Biden 'praying for right verdict' in Chauvin trial — George Floyd
Biden 'praying for right verdict' in Chauvin trial — George Floyd
Washington Post You Tube Prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher at the trial of Derek Chauvin charged with killing George Floyd
20 April, 2021, 22:20
Until now, Biden has avoided weighing in on a potential verdict in Chauvin's trial, wary of appearing to influence an ongoing legal proceeding.
The jury of six white members and six Black or multiracial members was sent off to begin making its decision after almost a full day of closing arguments on Monday (local time), in which prosecutors argued Chauvin cruelly squeezed the life out Mr Floyd during an arrest in May a year ago.
"The truth of the matter, " said Blackwell, "is that the reason George Floyd is dead is because Mr. Chauvin's heart was too small".
The jury can set its own deliberation schedule in consultation with Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, the court said.
Chauvin was prepared to plead guilty to third-degree murder in George Floyd's death before then-Attorney General William Barr personally blocked the plea deal past year.
Mr Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd, who was pinned facedown handcuffed on the ground for more than nine minutes complaining "I can't breathe".
In his instructions to the jury, the judge touched on the significance of the case, which comes amid heightened tensions fueled by other police killings.
On Monday, Cahill ordered that the jury be sequestered in an undisclosed hotel during their deliberations and instructed jurors to avoid all news about the case, which in theory should keep them from being made aware of Biden's remarks. "Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw", Schleicher added, referring to a video recording of the encounter between Chauvin and Floyd. "They gave them to you", said Schleicher to the jurors.
Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson countered by arguing that Chauvin did what any "reasonable" police officer would have done after finding himself in a "dynamic" and "fluid" situation involving a large man struggling with three officers. "And there's no excuse".
For the defense, Nelson asked the jury to consider the "totality of the circumstances", including what happened before Chauvin arrived at Cup Foods.
Nelson argued Chauvin had no intent to use unlawful force and that he followed his training. "This was not a choke hold".
The defence has sought to show that drugs may have caused Mr Floyd's death.
Joe Biden, who spoke with the Floyd family, said they were feeling "pressure and anxiety".
"I'm not suggesting this was an overdose death", Nelson said, "but it is a preposterous notion to say that this did not come into play here".
After hearing closing arguments Monday, the group of 12 jurors met for four hours as they began the process of working toward a verdict.
Chauvin, dressed in a light grey suit and dark blue shirt and blue tie, took off his face mask to listen to closing arguments but his face displayed little emotion.
The city has also been on edge in recent days over the deadly police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, in a nearby suburb on April 11. Waters, who joined those protesting the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright on Saturday in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, told news outlets that "I hope that we're going to get a verdict that is a guilty", and that "if we don't, we can not go away".
Well, first, let me say, as you all know, the jury is deliberating, will come back with a verdict - or they will be deliberating, I should say.
About 300 protesters marched in the streets outside the courthouse shortly after the jury got the case, lining up behind a banner reading, "Justice 4 George Floyd & all stolen lives".
"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that's disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function", Cahill said.
Darnella Frazier, the teenager who took the video that went viral, said Floyd was "scared" and "begging for his life".
The jurors are considering three weeks' worth of testimony from 45 witnesses, including emergency responders, police officers, medical experts, eyewitnesses, and those who knew George Floyd most closely.
A retired forensic pathologist put on the stand by the defence said Mr Floyd died of cardiac arrest brought on by heart disease and the illegal drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine.
"He was just calling", Philonise Floyd said of the Monday call on NBC's "TODAY" show.
Police officers testifying for the prosecution - including the Minneapolis police chief - said it was excessive and unnecessary.
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