The jury will soon decide whether Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd during a 2020 arrest, but there is a catch when that might happen.
On April 15, after 14 days of testimony, both the state and defense rested their case. The judge set April 19 for closing arguments and for the jury to start its deliberations. The judge said he didn’t want to start the process on Friday because the jury will be sequestered as they deliberate the case.
The three-week-long trial featured experts, eyewitnesses and videos that detailed a May 25, 2020, arrest.
Minneapolis police were called to a grocery store after Floyd used a fake $20 bill. Witnesses inside the store said Floyd appeared to be under the influence.
Officers found Floyd in a nearby vehicle with two other people. When they went to speak to him, Floyd didn’t answer their questions and resisted their efforts. Officers arrested him and tried to put him in the back of a police SUV.
Floyd again resisted and said he was claustrophobic and couldn’t breathe.
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Officers took Floyd to the ground, where Chauvin placed his knee on top of Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Chauvin left his knee on Floyd even as he passed out during the arrest and officers continued to hold him to the ground.
A crowd watched the arrest unfold and several people recorded the interaction on their cell phone. When the videos were posted online, it sparked protests worldwide and calls for police reform.
It wasn’t until paramedics arrived that officers let go of Floyd. EMS tried to provide care, but at the hospital Floyd was pronounced dead.
All four officers, including Chauvin, were arrested in connection to his death. Chauvin is the first to head to trial and faces counts of second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter.
The prosecution painted a case of Chauvin using excessive force and about how he failed to provide care to Floyd while in custody. The defense maintains that Chauvin was doing as trained and it was a variety of factors, including drug use and health problems, that contributed to Floyd’s death.
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