Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Minnesota resident George Floyd on 25 May 2020.
Chauvin is accused of placing his knee on Floyd’s neck although Floyd said he could not breathe. Jurors assigned to the trial declared that the former cop was guilty on all charges, bringing to a close three weeks’ worth of witness and expert testimony.
Charged with second-degree murder, tried police officer Derek Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison on that offense alone.
The third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter carry maximum prison sentences of 25 years and 10 years, respectively. However, 6Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill has also revoked Chauvin’s bail, after which he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom.
Cahill had previously rejected efforts by the defense to change the location of the trial, ruling that there is no part of the North Star State in which residents have not been privy to the details of the fatal arrest.
Some of the stand-out moments from the proceedings include Chauvin invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege, and a defense witness suggesting carbon monoxide poisoning contributed to Floyd’s death, since his face was near the tailpipe of a police car while pinned to the ground.
However, Floyd’s autopsy report indicates that he died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement sub-dual, restraint and neck compression.
During the trial, several witnesses also testified that Floyd died of asphyxia, which was not specifically mentioned in the medical examiner’s report.
Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson reiterated to members of the jury that his client’s use of force during the arrest was appropriate since he had seen Floyd being combative with a pair of officers who had initially responded to the scene.
Nelson claimed that the “state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” emphasizing that prosecutors failed to consider the “totality of the circumstances,” as required by law.
The state has really focused on the 9 minutes and 29 seconds,” Nelson said, noting the amount of time in which Chauvin kept his knee against Floyd’s neck.
It’s not the proper analysis because the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds” when Floyd was resisting officers’ commands.
Nelson also took the opportunity to highlight Minneapolis Police Lt Johnny Mercil’s testimony, stating that the trainer acknowledged that placing a knee on an arrestee neck can be utilized in certain circumstances” when an individual’s level of resistance is spiked.
Mercil did state during cross examination that Chauvin’s filmed technique was not a proper neck restraint, underscoring that they tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible, and if you’re going to use body weight to pin – to put it on their shoulder and be mindful of position.
Other defendants connected with Floyd’s death include J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, who have all been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. The three former officers are scheduled to be tried in August.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2021.