicher played clips from a now-famous bystander video taken by a then-17-year-old witness Darnella Frazier, showing Chauvin pressing his knee into the back of Floyd's neck as he begged for his life, complained of pain and cried out"momma!"
He told the jurors that they can rely on what they saw in the video, and countless others they viewed during the trial."Believe your eyes that unreasonable force, pinning him to the ground, that's what killed him," Schleicher said."This was a homicide."
Chauvin removes maskChauvin sat at the defense table with his mask off during Nelson's roughly three-hour closing statement."So throughout the course of this trial, the state has focused your attention on 9 minutes and 29 seconds. The proper analysis is to take those 9 minutes and 29 seconds and put it into the context of the totality of the circumstances that a reasonable police officer would know," Nelson said."And the proper analysis starts with: what did the officers, or what would a reasonable officer, know at the time of dispatch?"
He asked the jury to closely examine what occurred in the 16 minutes and 59 seconds before Chauvin and two other officers placed a resisting Floyd in a prone position on the pavement.Pool via ReutersDefense attorney Eric Nelson makes closing arguments during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 19, 2021.
Nelson said that when Chavin arrived on the scene, he knew through a 911 dispatcher that Floyd was over 6 feet tall, possibly on drugs, and that the officers dealing with him had reported the situation was under control before suddenly requesting an urgent need for backup.
He said that when Chauvin arrived at the scene, the first thing he saw with officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng struggling with Floyd, who was refusing to get into the rear of a squad car and complaining that he was claustrophobic."So, literally, this demonstrates to you a couple of things: how quickly a situation can change from second to second, minute to minute," Nelson said.
MORE: Derek Chauvin murder trial spotlights America's social ills: AdvocatesHe said Chauvin was following his police training and acting as a reasonable officer would given the same set of circumstances when he and the other officers put Floyd on the ground. He said that because Floyd was actively resisting, Chauvin could have elevated the force used on Floyd, including punching or kicking him, to bring him under control.
"A reasonable police officer would understand this situation, that Mr. Floyd was able to overcome the efforts of three police officers while handcuffed. With his legs and his body strength," Nelson saidMORE: Vandals target Barry Brodd's former home after testimony in Derek Chauvin's defense
He said Chauvin and his colleagues were also confronted by an angry crowd, screaming at the officers to get off of Floyd and video recording the confrontation with their cell phones.Nelson said the Minnesota Police Department training includes tactics on how to deal with a crowd and specifically states to"never underestimate a crowd."
MORE: George Floyd's brother testifies in 'spark of life' phase of Derek Chauvin murder trialNelson also spent a lot of time arguing that Floyd's clogged arteries and the drugs in his system were the cause of his death, more so than Chauvin's knee. He ridiculed the prosecution's expert medical witnesses who said the drugs and Floyd's heart condition had nothing to do with his death, calling their opinions"preposterous."Read more: ABC News »
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When he is convicted of murder, I want him put on trial for treason. His actions that day caused irreparable damage to our country and society as a whole. He should be held accountable for that! Truth must prevail. Chauvin must be found guilty. Also note that there are peaceful protests going on right now.
I sure hope it is a hung jury. I feel bad for this police officer. He was doing his job and thanks to GF acting up, now look where he is act. He’s going to walk
Derek Chauvin Verdict Live: Chauvin Convicted Guilty of Murder in Killing of George Floyd - WSJ.comFrom outside the Minneapolis courthouse where the verdict was announced to Washington’s Black Lives Matter Plaza, emotions ran high as crowds heard that former police office Derek Chauvin had been convicted of murder. Follow our live coverage. Will they stop all they BLM violence and crimes now? Or what?
Derek Chauvin Verdict Live: Chauvin Found Guilty of the Murder of George Floyd - WSJ.comBreaking: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the killing of George Floyd, whose death was captured on video and set off protests over how police treat people of color The media is guilty as they protect the criminals, encourage violence and confront the police. DerekChauvin found guilty on all 3 counts, including two counts of murder. My hometown has been nearly destroyed by the actions of this man. 'I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against.' - Malcolm X. No matter what looters r still gonna loot the hell outa Chicago some time. Those animals don’t need a reason to loot. And lefties won’t do anything.
Key takeaways from the Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd's death, as jurors near deliberationHe wasn't even man enough to take the stand, not because he's innocent and he's afraid he might be misunderstood. Because he is very well aware of what he did and he knows one trip on a question, one slip of the tongue, and he's done Racist Officer I have no faith in juries. Too many there is that one person with a personal thought that holds out. Like the one who doesn't like cops, the one who is pro cop, Too many juries end up not doing the job and it cost a lot of money!!
Death of George Floyd, trial of Derek Chauvin: Timeline of key eventsGeorge Floyd's death in police custody in May touched off a nationwide reckoning on race and led to the trial of ex-officer Derek Chauvin. “This wasn’t policing, this was murder. Defendant is guilty on all three counts. And there’s no excuse.” — Very last sentence of closing arguments by prosecution. I hope that resonates with the jury. But I’m not fully confident. Chauvin is guilty. This dude was high, charge his drug dealer People failing to comply don’t mean they deserve to die. They could be addicts, criminals, panicked whatever unless they mean harm they don’t deserve to die.
Jury begins second day of deliberations in trial of Derek ChauvinThe jury will begin day two of deliberations today in the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in the death of George Floyd. Follow here for the latest. Guilty. A 'reasonable' police officer doesn't restrict a man's breathing for 9:29 while restrained. Mr. Floyd was pleading for air, now he's dead. End of story. Even if the verdict is guilty, judge says he’s already qualified for appeal. I'm saddened that this might turn out to be another Casey Anthony or OJ. 😞