Prosecution rests, defense launches case

Prosecution rests, defense launches case

The defense launched its case Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis cop charged in George Floyd’s death.

In this image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, speaks in court as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, looks on April 12 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is standing trial for murder and manslaughter in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

Court TV, via AP, Pool

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday morning following more than two weeks of testimony, encompassing bystanders, medical experts, use-of-force experts, and police officials. One of the final witnesses for the prosecution on Monday was George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd, who cried when he described his brother’s “one of a kind” relationship with their late mother. Philonise Floyd said he and his brother grew up with their family in a public housing complex in Houston. He described Floyd as a family “leader” who couldn’t cook but made “the best banana mayonnaise sandwiches.” 

The defense case centers around how Floyd died, which has been a key point of dispute at trial. A string of medical experts have testified for the prosecution, saying the police restraint restricted oxygen to Floyd’s body and caused his heart to stop. But defense attorney Eric Nelson has argued a combination of Floyd’s underlying heart disease, adrenaline and the fentanyl and methamphetamine he had ingested prior to the arrest amounted to a fatal combination.

Nelson has also portrayed the crowd of bystanders near Floyd as unruly, and he is expected to call a policing expert to testify that the crowd distracted Chauvin to the extent that he was unable to perform his law enforcement duties.

Judge Peter Cahill said testimony is likely to wrap up by the end of the week, possibly with Friday off. He told jurors to expect to be sequestered following closing arguments on April 19. He had earlier denied a defense request for the jury to be further questioned and immediately sequestered in light of the fatal police shooting Sunday of a driver in nearby Brooklyn Center, which led to protests.

Chauvin, who was seen in disturbing videos kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin has pleaded not guilty. The other three officers involved are charged with aiding and abetting, and are expected to be tried jointly in August.

This article is sourced from CBS News

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