“The story has two sides.”


A 9:29 video played on the first day of the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin showed that his victim, George Floyd, was his merciful and unarmed man. Said the prosecutor on Monday.

“On May 25, 2020, Derek Chauvin knelt down. [Floyd’s] He grinded and crushed him on his neck and back until he was out of breath, and life itself was squeezed from him, “prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury. “Learn what happened in that 9 minutes and 29 seconds. This is the most important number you’ll hear in this trial.”

However, according to Chauvin’s defense team, Floyd, suspected of using fake $ 20 bills to buy cigarettes, was under the influence of drugs during a clash with police, and Chauvin and other police officers on the scene. Did not obey. I had a hard time detaining him.

“Common sense shows that the story always has two sides,” said lawyer Eric Nelson. “The evidence is much longer than 9 minutes and 29 seconds.”

The trial against Chauvin began in Minneapolis on Monday, with opening statements from Nelson and Blackwell and testimony from three witnesses, including bystanders who said they had witnessed Floyd’s last moment.

Jerry Blackwell, left

In a court sketch, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell (left) makes an opening statement under the watchful eye of defense counsel Eric Nelson (center) and defendant Derek Chauvin. (Jane Rosenberg / Reuters)

But on the first day of the trial, Blackwell’s star witness was the video itself.

“We can see that Mr. Floyd was crying for the first four minutes and 45 seconds,” Blackwell said before the video was played for the jury. “Remaining 4 minutes [and] At 44 seconds, Floyd was either unconscious, short of breath, or pulseless. And the compression, squeezing, and crushing were done in exactly the same way for a total of 9 minutes and 29 seconds. “

After the video was shown to the jury, Blackwell said on the scene that “many bystanders” “called the police to the police.” They included Donald Williams, a prosecution witness who testified that he had seen Floyd struggling to breathe under Chauvin’s knees.

“You can see him almost out of the air,” Williams said.

Williams, a martial arts student, also analyzed the techniques Chauvin used to detain Floyd and told prosecutors that police officers used a movement called “Shimmy” around Floyd’s neck to strengthen his retention. He said he did.

Donald Williams

Donald Williams testifies at the Derek Chauvin trial on Monday. (Via Reuters)

The defense has not yet questioned Williams, who was the third witness of the day on Monday and will continue to testify on Tuesday. The other two witnesses were Jena Scully, a 911 dispatcher who watched Floyd’s death in real time on surveillance footage, and Alisha Euler, a gas station clerk who filmed a quarrel between Floyd and the police.

In his opening statement, Nelson explained to the jury how the case evolved from an officer’s perspective. He described Floyd as combative and resistant, and said evidence would indicate from police that he “put medicine in his mouth to hide them” when faced with police.

When Chauvin responded to the scene at around 8:15 pm, Nelson said “the first thing he sees” is two police officers fighting Floyd.

“We see that three Minneapolis police officers couldn’t overcome Mr. Floyd’s power,” Nelson said. “Mr. Chauvin Stand [at] 5 feet-9, 140 lbs. Floyd is 6 feet 3 and weighs 223 pounds. “

Timeline presented by the prosecution at the Derek Chauvin trial

The timeline presented by the prosecution at the Derek Chauvin trial. (Via Reuters)

Nelson told the jury that he would hear several interviews between law enforcement agencies and Dr. Andrew Baker, who performed an autopsy on Floyd for the Hennepin County Medical Inspector’s Office. Choking. “

“There were no bruise on Floyd’s neck,” Nelson said. “There was no petechiae that could indicate choking. There was no evidence that Floyd’s airflow was restricted.”

Nelson noted an autopsy report released on June 1, stating that Floyd, 46, died of “double detention, detention, and cardiopulmonary arrest complicating neck compression” by law enforcement agencies. .. According to Nelson, the report also includes “other important conditions” such as heart disease, fentanyl poisoning, and “recent methamphetamine use.”

Another autopsy commissioned by the family found that Floyd died of persistent pressure choking.

Chauvin has been tried twice, three times, and twice manslaughter.

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