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Jury begins deliberations in George Floyd murder trial

Jury begins deliberations in George Floyd murder trial”

A lone protester stands outside the Hennepin County Courthouse on Monday as lawyers presented closing arguments in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter over Floyd's 25 May 2020 death, which sparked protests against racial injustice around the world and has become a landmark test of police accountability in the United States.

The jury started deliberations at 4pm on Monday and finished at 8pm for the day.

Prosecutors in their closing arguments said Chauvin squeezed the life out of Floyd in a way that even a child knew was wrong.

The defence attempted to claim Chauvin acted reasonably during the arrest, and that 46-year-old Floyd died of an underlying heart condition and illegal drug use.

The state has also relied on police experts who deemed Chauvin's use of force excessive, and medical experts who say that Floyd died of low levels of oxygen, caused primarily by Chauvin blocking his breathing.

The most compelling evidence in the case against Chauvin was the video of Floyd's arrest taken by a 17-year-old bystander, Darnella Frazier.

"This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video", prosecutor Steve Schleicher told the jury. He added, "The defendant, he chose pride over policing".

"The standard is not what should the officer have done", Chauvin's defense attorney, Eric Nelson, said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, which won the restraining order, said the behavior of some officers "went beyond unlawful detention to include outright retaliatory assault" against journalists, whose work to inform the public is protected by the U.S. Constitution. They met for four hours Monday evening after closing arguments wrapped.

More news: Black Teen Shot Dead By US Police In Ohio

He said the prosecution's focus on 9 minutes and 29 seconds, rather than Floyd's active resistance in the minutes earlier, was inappropriate.

As Minneapolis braces for potential unrest - buildings have been boarded up and National Guard members are fanning out in and around the city - Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and local officials sought to show solidarity with community activists and emphasize that they intend to prioritize de-escalation in the coming days. "And I'm praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is - I think it's overwhelming in my view".

The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of not more than 40 years.

Chauvin will be remanded until sentencing.

The judge told Chauvin's attorney: "Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned". He reinstated the charge last month.

Like that of the other murder charge, a third-degree-murder conviction in Minnesota carries a presumptive prison sentence of 12 1/2 years. Because Chauvin does not have a criminal record, he would avoid a maximum sentence of 25 years, according to the sentencing guidelines.

For second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors had to prove Chauvin was "culpably negligent" and took an "unreasonable risk" with Floyd's life.

The original charges against Chauvin included third-degree murder.

The 12-member jury hearing the case against former officer Derek Chauvin was urged to be "asbolutely fair" when delivering their verdicts.

On Monday, Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, in a almost three-hour closing argument, told the jury "the State has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt" and "therefore Mr Chauvin should be found not guilty of all counts". I've spent time with his little daughter, Gianna - you should see this lovely child, oh! "Basically, it's up to the jury how long you deliberate, how long you need to come to a unanimous decision on any count. And so because that's entirely up to you - whether it's an hour or a week - it's entirely within your province".



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