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US Army preparing to approve DC request for National Guard ahead of verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

04:10  20 april  2021
04:10  20 april  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death

  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.

The DC National Guard said Monday that the US Army has approved the call-up of 250 members of the DC National Guard, as the nation's capital braces for potential protests and unrest ahead of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis.

a person in a military uniform: Members of the National Guard gather outside the US. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, March 4, 2021. © Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images Members of the National Guard gather outside the US. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

The Guardsmen will support the DC Metropolitan Police Department with traffic management and safety at downtown public transportation stations, as well establish a quick reaction force in the event of larger protests.

EXPLAINER: Prosecution explores Floyd's 'spark of life'

  EXPLAINER: Prosecution explores Floyd's 'spark of life' MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors trying a white former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death put one of Floyd’s brothers on the witness stand Monday in a further effort to humanize him for the jury and counter the defense narrative that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death due to his use of illegal drugs. Philonise Floyd, who has frequently occupied the Floyd family's sole seat in the socially distanced courtroom, was allowed to testify under a legal doctrine called “spark of life.

The DC National Guard is approved to continue supporting law enforcement until May 9, the guard said in its statement.

The move comes amid nationwide tensions after recent police killings of Americans of color and while cities brace for more protests and potential unrest as the Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd nears a close. DC officials told reporters on Monday that they had requested National Guard assistance to help secure the District and acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley had been scheduled to meet with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday afternoon regarding the request, an administration official told CNN.

The final numbers of guard forces to be approved were expected to be settled Monday when Whitley met with Bowser. The official emphasized earlier Monday that final details of a deployment were still being discussed.

Defense set to take turn in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death

  Defense set to take turn in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death was set to start presenting its case Tuesday, following 11 days of a prosecution narrative that combined wrenching video with clinical analysis by medical and use-of-force experts to condemn Derek Chauvin's actions. Prosecutors called their final witnesses Monday, leaving only some administrative matters before they were expected to rest Tuesday. Once the defense takes over, Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd's drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin's actions, that killed him.

"The Army is reviewing a request from the Washington, DC, city government for the District of Columbia National Guard to provide support to the Metropolitan Police Department during anticipated upcoming First Amendment demonstrations," an Army official told CNN. The official noted the precise wording of the formally approved statement does not reference the Chauvin trial but said that is what the statement is referring to.

The Pentagon acknowledged later Monday the request for National Guard assistance, with chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby saying that "there is a request that the Army is looking at right now," but declining to provide additional details.

Under the laws governing the DC National Guard, the President retains authority to deploy the Guard. That authority is currently granted to the Army.

The request was made in a letter on April 8 from DC's Director of Homeland Security, Dr. Christopher Rodriguez, to the DC National Guard commander, Maj. Gen. William Walker. It did not state how many total National Guardsmen were being requested but said that the bulk of them will be broken up into six "crowd management teams" at various metro stations and others "to assist at thirty designated traffic posts."

EXPLAINER: Ex-officer on trial for Floyd death won't testify

  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.

"The mission of the DCNG during this activation will primarily be crowd management, 'Quick Response Force' (QRF) and to assist with blocking vehicles at traffic posts," Rodriguez writes. The QRF would be staged at the DC armory "with the ability to respond within thirty minutes to a request for assistance."

Rodriguez on Monday called the request "precautionary" and said they've asked for National Guard to support the DC Metropolitan Police Department with traffic management and security at downtown public transportation stations, as well as a quick reaction force of guardsmen to be deployed in the event of "large-scale protests."

He said, if the request is approved, the assisting guardsmen will not be armed, noting that only the President can sign off on arming the DC National Guard.

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

DOJ weighs charging Chauvin for 2017 incident involving Black teen: Source .
Federal investigators probing Derek Chauvin's use of force against George Floyd are also weighing charging him for a 2017 incident involving a Black teen, a source said. The videos, from Sept. 4, 2017, allegedly showed Chauvin striking a Black teenager in the head so hard that the boy needed stitches, then allegedly holding the boy down with his knee for nearly 17 minutes, and allegedly ignoring complaints from the boy that he couldn't breathe.

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