(Minneapolis) The jury for the trial of the police officer accused of “killing” George Floyd pulled out on Monday to deliberate on Derek Chauvin’s responsibility for the death of his forties of African-American descent, after a final day during which an indictment and the defense presented their arguments.
Judge Peter Cahill told them “you must be completely impartial”, who called on them to “examine and evaluate the evidence and apply the law” at the end of this extraordinary trial, which was examined around the world.
The 45-year-old white police officer is on trial for premeditated murder, murder and intentional violence leading to the death of George Floyd, who arrested him, along with three other officers, on a minor charge.
For more than nine minutes, he had placed his knee on the neck of the 40-year-old, who was lying on his stomach with his hands tied behind his back.
His suffering, filmed live by bystanders, shocked the world and sparked demonstrations of historic proportions against racism and police violence.
Attorney General Steve Schleicher confirmed, at the conclusion of the indictment, which lasted more than an hour and a half, “It was a murder. The accused is guilty of all three charges and there is no excuse.”
He said, “This case is exactly what I thought of at the beginning when watching this video.”
“George Floyd begged not to be able to speak,” he said. “It took a little sympathy and no one showed up that day,” the public prosecutor added, criticizing the policeman, who remained steadfast in the face of the pleas of his victim and bystanders.
Steve Schleicher stressed that “the accused was not prosecuted because he was a police officer,” but “is being tried for what he did,” believing that Derek Chauvin “betrayed his badge.”
But for his attorney, Derek Chauvin acted in a “reasonable” manner during his 40-year-old’s imposing example, on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis.
After nearly three hours of oral pleading, Eric Nelson said that the prosecution had failed to present evidence to the contrary “beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore Mr. Chauvin must not be guilty.”
According to him, George Floyd died of a combination of heart problems and drug abuse – of fentanyl, an opioid, and methamphetamine, a stimulant – “in the course of” his police custody, but the latter. It did not cause his death. , He says.
He admitted that “police officers are human beings and can make mistakes in extremely stressful situations,” noting that the loud “frustration” of passers-by could pose a threat and distract Derek Chauvin from the situation … the fate of George Floyd.
The policeman, dressed in a transparent suit and blue shirt, followed the petition without a mask, appearing focused without showing any affection.
Derek Chauvin refused to testify, using the right of any defendant in the United States not to produce evidence that would incriminate him.
Eric Nelson’s goal is to sow doubt in the minds of the jury, which must pass a unanimous verdict on each of the three counts. The former policeman faces up to 40 years in prison.
Police convictions of murder are extremely rare, as juries tend to give them the advantage of suspicion.
If the jury cannot agree on all charges, the trial will be declared “null.”
Any scenario other than a conviction worries local authorities.
The trial takes place amid high tensions and daily protests following the recent death of a young black man in the suburbs of Minneapolis.
Don Wright, a 20-year-old African American, was killed by a white policewoman during a regular traffic stop on the outskirts of this large city in the northern United States.
Minneapolis was already set on fire after the death of George Floyd, and businesses were once again barricaded behind shingle.
More than 400 people marched through the city’s streets on Monday to demand the indictment of Derek Chauvin, chanting, “The world is watching, we are watching, do what’s right.”
They followed a sign calling for “justice for George Floyd,” passing by National Guard soldiers on their way, watching them near the armored vehicles.
In camouflage and dangling machine guns, these soldiers have been patrolling the city’s streets for several weeks, on the sidelines of this high-tension trial.
Earlier today, Rodney Floyd, one of George’s brothers, shared his gratitude for “all over the world” messages of support to his family, many of which have been following up on the proceedings since March 29.
“I hope the jury will pass the correct verdict,” Courtenay Carver, 56, African-American social worker, told AFP.
Minneapolis-based Janay Clanton explained that she was preparing for “the worst” if Derek Chauvin had not been convicted.
The outcome of the trial will also affect the outcome of the other three agents, who will be tried in August for “complicity in murder.”