Jury deliberating in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd
CNN – The jury in the trial of a former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin finished its first day of deliberations on Monday, according to officials.
The deliberations were from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. CT. Jurors are being sequestered during deliberations and will spend Tuesday night in a hotel. The court did not say when the 12-juror panel is expected to resume deliberating Tuesday morning.
The first day of deliberations follows closing arguments where the prosecuting attorney said Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds because of his pride and his ego in the face of concerned bystanders, CNN reported.
“He was not going to let these bystanders tell him what to do. He was going to do what he wanted, how he wanted, for as long as he wanted. And there was nothing, nothing they can do about it because he had the authority. He had the power, and the other officers, the bystanders were powerless,” prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher said. “He was trying to win, and George Floyd paid for it with his life.”
The comments about Chauvin’s pride and ego were the first time prosecutors have specifically discussed Chauvin’s mindset when Floyd died on May 25, 2020 — elements that are key to the charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter against him.
In response, defense attorney Eric Nelson said Chauvin acted as a “reasonable officer” would in that situation and said there was no evidence he intentionally or purposefully used force that was unlawful, CNN reported.
“You have to look at it from the reasonable police officer standard. You have to take into account that officers are human beings, capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations,” Nelson said. “In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be. This is reasonable doubt.”
Prosecutors called 38 witnesses to testify during the trial, including police use-of-force experts who criticized Chauvin and medical experts who explained how Floyd died. The defense called seven witnesses of its own. However, Chauvin himself did not take the stand, as he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to all three charges. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. The charges are to be considered separate, so Chauvin could be convicted of all, some or none of them, CNN reported.
The end of the trial comes 11 months after Floyd’s death on a Minneapolis street set off widespread protests about how police treat Black people.
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