Hello, readers, and welcome to our continued live coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial.. Proceedings against Chauvin continue this morning at 9 a.m. in Minneapolis, with the trial entering its ninth day of testimony.
Chauvin, a former constable with the Minneapolis Police Department, faces charges of unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in an arrest last May.
Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd, who is black, for more than nine minutes during the fatal encounter. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
So far, the trial has broken down into several key themes. Prosecutors extensively questioned witnesses, including former colleagues and Chauvin’s police chief, on the proper use of force.
They are trying to establish that Chauvin’s behavior flouted ministerial directives and amounted to gross use of excessive force, resulting in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin’s defense, through his cross-examination of witnesses, attempted to come up with concrete concepts about the use of force, in effect arguing that excessive force in one situation might be appropriate and reasonable in a number.
Remember: His attorney, Eric Nelson, essentially claimed through questioning that the crowd that formed around Floyd’s arrest could have posed a threat to Chauvin and his colleagues at the scene, which would shift the metric to relevance.)
Chauvin’s defense also tries to argue that Floyd’s drug use led to his death – not his knee against his neck as he cried out for help and eventually stopped breathing.
Here are several key points from Wednesday’s work:
- Sgt Jody Stiger, whom prosecutors called as an expert witness on the use of force, said that Chauvin’s use of force “was not objectively reasonable.
- Stiger, who the defense tried to incite to say that a crowd could pose a risk, stood firm, saying: “Over time in the video, you could clearly see Mr. Floyd’s health… his health was deteriorating. His breath was diminishing. His tone of voice diminished. His movements were starting to stop. So at that point, as the officer there, you have a responsibility to realize that “OK, something is wrong”. Something has drastically changed from what happened before, so you have a responsibility to take some type of action. “
- The Mercedes SUV Floyd was before his arrest, as well as the police car at the scene, underwent a second forensic examination. Although the pills were recorded in photographs of these vehicles during the first forensic examination on May 27, they were not recorded or subjected to chemical analysis until December 2020 and early 2021, respectively. Nelson insisted on suggesting that investigators had made a material error in missing this, to cast doubt on the investigation more generally.
- Testimonies revealed that both tablets contained methamphetamine and fentanyl.
- Susan neith, a Pennsylvania-based forensic chemist who also analyzed the pills, said methamphetamine levels found some of these samples to be low, between 1.9% and 2.9%. Neith said she frequently comes across street methamphetamine pills containing 90% to 100% methamphetamine. So testimonials that point to relatively low levels of methamphetamine may undermine Nelson’s argument about drug overdose.
That’s all for the moment. Please come back soon for the breakage reports and analyzes.