Prosecution, defence each ask jurors in Chauvin homicide trial to make use of ‘frequent sense’

Derek Chauvin used “grossly disproportionate” pressure in opposition to George Floyd when he pinned the 46-year-old Black man’s neck and again with his knees, a Minneapolis court docket heard on on Monday, and jurors want solely consider their very own eyes and use frequent sense to render a responsible verdict in opposition to the previous Minneapolis police office.

“This wasn’t policing, this was murder,” mentioned prosecutor Steve Schleicher as he introduced the state’s closing arguments at Chauvin’s homicide trial.

“The defendant is guilty of all three counts. All of them. And there’s no excuse.”

Unsurprisingly, that narrative was countered by Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson, who in his closing argument mentioned, when analyzing all the circumstances of Floyd’s dying, his consumer did what any “reasonable” police officer would have accomplished after discovering himself in a “dynamic” and “fluid” state of affairs involving a big man struggling with three officers.

As for Floyd’s explanation for dying, Nelson additionally mentioned jurors want to make use of frequent sense, which consists of casting a essential eye on the prosecution’s rejection of other potential contributing elements.

It can be “nonsense to suggest that none of these other factors had any role. That is not reasonable,” Nelson mentioned.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher introduced the state’s closing arguments within the case in opposition to Chauvin. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

The jury started deliberating after the closing arguments. Chauvin is on trial on costs of second-degree unintentional homicide, third-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s dying on May 25, 2020. 

Floyd died after Chauvin, who’s white, pressed a knee on the again of his neck and again for about 9 minutes as two other officers held him face down on the pavement while he was handcuffed. He had been detained outdoors a comfort retailer after being suspected of paying with a counterfeit invoice.

The final result of the high-profile trial is being carefully. Video of Floyd’s arrest, captured by a bystander, prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests over race and police brutality throughout the U.S. and around the globe.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution has argued Chauvin used extreme pressure and killed Floyd by reducing off his oxygen. 

But the defence argues it was a mixture of Floyd’s underlying medical circumstances, drug use and adrenaline flowing by his system that in the end killed him.

‘Believe your eyes’

On Monday, the prosecution informed the jurors that by convicting Chauvin, they will be declaring the pressure he used in opposition to Floyd was unreasonable, extreme and grossly disproportionate.

“This case is exactly what you thought when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes,” Schleicher mentioned. 

“It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart,” he mentioned. 

Schleicher repeatedly drew consideration to the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that Chauvin pressed his knees into the neck and again of Floyd till he was taken away by paramedics.

“Nine minutes and 29 seconds, nine minutes and 29 seconds. During this time, George Floyd struggled desperately to breathe. To make enough room in his chest. To breathe. But the force was too much,” Schleicher mentioned.

‘Had to know’

Chauvin continued the stress on Floyd past the purpose that he had a pulse and that he “had to know” his actions have been killing Floyd, Schleicher mentioned.

Schleicher additionally confused to the jury that this case was not about prosecuting the police, declaring that law enforcement officials, together with town’s personal police chief, testified on the state’s behalf that Chauvin’s actions have been extreme and a violation of police policy.

He’s not on trial for who he was. He’s on trial for what he did,” he mentioned.

“This is not an anti-police prosecution,” Schleicher mentioned. “The defendant abandoned his values, abandoned the training and killed a man.”

He performed parts of the bystander video and other footage of Floyd’s arrest and dismissed sure defence theories about Floyd’s dying as “nonsense.” 

Schleicher mentioned the defence would have the jury consider that it was simply an “amazing coincidence’ that Floyd happened to die of heart disease when he was restrained.

“Is that frequent sense or is that nonsense?” Schleicher asked.

Instead, he suggested jurors listen to the prosecution’s medical experts, some of whom said Floyd died as a result of asphyxia. Schleicher said their other medical experts explained why he couldn’t have died from the factors suggested by the defence.

Schleicher rejected the drug overdose argument, and the contention that police were distracted by hostile onlookers, and that Floyd suffered possible carbon monoxide poisoning from auto exhaust.

Defence attorney Eric Nelson gives his closing arguments in the Hennepin County Courthouse. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

But Chauvin’s lawyer said the failure of the prosecution to acknowledge that medical problems or drugs played a role “defies medical science and it defies frequent sense and purpose.”

And, Nelson said, the testimony submitted by most of the prosecution’s medical experts “flies within the absolute face of purpose and customary sense. It’s astounding.”

He noted that the opinions about the cause of death heard from the prosecution’s experts countered that of Dr. Andrew Baker, the county medical examiner, who performed the autopsy on Floyd and who was also a witness for the state.

Although Baker did rule Floyd’s death a homicide, he said Floyd’s heart gave out because of the way police held him down. He listed Floyd’s drug use and underlying health problems as contributing factors.

As for the use of force, Nelson argued that the case has to be analyzed from a wider perspective than the nine minutes and 29 seconds focused on by the prosecution. 

WATCH | Highlights of Chauvin trial:

CBC’s Susan Ormiston takes a look back at 14 days of testimony at the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after Chauvin pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his back and neck for about nine minutes while two other officers held him down. 3:35

A reasonable police officer would, in fact, take into consideration the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds, including the struggle the police had with Floyd as they attempted unsuccessfully to get him into a squad car, Nelson said.

Nelson argued that while a suspect can be compliant one second, they can be fighting the next and that reasonable police officers continue to assess and re-evaluate such situations.

He said all the evidence shows that Chauvin thought he was following his training; that he was in fact, following both his training and Minneapolis police department policies.

“The totality of the circumstances that have been identified to an affordable police officer, in that exact second the pressure was used, demonstrates that this was a certified use of pressure. As unattractive as it might be, and that is cheap doubt.”

Nelson has additionally argued that Chauvin was distracted throughout Floyd’s restraint by the more and more hostile crowd. 

He performed parts of bystander video that confirmed the agitated onlookers shouting at Chauvin to get off Floyd’s neck. He mentioned officers might have decided it wasn’t secure to render medical help to Floyd in that surroundings.

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