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Chauvin murder trial set for closing arguments
by Tru Newman

Defense and prosecution have rested their cases and final arguments will be made this week in the trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin is accused of killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday for the trial, which has captured the attention of all of America and much of the world. The Floyd trial has inflamed supporters on both sides and is serving as a microcosm of the nation’s fractured race relations.

It’s in that atmosphere that presiding judge Peter Cahill warned the jury to take as much time as needed to come to a verdict.

"If I were you, I would plan for long and hope for short," Judge Peter Cahill told jurors Friday.

"Basically, it's up to the jury how long you deliberate, how long you need to come to a unanimous decision on any count."

It has been an eventful three week trial, marred by outside controversies including white police officers accused of killing an unarmed black man in Minnesota and an Hispanic boy in Chicago. Daunte Wright, the Minnesota man, was killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer less than 30 miles from the scene of Floyd’s death.

A week-long community protest [pictured] that often turned violent was met with force from both combined police forces and national guard units. Mass killings also made headlines during the course of the trial, with fatal shootings in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Illinois and elsewhere.

Chauvin faces three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The prosecution has relied on eyewitness accounts: video footage, medical experts, use of force trainers.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson, argues that it was a history of drug use and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning from squad car exhaust that caused Floyd's death.

"The evidence will show that Mr. Floyd died of a cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, his coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body — all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart," Nelson said.

Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker, who ruled Floyd's death a homicide, said he did not believe the drugs in Floyd's system directly caused his death.

 





 
 

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