Chauvin Trial: Judge Threatens Mistrial

Derek Chauvin addresses the court for the first time

On Thursday, Chauvin took off his mask and spoke for the first time during the trial, telling Judge Peter Cahill absent of the jury's presence in the courtroom that he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right and would not testify.

Closing arguments are set for Monday.

Cahill: "You feel that your decision not to testify is a voluntary one on your behalf?" If he had done so he could have been cross-examined.

Shortly afterward, the defence rested its case, after a total of two days of testimony, compared with two weeks for the prosecution.

Chauvin, who is white, was seen in bystander video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

Chauvin's defence claims Floyd's death was due to underlying health conditions and consumption of fentanyl and methamphetamine.

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Mr Floyd's cousin, Arthur Reed, was representing the Floyd family in court.

And a number of medical experts called by prosecutors have said that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen because the way he was restrained restricted his breathing.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said he opposed allowing the prosecution to present this evidence and call its rebuttal witness.

"Is this your decision not to testify?"

The move not to testify in his own defence means that he will not face cross-examination, with prosecutors likely replaying the video of Floyd's arrest and forcing Chauvin to explain why he kept pressing down on Floyd. He also testified that Chauvin's knee was not applied with enough pressure to cause any bruises or scrapes on Floyd's neck or back.

Also, what was going through Mr Chauvin's mind could be crucial: Legal experts say that an officer who believes his or her life was at risk can be found to have acted legally even if, in hindsight, it turns out there was no such danger.

Dr. Martin Tobin, a native of Co Kilkenny now based in the Chicago area, was briefly recalled by the prosecution today, April 15, to "knock down" defense witness Dr. David Fowler's theory that carbon monoxide poisoning from a squad car's exhaust might have contributed to George Floyd's death, the Associated Press reports.