Jury resumes deliberations in Derek Chauvin's trial

STATE OF AMERICA Jury deliberates and National Guard called out ahead of verdict in George Floyd case

By An Wentzel• 20 April 2021

The much-anticipated final day of the Chauvin murder trial was a long, drawn-out battle of opposing theories as to what caused Floyd's death on May 25, 2020. For a conviction, jurors must conclude that prosecutors showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin caused Floyd's death while kneeling on him for more than nine minutes last May.

Mr Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Schleicher said it might be hard for some jurors to see a police officer in a negative light, but reminded jurors about the testimony of Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and others from the department who condemned Chauvin's actions. "The law presumes that the jury follows the court's instructions and the court has instructed the jury today that they are not to let any outside influences or public opinion sway their deliberation". "If I were you, I would plan for long [deliberations] and hope for short", he said.

Twelve jurors will decide whether Chauvin will be found guilty on any of the three charges he faces in the killing of Floyd.

"This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video", Steve Schleicher said in closing arguments at the high-profile murder trial of Derek Chauvin.

"Believe your eyes... It's [the video of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck] exactly what you saw with your eyes..."

Floyd "asked for help with his very last breath", the prosecutor said, but Chauvin did not provide assistance. "This was not a neck restraint".

The prosecution's closing argument by Special Assistant Attorney General Steve Schleicher ran close to an hour and 45 minutes, and defense attorney Eric Nelson topped it in length with a sprawling closing argument that ran nearly three hours.

"No crime was committed if it was an authorized use of force", Nelson argued.

He said the prosecution's focus on 9 minutes and 29 seconds, rather than Floyd's active resistance in the minutes earlier, was inappropriate.

Several spoke about the guilt they felt watching George Floyd die from the side of the road, and the enduring impact on their lives ever since.

The extensive video footage of Floyd's death from multiple angles is the heart of the prosecution's case.

Chauvin, dressed in a light grey suit and dark blue shirt and blue tie, took off his face mask to listen to closing arguments but his face displayed little emotion.

The congresswoman was at the protest because Brooklyn Centre, a suburb about 16km from where Chauvin is being tried, is where 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot by a police officer on Sunday, 11 April. We've got to stay on the street.

"We will continue to encourage peaceful protests, but we're not going to get ahead of the verdict", Psaki said.

We - what I can say is, broadly speaking, we are in touch with mayors, governors, local authorities.

Floyd was suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby convenience store.

"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function", Cahill said.

Donald Williams, 33, said he called 911 to report a "murder" after Mr Floyd was taken away in an ambulance.

Chauvin's lawyer Eric Nelson argued in the court that his client was just doing was a "reasonable officer would have done in that situation when he saw a man scuffling with three officers".

Co-prosecutor Jerry Blackwell had the last word during closing arguments while rebutting Nelson's marathon effort to persuade the jury, when he noted how the defense referenced Floyd having a heart that was too big, and countered, "The reason George Floyd is dead is because Mr. Chauvin's heart was too small".

Defense attorney Eric Nelson, in more than 2½ hours of arguments before the racially diverse 12-member jury, contended that Chauvin followed his police training in restraining Floyd on the pavement of a city street after the suspect initially resisted police efforts to put him into a squad auto.

Lt. Richard Zimmerman of the Minneapolis Police Department testifies.