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George Floyd trial updates LIVE – Closing arguments begin in Derek Chauvin case as Minneapolis braces for violence

CLOSING arguments have begun in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday after the defense and prosecution both rested their cases last week.

The 45-year-old has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.

Floyd died last May following an arrest during which Chauvin placed a knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

Caught on video, those tragic final moments led to widespread protests and riots across the US against police brutality and racism.

Chauvin, along with three other police officers present during the fatal arrest, was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the day after the death.

45 witnesses were called to the stand in recent weeks - 38 for the prosecution and seven for the defense - including the Minneapolis police chief and other officers who have openly condemned Chauvin’s actions.

One person notably absent from the list of those to take the stand was Chauvin himself, who on Thursday invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

Before the 12 jurors are sequestered to determine Chauvin's fate, they will hear a final appeal from both sides in the form of a closing argument.

Jurors will then be directed by the judge to decide on a verdict, which could take just a few hours or several weeks.

Minneapolis transformed into a military fortress over the weekend, as the city braces for violence over the trial's outcome.

Read our Derek Chauvin trial live blog for the latest on George Floyd's killing...

  • 'THIS IS NOT A PROSECUTION OF THE POLICE'

    Prosecutor Steven Schleicher reminded the jury Monday that the trial is called "the state of Minnesota versus Derek Chauvin".

    "This case is not called the state of Minnesota versus the police," he added.

    The prosecutor went on to call policing a "noble" profession and said that several police officers took to the stand to testify, including Minneapolis' chief of police.

    "You met several Minneapolis police officers during this trial. You met them. They took the stand. They testified and make no mistake, this is not a prosecution of the police. It is a prosecution of the defendant. And there is nothing worse, for good police, then a bad police."

    Schleicher added that being a policeman is about wearing your badge on your heart.

    "But his badge wasn't in the right place that day," Schleicher said of Chauvin.

    He said that Chauvin "chose pride over policing."

    “This is not an anti-police prosecution, it’s a pro-police prosecution.

    “The defendant abandoned his values, abandoned the training and killed a man,” the attorney added.

  • 'HE HAD TO KNOW'

    Prosecutor Steven Schleicher focused a large portion of his closing argument on the intent behind the actions of Chauvin.

    "He had to know," Schleicher said, emphasizing that Chauvin had knelt down on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, even as he felt him going limp beneath him.

    “He did it on purpose. This was not an accident,” he said of Chauvin.

    “He is not on trial for who he was. He is on trial for what he did. That is what he did,” Schleicher's said as he pointed to a photo of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck. 

    “He knew better, he just didn’t do better.”

  • PROSECUTION: CHAUVIN VIOLATED POLICE OATH

    Prosecuting attorney Steven Schleicher said on Monday morning that Derek Chauvin's actions were not in line with the ethos of Minneapolis police.

    "The motto of the Minneapolis Police Department is to protect with courage. And to serve with compassion. But George Floyd was not a threat to anyone. He was not trying to hurt anyone. He was not trying to do anything to anyone," he said.

    The prosecutor continued that Chauvin's actions were an "assault" on Floyd.

    "For 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He begged, George Floyd begged until he could speak no more, and the defendant continued. This assault. When he was unable to speak, the defendant continued. 

    "When he was unable to breathe the defendant continued. Beyond the point that he had a pulse. Beyond the point that he had a pulse, the defendant continued this assault. Nine minutes and 29 seconds."

  • PROSECUTION: FLOYD WAS NO HARM TO ANYONE

    Continuing his closing argument of Monday morning, Schleicher said: "George Floyd was not a threat to anyone. He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He wasn’t trying to do anything to anyone.

    "Facing George Floyd that day did not require one ounce of courage, and none was shown."

    Schleicher also talked about Floyd's final words during his death on Memorial Day last year.

    "George Floyd's final words on May 25th, 2020 were, 'please, I can't breathe.' And he said those words to [who he called] Mr. Officer. He said those words to the defendant. And he asked for help with his very last breath, but Mr. Officer did not help.

    "The defendant did not help. He stayed on top of him, continued to push him down, to grind his knees, to twist his hand. His fingers. Into the handcuff that bound him."

  • PROSECUTION TALKS ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD AND HIS FAMILY

    Prosecuting attorney  Steven Schleicher began his final appeal to the jury by talking about George Floyd and his grieving family members.

    "His name was George Perry Floyd Jr. and he was born on Oct 14, 1973 in Fayetteville, North Carolina," Schleicher said.

    The prosecutor spoke of the special relationship Floyd had with his mother - something also mention by his brother Philonese Floyd when he took the stand two weeks ago, who called his older sibling a "momma's boy".

    "The mom of the house, the mom of the neighborhood — and you heard about the special bond that she and George Floyd shared during his life," Schleicher said.

    Schleicher then reminded the jury of the details surrounded Floyd's death:

    "On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died face down on the pavement right on 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. Nine minutes and 29 seconds, nine minutes and 29 seconds. 

    "During this time, George Floyd struggled. Desperate to breathe, to make enough room in his chest, to breathe. But the force was too much. He was trapped. Trapped with the unyielding pavement underneath him – as unyielding as the men that held him down."

  • PROSECUTION BEGINS CLOSING ARGUMENTS

    The prosecution in the murder trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has begun its closing arguments.

    The closing is being delivered by Steven Schleicher, a former federal prosecutor, and a veteran trial attorney.

    The closing arguments follow three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including experts, law enforcement officials and bystanders.

  • JUDGE READS INSTRUCTIONS TO JURY

    The court began its session on Monday morning with Judge Peter Cahill reading instructions to jurors on the law.

    Cahill outlined the three different charges Chauvin is facing — second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — and the burden of proof necessary for the jury to find Chauvin guilty of the charges.

    He also outlined what is considered reasonable and unlawful use of force for a police officer.

    The jury is expected to begin deliberating after closing arguments conclude.

  • WHAT WILL BOTH SIDES ARGUE?

    With closing arguments set to begin on Monday morning, the prosecution will reiterate their concise argument that Floyd's death in police custody on Memorial Day 2020 was the result of Derek Chauvin's actions.

    The state will likely point to the infamous cellphone footage of Floyd's last moments of life, insisting his death was exactly what it appeared to be when the footage surfaced: that an uncaring police officer suffocated an unman with his knee, ignoring his pleas of "I can't breathe".

    The defense, meanwhile, will attempt to sow doubt in that story as they have for much of the trial.

    While it may appear as though Chauvin used excessive force, the defense will contest it was actually an appropriate restraint.

    They will also argue that Floyd didn't die from suffocation, rather the result of a drug overdose and underlying health conditions, such as heart disease.

  • CLOSING ARGUMENTS TO BEGIN TODAY

    Both the prosecution and defense will begin laying out their closing arguments inside the courtroom on Monday morning.

    The summations come after prosecutors called 38 witnesses to testify, including a number of use-of-force experts and medical experts who concluded that Chauvin caused George Floyd's death.

    The defense called seven witnesses of its own, though Chauvin himself was not among them after invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

  • MINNEAPOLIS BRACES FOR VIOLENCE

    Minneapolis has been transformed into a fortress over the weekend, with more than 3,000 National Guard troops drafted into the city and shops and businesses boarded up.

    More than 1,100 officers from public safety agencies across Minnesota have also been brought in to help stem any potential unrest, as the city waits with bated breath over a verdict in Chauvin's trial, which could be determined as early as this week.

    The former Minneapolis police officer is facing charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and third-degree manslaughter.

    Ahead of a potential acquittal, some businesses have even hired private security firms to guard their premises through any protests or riots.

  • FORMER HOME OF DEFENSE EXPERT WITNESS VANDALIZED WITH PIG'S BLOOD

    The incident occurred early Saturday morning in Santa Rosa, California as vandals sought to target former California cop, Barry Brodd.

    In a statement, the Santa Rosa Police Department said that while Brodd no longer lives at the home, they believe the perpetrators were attempting to target him over his testimony.

    Brodd, a use-of-force expert, took the stand last Tuesday where he claimed Chauvin was justified in kneeling down on George Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, did not use deadly force, and said he was "acting with objective reasonableness."

    Then, at around 3am on Saturday, a group of vandals dressed in all black were seen throwing a pig's head and dashing red liquid over a home where Brodd once lived several years ago.

  • HOW LONG IS CHAUVIN FACING IN PRISON, IF CONVICTED?

    Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

    Each of the charges are considered to be separate, meaning the 45-year-old could be convicted of all of them, some of them, or none of them.

    The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison; the third-degree murder charge 25 years; and second-degree manslaughter 10 years,

    This means if Chauvin is indeed found guilty of all counts, he could receive a prison sentence of up to 75 years.

  • GEORGE FLOYD WAS A ‘MAMA’S BOY’

    George Floyd’s younger brother gave emotional testimony, calling him a “mama’s boy” as prosecution wrapped in Derek Chauvin’s trial.

    Philonise Floyd, 39, got choked up during Monday’s testimony, as the court saw a photo of him and his brother as kids with their mom.

    “That’s my mother,” Floyd said. “She’s not with us right now. That’s my oldest brother George – I miss both of them.”

    The younger Floyd recalled how his brother taught him how to respect, and the special relationship he had with their mother.

    “He was a big mama’s boy,” he said. “It was so unique how they were with each other.”

  • CONTINUED

    A grand jury has been meeting to consider those charges, and if he were to be charged and convicted in federal court, that sentence could be up to life in prison.

    But in the immediate aftermath of an acquittal on all charges, the former cop will walk out of court a free man.

  • WHAT HAPPENS IF CHAUVIN IS CLEARED?

    On Monday morning, both the prosecution and the defense will give their closing arguments and the jury will begin deliberations.

    But what will happen if he’s cleared, and what will happen if he’s found guilty?

    Attorney Joe Tamburino told WCCO4 that if he is convicted, Chauvin will go “right from the courtroom, he will go to jail and he will be held in jail until sentencing.

    “If there is a prison sentence, which of course there would be, he would go to prison.”

    If Chauvin is acquitted he still could face federal criminal civil rights charges.

  • WHAT DID FLOYD’S AUTOPSY RESULTS SHOW?

    George Floyd‘s cause of death was classified as a homicide by a medical examiner who ran an independent autopsy on June 1, 2020.

    He said his heart stopped while police restrained him and compressed his neck for almost nine minutes.

    The cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression,” according to the official information from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

    It determined: “[Floyd] experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).”

  • PASTOR: CHAUVIN SHOULD BE ‘PUT UNDER THE JAIL’

    Pro-police pastor Pat Robertson said Thursday Derek Chauvin should be put “under the jail” for the death of George Floyd.

    Robertson, a leading evangelical preacher, slammed Chauvin and the “onslaught” of police violence following the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, near Minneapolis.

    The 91-year-old said: “I am pro-police, folks. I think we need the police, we need their service and they do a good job. But … they cannot do this.”

    “Derek Chauvin, I mean, they oughta put him under the jail.

    “He has caused so much trouble by kneeling on the [neck] of George Floyd … it’s just terrible what’s happening.

    “And the police, why don’t they open their eyes to what the public relations are? We’ve got to stop this stuff.”

  • TRAGIC LINK

    George Floyd’s girlfriend was once Daunte Wright’s teacher, the tragic 20-year-old’s family have revealed.

    The two men were both killed at the hands of cops just 10 miles apart, and Wright’s aunt has now told of the more personal link between the pair.

    Daunte Wright was shot and killed by senior Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter in Minnesota shortly before 2pm on Sunday during a routine traffic stop.

    The young black man was shot just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed last summer, leading to an outpouring of anger from the community.

    You can read more here

  • MAXINE WATERS URGES BLM PROTESTERS 'GET CONFRONTATIONAL'

    Maxine Waters has urged an anti-police Black Lives Matter mob in Minnesota to "stay on the street" if Derek Chauvin is acquitted of murdering George Floyd case.

    The California Democratic congresswoman also told demonstrators protesting the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center "we've got to get more confrontational".

    She joined the seventh consecutive night of protests in a Minneapolis suburb over the death of Wright, a young Black man shot dead by a white policewoman.

    The 20-year-old was killed during what should have been a routine traffic stop, sparking anger and fresh protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

    Waters told reporters if ex-cop Chauvin isn't found guilty of murdering Floyd, "we've got to stay on the street".

  • HOW LONG IS CHAUVIN FACING IN PRISON, IF CONVICTED?

    Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

    Each of the charges are considered to be separate, meaning the 45-year-old could be convicted of all of them, some of them, or none of them.

    The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison; the third-degree murder charge 25 years; and second-degree manslaughter 10 years,

    This means if Chauvin is indeed found guilty of all counts, he could receive a prison sentence of up to 75 years.

  • MAXINE WATERS TO BLM: STAY ON THE STREETS

    Maxine Waters has urged an anti-police Black Lives Matter mob in Minnesota to “stay on the street” if Chauvin is acquitted in the George Floyd case.

    The California Democratic congresswoman also told the protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, “we’ve got to get more confrontational”.

    She was joined the seventh consecutive night of protests in a Minneapolis suburb over the death of Daunte Wright, a young Black man shot dead by a white policewoman.

  • FLOYD’S FAMILY PLEDGE SUPPORT TO DAUNTE WRIGHT’S FAMILY

    In a press conference staged outside the courthouse where Chauvin is on trial, family members of George Floyd pledged their support to the family of Daunte Wright, who was shot dead by police during a traffic stop on Sunday.

    Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, extended his family’s condolences to Wright’s during a press conference on Tuesday.

    “We will stand in support with you all,” he said. “We will fight for justice for this family, just like we’re fighting for our brother. Please pray for this family.”

  • MOST CHARGES AGAINST GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTERS DROPPED

    Most charges against George Floyd protesters were ultimately dropped, new analysis has shown.

    Some prosecutors and law enforcement observers charge that departments carried out mass arrests as a crowd control tactic, The Guardian reports.

    Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project, said: “It sends a message that you might get arrested if you express your views and first amendment rights.

    “Police absolutely should not be relying on mass arrests to control a crowd or silence people who they disagree with.”

  • 'POLICING HAS TO BE DONE DIFFERENTLY'

    Martin Luther King III has spoken out about the trial on UK programme Good Morning Britain.

    Asked about his message to the black community "to try and unify", whatever the result of the trial, he replied: "One of the ways we do bring people together is that we change the conditions in our society, and that means policing has to be done differently."

    He suggested "there needs to be a different kind of action" - and said: "It's how you police, it's who the police officers are - who are these individuals?"

    And he added: "You cannot have one justice system for black people and another for whites.

    "We cannot unify until we correct the problem"

  • 'MAKE AMERICA LIVE UP TO ITS PROMISE'

    Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney, represents the families of Floyd and 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

    Wright was shot dead in Minneapolis by a white police officer during a traffic stop on April 11.

    Crump told ABC's This Week on Sunday: “The outcome that we pray for and Derek Chauvin is for him to be held criminally liable for killing George Floyd, because we believe that could be a precedent.

    “Finally making America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.

    "That means all of us - black people, Hispanic people, native people - all of us.”

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