Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer, used an “unreasonable force” and killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he should be found guilty on all charges, state prosecutor, Jerry Blackwell, told the jury in closing arguments on Monday.
“There is not two sides of the story to the simple fact that Chauvin used unreasonable force,” Blackwell said, countering arguments from the defense that Floyd was likely killed by drug in in his system and a bad heart, and that there are many sides to one story.
During the closing arguments of the Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd, state prosecutor Steve Schleicher encouraged the jury to trust their eyes. “Believe common sense, not nonsense,” Schleicher said.
“For murder in the second degree, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused the death of the victim,” explained Schleicher to the jury. “The fact that other causes may have contributed to George Floyd’s death does not relieve the defendant of any criminal liability.”
Defense attorney Eric Nelson urged the jury to focus on claims that Floyd likely died from an overdose and not from the weight of the defendant, ex-officer Derek Chauvin.
After Floyd was arrested and handcuffed, he appeared to be struggling briefly with police officers to get him into the back of the police car, which was very small. When officer Chauvin came onto the scene, he got Floyd onto the ground, face down, in handcuffs, and in the prone position.
Using testimonies from medical experts and police officers, the prosecution was able to establish that the prone position is a transitory position, and not a position to be in for an extended time because of the stress it puts on the respiratory system.
The defendant placed the full weight of his knee onto the neck and upper shoulder area of Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, long after Floyd lost consciousness, and even when EMS arrived.
The medical examiner linked Floyd’s death to asphyxiation, not a drug overdose.
The prosecution said Chauvin is a bad example to the police and should be convicted on all charges.