May 25 Derek Chauvin betrayed police badge in the George Floyd murder trial

Derek Chauvin betrayed police badge, says prosecutor in the George Floyd murder trial
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Derek Chauvin betrayed police badge, says prosecutor in the George Floyd murder trial.

A prosecutor told the jury that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin betrayed his mark and murdered George Floyd in last year’s deadly arrest when the closing argument began on Monday in Chauvin’s trial.

Repeatedly, Minnesota Attorney General Steve Schleicher repeated a phrase, “Nine minutes and 29 seconds,” the time Chauvin was captured on video on May 25, 2020, kneeling on the dying Floyd’s neck.

Schleicher stressed that the jury weighs only one man’s guilt, although their verdict will still be widely regarded as a count in the way the United States police black people.

“This is not a prosecution of the police,” Schleicher told jurors. He quoted the Minneapolis police motto, which fired Chauvin and three other officers involved the day after Floyd’s arrest: “To protect with courage and to serve with compassion.”

“George Floyd was not a threat to anyone,” Schleicher said. “Before George Floyd that day that did not require an ounce of courage, and no one was shown that day, no courage was required. All that was required was a little compassion and nothing was shown that day.”

Chauvin, who is white, pressed the knee of Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed black man, for more than nine minutes outside the grocery store who had accused Floyd of using a $ 20 counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes.

“He was trapped with the impatient sidewalk beneath him, as impatient as the men who held him down,” Schleicher said before playing part of the extensive video of Floyd’s death. “What the defendant did not do was not police. What the defendant did was assault.”

Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree “ruined mind” murders and second-degree murders. He waived his right to testify before the jury, and his lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, would present his own closing argument later on Monday.

A spectator’s video of Floyd begging for his life before he falls lame scandalized people around the world. An image of Floyd’s face has since been raised to an icon of the largest protest movement in the United States in decades.

Hennepin County Chief Medical Officer ruled Floyd’s death as a murder at the hands of police.

Prosecutors say Chauvin used unreasonable and therefore illegal force to compress Floyd’s neck and torso against the road in a way that starved him of oxygen.

Chauvin’s lawyers claimed that he correctly followed the training he received during 19 years with the Minneapolis police department and tried to raise doubts about the cause of Floyd’s death.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill defined some important terms for jurors in the charges before them, such as “major bodily injury” and “cause of death.”

“The fact that other causes contributed to the death does not absolve the defendant from criminal liability,” Cahill said, reading from written jury instructions, copies of which were also provided to jurors.

National news networks conducted live broadcasts of much of the testimony after the first of more than 40 witnesses took the stand three weeks ago, although coverage was sometimes interrupted by new episodes of police violence captured on camera.

The nearest instance occurred just a few miles from the Minneapolis City Hall when a white police officer fatally shot a black motorist, Daunte Wright, on April 11 in the suburb of Brooklyn Center after trying to arrest him on suspicion of missing a court appearance. The officer, Kimberly Potter, had intended to use his Taser to prevent him from driving away but pulled out the wrong weapon, police said. She has been charged with murder.

When angry protests erupted, Minneapolis and government officials stepped up security measures in the city. The tower where the courtroom sits is ringed by barbed wire, high obstacles and armed soldiers from the National Guard, and nearby companies have gone up in their windows. Giant boring military vehicles have become a common sight on the city streets.

For the second-degree murder charge, 12 jurors must agree that prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin committed a crime, in this case assault, which was a major cause of Floyd’s death. They do not have to find that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd.

That offense carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, although Minnesota sentencing guidelines require a shorter sentence of up to 15 years for someone like Chauvin without prior conviction. Prosecutors have asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to deviate from these guidelines and give Chauvin more time if convicted.

The jury, together with two deputies, consists of six white women, two white men, three black men, one black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records. Once they have received the case, they will be tied up in a hotel outside the consultation time.

(REUTERS)