CBS News reports:
The jury has begun deliberations following closing arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death. The trial is nearing its end after more than 13 days of sometimes tense and emotional testimony at the heavily secured Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis.
Judge Peter Cahill sent the jurors to deliberate after attorneys on both sides concluded lengthy closing arguments Monday.
Cahill warned jurors not to allow “bias, prejudice, passion, sympathy or public opinion” to influence their decision as they weigh Chauvin’s fate. He also instructed jurors not to consider any “consequences or penalties” that may arise from the verdict. Cahill dismissed two alternate jurors from service, and the rest of the panel was then sequestered.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson concluded his closing argument by asking the jury to find Derek Chauvin not guilty on all counts. Nelson wrapped up his lengthy presentation by arguing that it is “nonsense” that other factors like George Floyd’s drug use and a heart condition didn’t play “any role” in his death.
“When you review the entirety of the evidence. When you review the law, as written and you conclude it all within this, all within a thorough and honest analysis. The state has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Nelson said. “Therefore, Mr. Chauvin should be found not guilty of all counts.”
In closing arguments, prosecutor Steve Schleicher said Chauvin directly caused the death of Floyd on Memorial Day after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. “He did what he did on purpose, and it killed George Floyd,” Schleicher stressed.
He rebutted arguments made by the defense that other factors contributed to Floyd’s death, such as his narrowed arteries, drug use and possible carbon monoxide poisoning from a nearby car tailpipe.
“Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw,” he said, referring to video of the encounter between Chauvin and Floyd.
Chauvin trial judge Peter Cahill is visibly upset by elected officials like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) sharing their opinions on the trial, but he believes it’s not enough to constitute a mistrial.pic.twitter.com/G5kHpTXpU0
— The Recount (@therecount) April 19, 2021