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World US braces for verdict in George Floyd murder trial

19:42  20 april  2021
19:42  20 april  2021 Source:   afp.com

Defense begins for officer charged with murdering George Floyd

  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.

Jurors began a first full day of deliberations on Tuesday in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd as US cities braced for a verdict in a case that sparked nationwide protests against racism last summer.

a group of people holding a sign: Protestors outside the Minneapolis courthouse where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial © CHANDAN KHANNA Protestors outside the Minneapolis courthouse where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial a close up of a person wearing a costume: A protestor outside the courthouse in Minneapolis © SCOTT OLSON A protestor outside the courthouse in Minneapolis

After deliberating for four hours on Monday, the jury in "Minnesota vs Derek Chauvin" reconvened at 8:00 am Central Time (1300 GMT) on Tuesday.

a sign on a city street: Protestors hold a banner outside the Minneapolis courthouse © CHANDAN KHANNA Protestors hold a banner outside the Minneapolis courthouse

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter for Floyd's May 25, 2020 death, which sparked protests against racial injustice around the world and is being seen as a landmark test of police accountability.

When Is Derek Chauvin Verdict Expected? How to Watch Closing Arguments

  When Is Derek Chauvin Verdict Expected? How to Watch Closing Arguments Jurors are expected to begin deliberating after the closing arguments, which will start at 9 a.m. local time Monday. Following the jury deliberation, a verdict could be announced this week. Viewers can watch the closing arguments via different television networks, such as Court TV, ABC and NBC, which have been providing daily live coverage of the trial.It is unknown how long the closing arguments will last but they are likely to conclude by Monday afternoon, according to Mark Osler, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota's Pioneer Press reported.

Chauvin, who is white, was captured on video kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man said repeatedly "I can't breathe."

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden had spoken with Floyd's family on Monday to "check in with them and also share that the family was in his prayers."

Prosecutors and the defense presented their closing arguments on Monday and Judge Peter Cahill sent the case to the seven-woman five-man jury.

The racially diverse group is being sequestered during deliberations and their identities will not be known until after the trial.

In his final instructions to the jury, the judge noted the gravity of the case, which comes amid heightened tensions fueled by other police killings.

Minneapolis braces for conclusion of George Floyd trial

  Minneapolis braces for conclusion of George Floyd trial 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. 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. © Stephen Maturen Law enforcement and National Guard members outside the Hennepin County Government Center on April 19, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the trial fo Derek Chauvin draws to a close - 'Dangerous' situation -As a deterrent to any potential rioting or

"You must not let bias, prejudice, passion, sympathy or public opinion influence your decision," Cahill said. "You must not consider any consequences or penalties that might follow from your verdict."

Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to demonstrators outside the courthouse where Chauvin is on trial © SCOTT OLSON Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to demonstrators outside the courthouse where Chauvin is on trial

A conviction on any of the charges -- second-degree murder, third-degree murder or manslaughter -- will require the jury to return a unanimous verdict.

Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, faces a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder, the most serious charge.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Civil rights activists, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, pray with the family members of George Floyd during the closing statements of the Derek Chauvin trial. Former police officer Chauvin is being charged with the murder and manslaughter of Floyd, which sparked global protests against racial injustice and police brutality. © Eleonore SENS Civil rights activists, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, pray with the family members of George Floyd during the closing statements of the Derek Chauvin trial. Former police officer Chauvin is being charged with the murder and manslaughter of Floyd, which sparked global protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

Three other former police officers involved in Floyd's arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill are to go on trial later this year.

George Floyd's Brother Reacts to Verdict: 'No Family in History Ever Got This Far'

  George Floyd's Brother Reacts to Verdict: 'No Family in History Ever Got This Far' "This right here is for everyone that's been in this situation, everybody," he told MSNBC after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts."I'm feeling tears of joy, so emotional that no family in history ever got this far," he told MSNBC as he stood beside Rev. Al Sharpton. "You know, to get a guilty charge on all accounts...This right here is for everyone that's been in this situation, everybody.

- National Guard deployed -

Amid fears of potential unrest, National Guard troops have been deployed in Minneapolis and Washington, the nation's capital.

Minneapolis has been the scene of nightly protests since Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot dead in a suburb of the Minnesota city on April 11 by a white policewoman.

Some 400 protesters marched through the city on Monday calling for Chauvin's conviction, chanting: "The world is watching, we are watching, do the right thing."

In Washington, the National Guard said some 250 troops were being deployed "to support local law enforcement" in response to potential demonstrations.

Prosecutors, in closing arguments on Monday, showed excerpts from the harrowing bystander video of Floyd's death that was seen by millions around the world.

"This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video," prosecutor Steve Schleicher told the jury.

"You can believe your eyes," Schleicher said. "It's exactly what you knew, it's what you felt in your gut, it's what you now know in your heart."

The murder that drove America to the brink

  The murder that drove America to the brink Activists vow their march for racial justice is only just beginning, but not everyone is on board.It is a landmark case for police violence against black people, and the verdict marks a significant victory for the activists who have pushed for policing reform: Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

"This wasn't policing, this was murder," Schleicher said. "Nine minutes and 29 seconds of shocking abuse of authority."

Defense attorney Eric Nelson told the jury they need to look at Chauvin's actions "from the perspective of a reasonable police officer."

"He did not purposefully use unlawful force," Nelson said.

He said Floyd's heart disease and drug use were factors in his death and "the state has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt."

Much of the three-week trial involved testimony from medical experts about Floyd's cause of death.

Medical experts for the prosecution said Floyd died from a lack of oxygen from Chauvin's knee on his neck and that drugs were not a factor.

The defense called a retired police officer who said Chauvin's use of force against Floyd was "justified."

Police officers testifying for the prosecution -- including the Minneapolis police chief -- said it was excessive and unnecessary.

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On George Floyd Square, hopes for better days ahead .
With its covering of flowers, candles and stuffed toys, George Floyd Square has long been a place of mourning and remembrance. But on Wednesday people gathered on the Minneapolis street where the Black man was murdered by a white police officer, daring to hope for change less than 24 hours after a guilty verdict was announced. Despite the freezing spring temperatures of the Midwest city, local resident Richard Moody, 64, said he came "to pay myBut on Wednesday people gathered on the Minneapolis street where the Black man was murdered by a white police officer, daring to hope for change less than 24 hours after a guilty verdict was announced.

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