World Minneapolis braces for conclusion of George Floyd trial
Heart disease, drugs not 'direct causes' of Floyd death: doctor
George Floyd had heart disease and had consumed drugs but they were not the "direct causes" of his death, the doctor who conducted the autopsy said Friday at the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Andrew Baker, the chief medical examiner for Minnesota's Hennepin County, told the jury that Floyd's cause of death was "restraint and neck compression" while being subdued by police. Chauvin is facing murder and manslaughter charges for his role in Floyd's May 25, 2020 death, which occurred during his arrest for allegedly passing a fake $20 bill.
Janay Clayton has no doubt there will be trouble in Minneapolis if the white ex-police officer accused of murdering George Floyd walks free -- with soldiers patrolling the streets and shops boarded up in anticipation of a verdict.
"We're prepared for the worst," Clayton, a resident of the US city, told AFP on Monday, at the start of the trial's fourth week.
The 62-year-old warned there could be fresh protests if Derek Chauvin is acquitted for Floyd's death. The former officer was captured on video kneeling on the 46-year-old Black man's neck for nine and a half minutes last May.
Chauvin trial: Medical examiner who performed autopsy says police pressure was more than Floyd 'could take'
The Minneapolis chief medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on George Floyd’s body and deemed his death a homicide testified Friday in former officer Derek Chauvin’s trial that the way police held him down and compressed his neck "was just more than Mr. Floyd could take," given the condition of his heart. Dr. Andrew Baker, chief medical examiner for Hennepin County, took the stand on Friday morning as the second week of testimony at the murder trial of Chauvin, 45, came to an end. Chauvin is accused of murder and manslaughter in the May 25th 2020 death of Floyd.
Clanton is not the only person to be worried: emotions -- and tensions -- are running sky high in the Midwestern city, which has become synonymous with huge protests against racial injustice and police brutality that last year ignited a nationwide reckoning.
The downtown courthouse where Chauvin awaits the jury's verdict is surrounded by skyscrapers whose doors and windows are boarded up, while the court itself is protected by armored military vehicles and 10-foot concrete walls, as the jury retires to deliberate on Chauvin's fate after hearing closing arguments.
Traffic has been diverted away from police precincts, which were targeted in violent demonstrations last year.
"I live downtown and we're all quite concerned about the outcome of the trial," Clanton said. "You can see by walking through downtown."
Defense begins for officer charged with murdering George Floyd
The attorney for Derek Chauvin began his defense of the former Minneapolis police officer on Tuesday, calling his first witnesses in an effort to sow doubt in the minds of the jury over what caused the death of George Floyd. Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter and the most compelling evidence against him is bystander video which shows him kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed Floyd for more than nine minutes. Eric Nelson,Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter and the most compelling evidence against him is bystander video which shows him kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed Floyd for more than nine minutes.
Anything short of a guilty verdict, and the city -- where a few last winter snowflakes were still falling Monday -- could erupt with new violence.
"I think there'll be riots" if Chauvin is found not guilty, said surgeon Pouya Hemmati, 31. "I think people will be very upset."
"Everybody saw somebody put his knee on his neck for 9.5 minutes," he added. "I hope that he is convicted of what was very clearly a murder and excessive police brutality."
The police veteran, who has pleaded not guilty, faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
But a conviction on any of the charges -- second-degree murder, third-degree murder or manslaughter -- will require the jury to return a unanimous verdict.
- 'Dangerous' situation -
Third week of George Floyd murder trial features defense witnesses
Defense witnesses took the stand during the third week of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd. Closing arguments are to be held on Monday and the high-profile case will go to the jury. Here are highlights of the third week of the trial that has riveted the United States: - Chauvin declines to testify - Chauvin, 45, told Judge Peter Cahill he would exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination and would not testify."I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege," Chauvin said.
As a deterrent to any potential rioting or looting, the state has deployed around 3,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard alongside police in what it dubbed "Operation Safety Net."
But in a sign of how tense the city is, before dawn on Sunday, shots were fired at a group of National Guard soldiers from a car that then fled the scene. Two soldiers suffered only superficial injuries from flying glass.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a local TV station he had spoken to the injured guardsmen.
"They are OK," he said. "But it highlights how dangerous the situation can get."
Maxine Waters, a veteran Black Democratic member of Congress from California who has set up camp in Minnesota, has been accused by Republicans of fanning the flames after calling for people to stay in the streets and vowing she would "continue to fight in every way that I can for justice."
Chauvin ‘Heard’ George Floyd’s Distress, but ‘Didn’t Listen,’ Prosecutors
As George Floyd cried out for help on May 25, 2020, the “pavement tearing into his skin” as he repeated he could not breathe, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin continued to press his knee into the 46-year-old Black man’s neck. Chauvin “heard him but he just didn’t listen. He continued to push him down, to grind into him, to shimmy, to twist his hand,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher told jurors in Hennepin County court during closing arguments on Monday for the former law enforcer’s murder trial.
- 'Fuel change' -
For some residents, Minnesota's legal history in cases involving police officers increases the likelihood of a not guilty verdict.
"The only time we did see (a police officer) convicted, they were a person of color. So you know in this situation being that I am a person of color, I'm not expecting any results," said Ashley Commodore, a singer.
"I don't think (he will be convicted) and I think that the city is kind of preparing for that to happen," the 33-year-old added, pointing to the presence of the National Guard.
Anxiety -- and scrutiny of the trial -- has only increased after the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a white policewoman in a nearby suburb on April 11. Four days later, Chicago police released body-camera footage that showed the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, igniting another round of protests.
"I think that what we saw last year in terms of riots and push back is going to be doubled, if not tripled,” Commodore said.
Still, she holds out hope "this will really fuel change."
on the Place George Floyd, the hope of a "Best Day" .
© Chandan Khanna People gather in Square George Floyd in Minneapolis (United States) after the announcement of the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin On April 20, 2021 in the aftermath of the verdict celebrations, and despite the cold weather, they come to collect Wednesday on the square George Floyd in Minneapolis, in the middle of the flowers, candles and stuffed, waiting for the hoped. .