The prosecution and defense in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd are set to take their final cracks on Monday at swaying jurors after calling more than 40 witnesses and presenting numerous videos of the 46-year-old Black man’s fatal 2020 arrest.
The cellphone video is not the ‘proper analysis,’ defense says
The 9-minute and 29-second cellphone video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd “completely disregards” what happened leading up to the restraint, Defense Attorney Eric Nelson said.While the prosecution has been focusing on the length of the cellphone video, “a reasonable police officer would have taken into consideration the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds,” which included Floyd’s resistance, Nelson said.”Human behavior is unpredictable, and nobody knows it better than a police officer,” Nelson said. “Someone can be compliant one second and fighting the next. Someone can be fighting and then compliant.”
Government buildings in downtown Minneapolis are being fortified in the event of unrest following a verdict in the Chauvin trial.
Defense plays police body camera footage of Floyd being put into the squad car
Floyd was engaging in active resistance when Chauvin arrived on the scene of the Cup Foods, Nelson said.Nelson played the video from Nelson’s body camera that showed two other officers struggling to put Floyd into the squad car as evidence of Floyd’s resistance.Nelson explained that a reasonable officer at that point would determine that the amount of force being used by the officers trying to put Floyd into the car was not enough to overpower Floyd’s resistance.
Defense explains what a ‘reasonable’ police officer would do
After Nelson asked whether Chauvin’s actions were an authorized use of force by a police officer, he went into detail on how a reasonable police officer would have approached the situation.A reasonable police officer wants to keep his fellow officers, civilians and the person being arrested safe, Nelson said. A reasonable police officer also thinks about resources, such as where the closest hospital is or what the response time for EMS would be.The direct knowledge that a police officer would have when use of force occurs is information from dispatch, direct observations of the scene and whether the subject was under the influence of a controlled substance, Nelson said.
When Chauvin arrived on the scene of the cup foods, he saw the suspect, who was 6 feet or taller and appeared to be under the influence, Nelson said.
“The situation is dynamic, and it’s fluid,” Nelson said.