MINNEAPOLIS — Attorneys for the prosecution and protection in the homicide trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in George Floyd’s death, were presenting their closing arguments Monday.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher stated Chauvin “chose pride over policing” final Memorial Day, calling Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck “unnecessary, gratuitous and disproportionate.”
“And he did it on purpose. This was not an accident. He did not trip and fall and find himself on George Floyd’s neck,” Schleicher stated, including, “Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw.”
The attorneys have been summarizing their respective proof and witness testimony, attempting to focus jurors on a very powerful components and what they argue these components proved. The prosecution rested its case last week after calling 38 witnesses and enjoying dozens of video clips over the course of 11 days. The defense rested Thursday after calling seven witnesses over two days.
Judge Peter Cahill opened courtroom Monday morning by instructing the 14 members of the jury on the legislation in the case. Before the jurors go into sequestration for deliberations later in the day, two members of the jury might be knowledgeable that they have been alternates and won’t be a part of deliberations.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher offers closing argument: Chauvin’s actions ‘a surprising abuse of police energy’
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher gave the closing argument for the state Monday morning, repeating all through the assertion, “9 minutes and 29 seconds, 9 minutes and 29 seconds.”
“George Floyd’s final words on May 25, 2020, were: ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’ He asked for help with his very last breath,” Schleicher stated. “This was a call about a counterfeit $20 bill. All that was required was compassion.”
Schleicher’s argument evoked the testimony final week of pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin, who described Floyd’s last minutes in element, declaring his scraped knuckles towards the again tire of the police squad automobile.
“He was trapped,” Schleicher stated. “He was trapped with the unyielding pavement underneath him as unyielding as the men 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 defendant’s weight on him.”
Calling Chauvin’s actions a “shocking abuse of police power,” Schleicher recalled testimony from earlier weeks – bystanders calling the police on the police, and the presence of a 9-year-old watching Floyd restrained below Chauvin’s knees.
He stated Chauvin’s actions have been “not policing” however “an assault.”
“This is not a prosecution of the police, it’s a prosecution of the defendant,” he stated. “And there’s nothing worse for good police than bad police, who doesn’t follow the rules, who doesn’t follow training.”
Schleicher reminded jurors Chauvin had a whole bunch of hours of coaching over 19 years with the Minneapolis Police Department. Schleicher stated Chauvin ought to have recognized how you can deal with somebody in disaster, reminding jurors Floyd advised police about his nervousness and claustrophobia. Someone being unable to conform isn’t the identical as resisting, he stated.
Schleicher advised jurors Floyd didn’t die of a coronary heart assault, drug overdose, “excited delirium” or carbon monoxide poisoning, because the protection has steered. “Would but for the defendant’s actions, pushing him down, would George Floyd have died that day?” Schleicher stated, including, “Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw.”
Schleicher walked jurors via the definitions and components of second-degree homicide, third-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter. He confirmed jurors a chart laying out the fees, reminding jurors of testimony and replaying video to substantiate every factor.
As Schleicher spoke, Chauvin appeared to take notes on a yellow authorized pad, as he has been doing for weeks.
Here’s a breakdown of the Minnesota prison costs towards Derek Chauvin.
Second-degree homicide is inflicting the death of a human being, with out intent to trigger that death, whereas committing or trying to commit one other felony. In the Chauvin case, the alleged felony was third-degree assault. Chauvin is charged with committing or deliberately aiding in fee of this crime.
To convict Chauvin on this rely, Judge Peter Cahill advised jurors Monday that they solely should discover that the previous officer supposed to commit an assault that might trigger bodily hurt, or deliberately aided in committing such an assault. “It is not necessary for the state to prove the defendant had an intent to kill George Floyd. But it must prove that the defendant committed, or attempted to commit, the underlying felony,” the choose stated.
Cahill added that the state should show that the assault both inflicted bodily hurt on Floyd, or was supposed to commit bodily hurt.
Third-degree homicide is unintentionally inflicting somebody’s death by committing an act that’s eminently harmful to different individuals whereas exhibiting a wicked thoughts, with reckless disregard for human life. Chauvin is accused of committing or deliberately aiding in the fee of this crime.
Under Minnesota legislation, an act that’s eminently harmful is one which “is highly likely to cause death,” Cahill advised jurors. “The defendant’s act may not have been specifically intended to cause death,” and “it may not have been specifically directed at the person whose death occurred, but it must have been committed with a conscious indifference to the loss of life,” the choose stated.
Second-degree manslaughter is culpable negligence the place an individual creates an unreasonable danger and consciously takes the prospect of inflicting death or nice bodily hurt to another person. Chauvin is charged with committing or deliberately aiding in fee of this crime.
Culpable negligence implies that Chauvin allegedly “created an unreasonable risk and consciously took a chance of causing death or great bodily harm,” Chauvin advised jurors. “Culpable negligence is intentional conduct that the defendant may not have intended to be harmful, but that an ordinary and reasonably prudent person would recognize as having a strong probability of causing injury to others,” stated the choose.
Over about two weeks final month, lawyers for the prosecution and defense quizzed potential jurors about their data of Floyd’s death, their opinions of Chauvin, and their attitudes about police, racial injustice, and the protests and rioting that adopted Floyd’s death.
Some of them questioned how a lot pressure was used towards Floyd, who lay on the bottom for greater than 9 minutes as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. Several imagine the prison justice system must be reformed. More than one questioned the motion to defund police departments. Discussing her opinion about Black Lives Matter, one lady responded, “I’m Black, and my life issues.”
Before being chosen, the jurors pledged to set their opinions apart. But their solutions present a glimpse into how they may reply to the proof they heard over the previous few weeks. Read more about the jurors here.
A group of people vandalized the former Northern California home of an expert witness who testified for the defense, police said, throwing a pig’s head on the front porch and blood splatter on the house.
The incident occurred in Santa Rosa, California, where retired police officer Barry Brodd once lived and worked. Brodd last week testified in Chauvin’s trial, saying the former Minneapolis police officer was “justified” in his use of force against Floyd.
The Santa Rosa Police Department said Brodd no longer lives at the residence nor in California, but that, “It seems the suspects in this vandalism have been concentrating on Mr. Brodd for his testimony.”
Brodd was the first witness to say he believed that Chauvin was following proper police practice when he knelt on Floyd’s neck. However, several Minneapolis police officers, including the police chief, along with local police trainers and national use-of-force experts, testified that Chauvin’s actions were not justified. Read more here.
— Ryan W. Miller
More than 100 individuals gathered in George Floyd Square on Sunday afternoon for a rally to point out solidarity between the Black and Asian communities forward of closing arguments.
Organizers advertised the event as “a protected house for sharing grief and in addition creating pleasure” during tense times in the city and dedicated it to Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in nearby Brooklyn Center last week.
Tri Vo, 25, said he usually visits George Floyd Square when there are no crowds so he can reflect and because he feels that space is reserved for Black and indigenous people. Vo, a digital organizer with Southeast Asian Diaspora Project, said he came Sunday to help educate southeast Asians about “what their stake is in this.” Read more.
Jurors must decide whether or not the government proved all of the elements of a given charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense bears no burden of proof, and Chauvin is deemed innocent unless convicted at trial.
The jurors will be sequestered during deliberations. The court will provide meals for the jurors and put them up for the night in a hotel, where security will be provided by marshals. The jurors are not allowed to discuss the case with anyone else, or even with each other when they’re outside the deliberation room.
They are allowed to review any of the exhibits that were entered into evidence. They also are allowed to re-hear specific testimony from any of the witnesses. The jurors may send written messages out to the judge with any questions that arise.
“If I have been you, I might plan for lengthy (deliberations) and hope for brief,” Cahill advised jurors Thursday. More on how jury deliberations will work here.
Derek Chauvin told the court Thursday he would not testify in his own defense. “I’ll invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege in the present day,” Chauvin said.
Chauvin, who has actively taken notes and participated in sidebars with his attorneys throughout the trial, smiled at one point when lead defense attorney Eric Nelson mentioned that they had “gone backwards and forwards” about the issue of testifying many times. He offered short, direct answers to each question from Nelson and the judge.
Arthur Reed, George Floyd’s cousin, was in the Floyd family seat in the courtroom. Asked about Chauvin’s decision not to testify, Reed said he felt the prosecution “would have chopped him down second by second” when asked why he knelt on Floyd for so long.
“We didn’t assume they have been going to place him on in any respect,” he said, adding, “We’re simply able to get this over with, ensure he will get the justice he deserves. We assume the state has placed on a wonderful case.”