Five important moments from the Derek Chauvin trial

The death of George Floyd, a 48-year-old black man detained by white police officer Derek Chauvin during his arrest in Minneapolis in May 2020, shocked the world, racism and police cruelty. Caused a worldwide protest about the act. ..

Chauvin’s three-week trial (on charges of murder and manslaughter) has now led to his conviction.

Here are five important moments from the trial, listening to 45 witnesses and watching hours of video footage shot by bystanders.

1. Impact of arrest on witnesses

Some of the most powerful testimonies came on the first day of the trial when the witnesses talked about what they saw that day.

Dhanera, who was 17 at the time of Floyd’s death, shot a video that became a hot topic all over the world. She told the jury that there was a night “I apologize that George Floyd did nothing more, did not interact physically, and did not save his life.”

“When I see George Floyd, I see my father. I see my brothers, my cousins, my uncle. They are all black,” she said.

The emotional testimony also came from Charles McMillian, 61, who was one of the first on the scene and tried to persuade Mr. Floyd to ride a police car.

He wept when he saw the footage of the arrest in court, felt “powerless” when the incident happened, and after Mr. Floyd was taken away by an ambulance, “what I saw was wrong.” Explained that he had confronted Chauvin.

The defense alleges that the presence of bystanders influenced Chauvin’s actions that day. The court heard from a Minneapolis police officer, Peter Chan, that the crowd was “very aggressive against the police officers,” but Nicole Mackenzie, who was training the city police to provide medical care, was arrested. It is more difficult for police officers to see signs of distress in detainees who have stated that the presence of bystanders has been able to cause it.

2. Emotional testimony from girlfriend

Another powerful moment came when Floyd’s three-year girlfriend, Courtney Ross, stood up.

She explained the first meeting in the lobby of the Salvation Army homeless shelter, where Mr. Floyd worked as a security guard, and how he was devastated by the death of his mother in 2018.

Ms. Ross also told the court that they both suffered from chronic pain, which led to an intermittent struggle with opioid addiction.

“We became addicted and worked hard to overcome the addiction many times,” she testified.

One of the defense’s allegations was that Mr. Floyd died primarily from complications of opioids and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his arrest.

3. Has power been justified?

Another important issue at the heart of the case was whether Derek Chauvin violated his detention policy when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medallia Aradondo, one of the prosecution’s most prominent witnesses, fired Chauvin the day after his arrest.

He told the court that police officers should have stopped applying “that level of power” the moment Mr Floyd stopped resisting. “It’s not part of our training, and certainly not part of our ethics and values,” he said.

From left to right: Dr. Martin Tobin, Charles McMillian, Courtney Ross

During the trial, about 45 people, including Dr. Martin Tobin, Charles McMillian, and Courtney Ross, submitted evidence.

Defense witness Barry Brod, an expert on the use of force, said Chauvin was “justified” and “objective” because of the “imminent threat” Floyd posed in resisting his arrest. He said he acted “reasonably.”

However, he acknowledged under cross-examination that the risk of positional asphyxia (the inability to breathe in a particular location) is well known among law enforcement agencies.

4. Cause of death

The cause of Mr. Floyd’s death was undoubtedly at the heart of the case, prosecutors claimed he had been suffocated, and lawyers pointed out Mr. Floyd’s drug use and general poor health.

Dr. Martin Tobin, a respiratory medicine expert, used video footage to explain what was happening to Floyd’s breathing. For nine and a half minutes he lay under Chauvin’s lap.

“Even a healthy person exposed to what Mr Floyd received would have been dead,” he said.

An important witness of defense, Forensic pathologist David Fowler said Floyd’s death should have been classified as “undecided.” Not as a murder, as there were “so many conflicting and different potential mechanisms”.

Complex factors include Floyd’s drug use and potential exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning from police car exhaust, he was the Chief Inspector General of Maryland until his retirement in 2019. Dr. Fowler said.

However, under cross-examination, he agreed that when Mr. Floyd fell into cardiac arrest, he still had the opportunity to save his life and should be treated immediately.

5. Adopt the revised Article 5

Just before the defense filed a proceeding The man in trial-Derek Chauvin-confirmed to the judge that he would not testify..

“I exercise the privileges of Article 5 of the Constitutional Amendment today,” he said, citing the constitutional right to remain silent for fear of self-incrimination.

Asked by the judge if this was only his decision, and if someone else had unfairly influenced his decision, Chauvin said, “No promises or threats, it’s your honor.” I answered.

Chauvin pleaded not guilty to second-class unintentional murder (which could be imprisoned for up to 40 years), third-class murder, and manslaughter.

The jury took less than a day to return a unanimous verdict convicting him on all charges.