Prosecutors for the second week of Derek Chauvin’s trial are set to move on from what happened to George Floyd last May to a more in-depth analysis of what it means legally.
The first week of the Minneapolis trial centered on a piecemeal breakdown of Floyd’s last day, including video from a multitude of cell phones, surveillance cameras, and police cameras; heartbreaking testimonies from spectators who saw Chauvin kneel on Floyd; descriptions of paramedics and police supervisors who responded to the scene; and Chauvin’s own statements about what happened.
With that groundwork established, the prosecution should now focus on proving that Chauvin’s actions on that day should be considered murder and manslaughter.
This will require an analysis from medical experts who will explain the cause of Floyd’s death as well as expert police testimony who will say that Chauvin used excessive and unnecessary force.
In particular, attorney Jerry Blackwell said in his opening statements that he is awaiting testimony from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, the Hennepin County medical examiner and a number of medical examiners.
Some of this use of force analysis has already entered the trial. Chauvin’s direct supervisor said on Thursday his use of force should have stopped sooner.
“When Mr. Floyd no longer offered any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint,” Sgt. Said David Pleoger. “It would be reasonable to put one knee on someone’s neck until they are no longer resisting, but that should end when they are no longer fighting.”
And on Friday, the top homicide detective in the Minneapolis Police Department testified that kneeling on Floyd’s neck after being handcuffed was “totally unnecessary,” saying “if your knee is on someone’s neck. a – it might kill him.
Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, third degree murder and third degree manslaughter.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that Floyd died of a drug overdose and other pre-existing health issues, and he argued that Chauvin’s actions were part of his police training. Nelson has not indicated whether Chauvin will testify in his own defense.
You can read more about what happened last week during the test. here.
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