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World ‘Hail Mary time’ for Derek Chauvin’s defence: Legal experts

01:55  14 april  2021
01:55  14 april  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

Chauvin trial: Minneapolis police chief testifies, ER doc theorizes that lack of oxygen stopped Floyd's heart

  Chauvin trial: Minneapolis police chief testifies, ER doc theorizes that lack of oxygen stopped Floyd's heart Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo took the stand on Monday in the ongoing trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who has been accused of murder and manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Arradondo, the city's first Black chief, fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd's May 25 death. In June, he called it "murder" in response to an inquiry from the Star Tribune. On Monday, he testified about Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) policy that dictates that officers must use tactics to deescalate a situation whenever reasonable to do so, in an effort to avoid or minimize the use of force.

All Chauvin ’ s defence team must do is sow doubt in one juror, but lawyers say this could be an uphill battle. Legal experts suggest lawyer Eric Nelson, left, has his work cut out for him as he presents his defence of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin , right [File: Court TV, via AP, Pool]. The prosecution in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin made a strong case for conviction that puts the defence in a “ Hail Mary ” situation after weeks of expert testimony and repeated plays of the video showing George Floyd’s death, lawyers have told Al Jazeera.

Mr Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd for over nine minutes during Mr Floyd's arrest last May. It comes as a black man was shot by police near Minneapolis on Sunday night, triggering racial justice protests. Hundreds of people turned out in the streets, where police used use tear gas. Mr Chauvin ' s lawyers intend to argue that it was drugs and poor health that caused Mr Floyd's death. Over 20 Minneapolis police officers, medical experts and witnesses have testified against Mr Chauvin .

The prosecution in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin made a strong case for conviction that puts the defence in a “Hail Mary” situation after weeks of expert testimony and repeated plays of the video showing George Floyd’s death, lawyers have told Al Jazeera.

a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Legal experts suggest lawyer Eric Nelson, left, has his work cut out for him as he presents his defence of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right [File: Court TV, via AP, Pool] © Legal experts suggest lawyer Eric Nelson, left, has his work cut out for him as he presents his defe... Legal experts suggest lawyer Eric Nelson, left, has his work cut out for him as he presents his defence of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right [File: Court TV, via AP, Pool]

The prosecutorial team, comprised of two assistant prosecutors Matthew Frank and Erin Eldridge and outside lawyers Jerry Blackwell and Steve Schleicher, rested their case on Tuesday, allowing for defence attorney Eric Nelson to present Chauvin’s side.

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Derek Chauvin ' s defense , led by attorney Eric Nelson, is slated to begin presenting its case for acquittal on Tuesday morning at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. All eyes are now on Derek Chauvin ' s defense attorney Eric Nelson. Nelson is expected to present a much more succinct case for his acquittal based on the assertion that Floyd's death was caused by his drug use and underlying health problems, not the police restraint. It remains unclear whether Chauvin will be called as a witness in his own defense .

The lawyer for Derek Chauvin , the former officer charged with killing George Floyd, will begin mounting his defence in his murder trial on Tuesday, amid speculation as to whether his client will take the stand. It follows 11 days of testimony by the prosecution, who have argued through more than two dozen witnesses that The defence has not yet said whether Mr Chauvin will take the stand. Legal analysts are divided over whether Mr Chauvin ' s testimony could help or hinder his case. While defendants are often advised against taking the stand, some argue that Mr Chauvin ' s state of the mind during the

“Overall, they should be very proud of their presentation. The experts they chose were just magnificent,” Mike Padden, a lawyer with 34 years’ experience trying cases in Minneapolis, told Al Jazeera.

The defence’s case is based around the theory that Floyd’s use of drugs, not Chauvin’s restraint, was ultimately the cause of death. The defence is also expected to attempt to prove Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd was part of his training as a police officer.

The prosecution called doctors, including cardiologist and pulmonologists who specialise in hearts and lungs, respectively, to dispute this.

They also called use-of-force experts and current Minneapolis police officers, including the police chief, to testify that Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd was not part of his training.

Derek Chauvin trial: Officer never took knee off George Floyd's neck, use-of-force expert testifies

  Derek Chauvin trial: Officer never took knee off George Floyd's neck, use-of-force expert testifies Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee against George Floyd’s neck and was bearing down with most of his weight the entire time the Black man lay face down with his hands cuffed behind his back, a use-of-force expert testified Wednesday. Chauvin, 45, is standing trial on murder and manslaughter charges in connection with Floyd’s May 2020 death. Prosecutors allege that Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, despite Floyd being handcuffed, in the prone position. Floyd was later declared dead.

The defence in the Derek Chauvin murder trial opened its case on Tuesday by attempting to show George Floyd had a history of failing to cooperate with the police while under the influence of drugs. Chauvin ’ s lawyer, Eric Nelson, attempted to establish from Hill that Floyd behaved in a way that indicated he was under the influence of drugs. But she described her friend as more confused than threatening. Hill said she repeatedly tried to rouse Floyd and when he finally came round he became frightened when he saw the officers who wanted to question him about an alleged attempt to spend a

Chauvin ’ s defense lawyers call witnesses after prosecution rests its case – follow all the latest news Testimony from Barry Brodd, who took the stand for Derek Chauvin ’ s defense as a use-of-force Judge Peter Cahill has sent jurors home for the day, and lawyers on both sides are now discussing legal matters. The prosecution is playing body camera video that shows a crowd gather, over time

Third-degree murder

Gene Rossi, a former US prosecutor now in private practice, said the prosecution has proven its case for third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Rossi predicted, however, the jury will likely acquit Chauvin on the second-degree murder charge which requires a level of premeditation to kill that is not evident in the events that led to Floyd’s death

“If I’m a police officer, I don’t want to myself found guilty of either manslaughter or any type of murder count,” Rossi told Al Jazeera. “I think he can be easily found guilty”.

While the defence is still presenting its case, Rossi said the first three witnesses did not help Chauvin.

Debbie Hines, a former Maryland state prosecutor now in private practice, said she thought the prosecution presented its case very well.

“The prosecutors did a stellar, phenomenal job in the case,” Hines said.

“They wanted to make sure they dotted all I’s and crossed all T’s and I think that they did. They presented a clean case without any issues,” Hines told Al Jazeera.

George Floyd died from 'low level of oxygen': doctor

  George Floyd died from 'low level of oxygen': doctor A respiratory expert testified on Thursday that George Floyd died from lack of oxygen and police officer Derek Chauvin's knee was on his neck "more than 90 percent of the time" that he was handcuffed, facedown in the street. Dr Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist, told the jury at Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial that he had watched videos of Floyd's May 25, 2020 arrest "hundreds of times." "Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen," TobinDr Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist, told the jury at Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial that he had watched videos of Floyd's May 25, 2020 arrest "hundreds of times.

The defense mounted its case for Derek Chauvin ' s acquittal on Tuesday morning in Minneapolis. The jury was shown new video recorded by the body-camera of Minneapolis Park Police Officer Peter Chang. Chang arrived on the scene after two officers had already confronted George Floyd outside Cup Foods. It showed for the first time the reaction of Floyd's friends Morries Hall and Shawanda Hill, who were both in the car with him that day. Chang kept and eye on Hall and Hill as they watched officers struggle to get Floyd into a squad car from across the street. Hill can be clearly heard saying: 'Damn

Derek Michael Chauvin (born 1976) is an American former police officer known for his involvement in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, 2020.

But it is not a “slam dunk” that Chauvin will be convicted because of the “racial overtones” of a “white police officer being tried for the death of a Black man”, Hines said.

The defence “has an easier case because all the defence has to do is convince one of those 12 jurors that they have created a reasonable doubt that Derek Chauvin was not a significant factor leading to the death of George Floyd,” Hines said.

“The defence will do everything to try to demean the character of George Floyd. They will say that he used drugs. They will say that he had been arrested before, that he had heart disease, that he had signs of a potential overdose,” she said.

‘Hail Mary’

Padden, for his part, recognised the needs of the defence to instil doubt, but he was not sure how Nelson will manage. The video of Floyd’s death, which was repeatedly played to the jury, “is so damning, I think you could make a reasonable argument that the video alone establishes the elements you need for third-degree murder”.

But Padden added the key to instilling that doubt will be Chauvin going on the stand, which could open him up to damaging cross-examination from the prosecution. The defence has yet to say if Chauvin will testify.

But, “he doesn’t have a choice”, Padden said.

“This is Hail Mary time. That’s how bad it is. That’s how far behind they are. Will he be hammered on cross-examination? Yes. Does he have to testify? Yes.”

USA: final pleadings during the trial of Derek Chauvin .
USA-Justice-George-Floyd: USA: final pleadings during the trial of Derek Chauvin © Reuters / Jane Rosenberg USA: final pleadings during the trial of Derek Chauvin by Jonathan Allen Minneapolis (Reuters) - The US Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked the jurors to "believe in that (they saw)" as he returned the video of the death of George Floyd during his final argument during the trial of Derek Chauvin who ends Monday in Minneapolis.

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This is interesting!