US Factbox-Key moments in murder trial of Derek Chauvin
Minneapolis officers line up to reject Chauvin's actions
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parade of Minneapolis police officers rejecting a former officer’s actions in restraining George Floyd continued at his murder trial, including a use-of-force instructor who said officers were coached to “stay away from the neck when possible.” Lt. Johnny Mercil on Tuesday became the latest member of the Minneapolis force to take the stand as part of an effort by prosecutors to dismantle the argument that Derek Chauvin was doing what he was trained to do when he put his knee on George Floyd’s neck last May.
(Reuters) - Closing arguments are expected on Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest.
Here are some of those key moments of the nearly three-week trial:
TEEN WHO FILMED FLOYD'S DEATH DESCRIBES EXPERIENCE
One of the first witnesses called was a teenager who recorded the cellphone video viewed by millions worldwide showing Floyd's death. Darnella Frazier told the jury that when she looked at Floyd, she saw her relatives and friends.
Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial
Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd's death Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger -- a veteran use-of-force trainer, who is testifying as a paid expert witness for the prosecution -- said his review of video evidence in Floyd's arrested indicated that Chauvin was also using a "pain compliance technique" on Floyd's handcuffed left hand.
"That could've been one of them," Frazier said, adding that she has stayed up some nights "apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more."
Frazier cried when prosecutors showed her a frame of the video, a moment when Chauvin, his knee on Floyd’s neck, appeared to look directly into her lens.
FLOYD'S GIRLFRIEND TELLS OF ROMANCE, BATTLE WITH ADDICTION
Early on in the prosecution's case, Floyd's girlfriend Courteney Ross, 45, took the stand where she told the jury about her romance with Floyd.
Through tears, Ross described the day in August of 2017 they met in a Salvation Army homeless shelter lobby, where they prayed and kissed. She told the jury about how they took walks and dined out.
She also testified about how an addiction to painkillers took hold of their life together.
Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd died of a lack of oxygen from the way he was held down by police, a retired forensic pathologist testified Friday at former Officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial. The testimony of Lindsey Thomas, who retired in 2017 from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minneapolis, bolstered the findings of other experts on Thursday who rejected the defense theory that Floyd’s drug use and underlying health problems killed him.
"Addiction, in my opinion, is a lifelong struggle," she said.
POLICE CHIEF SAYS CHAUVIN VIOLATED POLICY
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo opened the second week of the trial with 3-1/2 hours of testimony. He testified that Chauvin, 45, broke the department's rules and ethics code.
"That in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy. It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values," Arradondo told jurors.
Arradondo said it was unusual for police to take someone into custody when the alleged crime was as minor as in the case of Floyd, who was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill at the Cup Foods grocery store.
CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER STANDS BY AUTOPSY REPORT
The second week of the trial ended with testimony from the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Floyd. Andrew Baker explained to jurors how he concluded that the 46-year-old man’s death was a homicide caused by Chauvin's actions.
Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd 's death enters its third week Monday, with the state nearing the end of a case built on searing witness accounts, official rejections of the neck restraint and expert testimony attributing Floyd's death to a lack of oxygen. Derek Chauvin, 45, who is white, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25 death. Police were called to a neighborhood market where Floyd, who was Black, was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit bill.
Baker, Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner, said he ruled Floyd’s death was a homicide caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”
In short, he found that Floyd’s heart stopped beating and his lungs stopped working because Chauvin and other officers compressed him against the road in a way that starved his body of oxygen.
GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER REMEMBERS 'MOMMA'S BOY'
The prosecution ended its case by calling Philonise Floyd, 39, who described growing up with his older brother and three other siblings in a housing project in Houston, playing video games and dreaming about basketball.
The testimony was allowed under a Minnesota doctrine that lets loved ones reminisce to the jury about a crime victim in what is called "spark of life" testimony.
The siblings were raised by a mother everyone in the community called Miss Cissy and who George Floyd doted on.
"He was a big momma's boy," Philonise Floyd told jurors.
DEFENSE OPENS CASE, CALLS RETIRED POLICE OFFICER
Lawyers for Chauvin began presenting their case at the start of the third week of testimony by calling to the stand a now-retired officer who pulled over a car in which Floyd was a passenger in 2019 - a year before his deadly encounter with Chauvin.
EXPLAINER: Judge lets jury decide Floyd's remark about drugs
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The judge overseeing the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of George Floyd said Monday that he'll leave it up to the jury to sort out whether Floyd yelled “I ate too many drugs” or “I ain’t do no drugs” as three officers pinned him to the ground. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill made the ruling as attorneys argued over whether to allow the testimony of a use-of-force expert for the prosecution, Seth Stoughton, a professor at the University of South Carolina Law School. Prosecutors wanted him to testify from an academic perspective on whether Chauvin used reasonable force and about national policing standards.
"The passenger was unresponsive and noncompliant to my commands," Scott Creighton told the jury, describing Floyd as nervous and anxious during the tense encounter. "I then had to reach in to him because I wanted to see his hands."
The testimony, accompanied by body camera video of the incident, was intended to show the jury what effects the ingestion of opioids may have had on Floyd.
DEFENSE MEDICAL EXPERT REFUTES MEDICAL EXAMINER FINDINGS
Chauvin's legal team called their own medical expert to the stand. Dr. David Fowler, who was Maryland's chief medical examiner until his retirement in 2019, testified that Floyd's death was the result of heart disease making his heart beat erratically.
"The more the individual is stressed, both physically and in other ways, the more the demand on the heart is going to increase," he said.
Fowler also told the jury he believed exhaust fumes from a police car near where Chauvin pinned Floyd to the road may have contributed to the death. Fowler appeared to dispute at least some of what was found by Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner.
USE OF FORCE EXPERT TELLS JURY CHAUVIN WAS JUSTIFIED
Defense attorneys called an expert witness who testified that Chauvin was justified and reasonable in his use of force during Floyd's arrest, contradicting several prosecution witnesses.
Barry Brodd, a private consultant in the use of force by law enforcement, said Chauvin was following his training, given that he was dealing with a tense and fluid situation.
“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, and was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement, in his interactions with Mr. Floyd,” he said.
CHAUVIN WAIVES RIGHT TO TESTIFY
Chauvin waived his right to testify to the jury.
"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today," Chauvin said in a hearing before the jury was brought in after briefly removing his mask, referring to the constitutional right against self-incrimination.
(Compiled by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
EXPLAINER: Ex-officer on trial for Floyd death won't testify .
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death said Thursday that he won't testify in his own defense, invoking his right to remain silent and leave the burden of proof on the state. It was a high-stakes decision. Taking the stand could have helped humanize Derek Chauvin to jurors who haven't heard from him directly at trial, but it could also have opened him up to a devastating cross-examination.