Both sides get one step closer to a final outcome in the Derek Chauvin murder trial as closing arguments were offered over the killing of George Floyd.
The fate of the former Minneapolis police officer videotaped with his knee on Floyd’s neck rests in the hands of 12 jurors.
With 48 witnesses, dozens of video, still images, and hours of testimony, it is up to members of the jury to decide the fate of the former Minneapolis police officer who stands accused of murder Floyd.
As they did over 11 days of the trial, the prosecution used multiple video clips and images one last time today to make their closing argument that Chauvin had to have known that he was squeezing the life out of George Floyd.
“Sometimes you ask for the truth, sometimes you insist on the truth. And the truth is, the defendant was on top of him for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. And he had to know,” said prosecutor Steve Schleicher.
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The prosecution told the diverse jury that the former Minneapolis police officer resorted to excessive and unreasonable force when he put his knee on Floyd’s neck and back.
“This was not policing,” Schleicher added. “It was unnecessary. It was gratuitous. It was disproportionate, and he did it on purpose.”
The defense asserted the opposite, saying Chauvin’s actions were reasonable and that other factors, like Floyd’s drug use and heart issues, were the cause of his death.
“The standard is not what should the officer have done,” stated defense attorney Eric Nelson. “The standard is what were the facts that were known to this officer at the precise moment he used force.”
Chauvin is facing murder and manslaughter charges over Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.
For nearly three weeks, jurors listened to 48 witnesses, among them Floyd’s family members and numerous medical and law enforcement experts.
Now, they’ll have to decide whether or not the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin is guilty.
Meanwhile, tightened security at state capitals across the country ahead of a possible verdict next week.
About 3,000 National Guard troops and more than 1,000 police officers are being deployed all over Minnesota. New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia will see similar security measures.