What to expect to end the trial of a former police officer at Floyd’s death

Minneapolis (AP) — Prosecutor in trial of former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder for three weeks George Floyd Played and played the video, supplementing the video of the bystander that shocked the world Multiple other angles Of Floyd’s arrest. And again and again, Derek Chauvin’s lawyer claimed that the visual evidence was deceptive and that Floyd was killed by his drug use and bad heart.

On Monday, both lawyers seek to tie their evidence to a neat package for the jury and try to drive their proceedings home with closing arguments that cover most of the same grounds.

The prosecutor Expert testimonyA video explaining that the behavior of a white officer on May 25 was the “substantial cause” of Floyd’s death when a black man’s neck was fixed to the pavement with his knees for nearly nine and a half minutes. Other evidence.And they emphasize Testimony from Supreme Police Officers in Minneapolis and External Armed Forces Experts Would not have used “objectively rational” officers Such power.

Meanwhile, lawyer Eric Nelson tries to convince the jury of the elements of testimony he draws from the prosecution’s witnesses and his own witnesses. Add reasonable doubt Is Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death, or is it? Floyd deserves considerable responsibility.

“If I were Nelson, I would have to do a lot because I had to do a lot,” said Joe Friedberg, a local lawyer who wasn’t involved in the case. “He has a desperate problem here.”

Both sides gave some insights this week after Nelson pleaded with Judge Peter Carhill of Hennepin County to acquit Chauvin. It was a routine move that was quickly rejected, but both sides covered key points that they would probably make in closing arguments.

Nelson argued that witnesses to the state’s use of force showed contradictory evidence when Chauvin’s use of force became unreasonable. It could be a difficult sale, and even Nelson admitted that everyone agreed that it was objectively unreasonable.

Nelson may be more successful in another discussion he will surely make again on Monday. It is to strike the difference between the four prosecutors who conclude that Floyd was suffocated and the county inspector general. Dr. Andrew Baker who did not.

However, Baker classified Floyd’s death as a murder and said his heart had stopped as a result of police “conspiracy, detention, and neck pressure.”

Friedberg emphasizes a study in which Nelson questioned the lack of forensic evidence of neck injuries and the risk of “positional asphyxia,” or choking while being restrained like Floyd. He said he was expecting it.

He also said he expects Nelson to emphasize Floyd drug use And resistance.

“He must start with the fact that George Floyd was alive taking these drugs. You could be arrested. When arrested, the law does not resist you Is demanding, “Friedberg said. “When you resist … it’s a crime. It accelerates the police’s ability to take further action.”

Mary Moriarty, a former longtime chief defendant in Hennepin County, said she expects Nelson to use familiar defenses for police officers: the difficult nature of their work.

“He’s convinced that people who have the opportunity to comfortably watch videos in the office or in court will say it’s unfair to guess police officers’ actions again,” says Moriarty. Said.

Chauvin exercised his right not to testifyHowever, former U.S. federal prosecutor Tom Heffelfinger said Nelson might try to persuade the jury by pointing at a body camera video that Chauvin is telling bystanders. .. And he’s probably doing something. “

Prosecutor first announces closing, Then defense, and counterargument of prosecution. There is no time limit, but legal experts have stated that lawyers must consider whether too long is at risk of losing the jury’s attention or at risk of damaging their proceedings. It was.

Former U.S. Attorney in Minnesota, Tom Heffelfinger, explained how the evidence heard by the jury fits into the legal details of alleged second- and third-class murders. The prosecutor said he spent a lot of time hoping that the discussion would take all day and two manslaughter charges.

Friedberg said prosecutors are likely to start by personalizing Floyd, and although he used drugs, he still said, “Everyone in this country has the right to live, so the right to live. I had it. “

Both Friedberg and Moriarty expect the prosecutor to replay some of the devastating videos that dominated the first week of the trial. Many of them caused the bystander witnesses to collapse in court because they remembered their frustration with the inability to stop Floyd’s death.

Moriarty also highlighted still images, including one in which Floyd put his hand on the wheel of a police SUV and testified that a medical expert desperately tried to lift his right side off the ground and breathe. He said he was expecting that.

She also expected the prosecutor to try to score points for the frequent portrayals of Nelson’s 15 bystanders. Angry crowd It may have threatened officers and distracted them from taking care of Floyd.

“It’s an opportunity for the state to show legitimate resentment,” she said.

A deep prosecution team filed a state proceeding, which was planned to be shared by two of the most prominent lawyers, Steve Schleicher and Jerry Blackwell, in closing arguments. Moriarty said Blackwell is likely to be the last word to be effective for the jury.

“I think he came across as the most dynamic lawyer they have,” Moriarty said. “And it’s also about race, but defense isn’t about race. There’s something compelling about black men closing arguments.”


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