Derek Chauvin trial closing arguments

Marco Green
April 19, 2021

George Floyd pleaded for help with his "very last breath" but was not shown any compassion by Derek Chauvin, prosecutor Steve Schleicher said Monday in closing arguments at the closely watched murder trial of the former police officer.

Second-degree murder requires prosecutors to prove Chauvin meant to harm Floyd.

"This is not a prosecution of the police", Schleicher told jurors.

The Minnesota National Guard is activated as part of Operation Safety Net, a joint effort among the Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the state of Minnesota and local jurisdictions to protect people, freedom of speech and property during the Chauvin trial as well in as the aftermath of the police-involved shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center.

Facebook Inc will remove anti-George Floyd content ahead of the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Facing George Floyd that day that did not require one ounce of courage. "All that was required was a little compassion and none was shown on that day".

But Schleicher described how Chauvin ignored Floyd's cries that he couldn't breathe, and continued to kneel on Floyd after he stopped breathing and had no pulse - even after the ambulance arrived - saying he "had to know what was right beneath him".

Floyd was "just a man, lying on the pavement, being pressed upon, desperately crying out". "What the defendant did not was not policing. What the defendant did was assault".

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter over Floyd's May 25, 2020 death, which sparked protests across the United States and around the world against racial injustice and police brutality.

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who took the video that went viral, said Floyd was "scared" and "begging for his life".

The Hennepin County chief medical examiner ruled Floyd's death a homicide at the hands of the police.

Facebook said it considered Derek Chauvin a public figure, because he had "voluntarily" placed himself in the public eye and so would remove severe attacks.

He also reminded jurors that Minneapolis police take an oath to protect with courage, and said it might be hard to "imagine a police officer doing something like this", but reminded jurors that they were asked during jury selection to set aside any preconceived notions about police officers.

Judge Peter Cahill opened the day's court session by instructing the jurors on reviewing different types of evidence and told them that they will consider each charge against Chauvin separately. "He said those words to the defendant".

After almost three weeks of testimony, closing arguments are set on Monday in Chauvin's murder trial. The officer, Kimberly Potter, had meant to use her Taser to stop him driving away but pulled out the wrong weapon, police say.

As angry protests swelled, Minneapolis and state officials have ramped up security precautions in the city. Giant drab-colored military vehicles have become a common sight in city streets.

For the second-degree murder charge, 12 jurors will have to agree that prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin committed a felony, in this case assault, that was a substantial cause in Floyd's death.

Second-degree murder requires prosecutors to prove Chauvin meant to harm Floyd, but not that he meant to kill him.

That crime carries a punishment of up to 40 years in prison, although Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for a shorter sentence of up to 15 years for someone such as Chauvin with no prior convictions.

Judge Peter Cahill has ordered the 12-member jury to be sequestered for deliberations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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