“This wasn’t policing, this was murder”: prosecution delivers emotional closing argument in trial of Derek Chauvin charged with killing George Floyd

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer, killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and he should be convicted for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, the prosecution said in an emotional closing argument on Monday.

The death of George Floyd has sparked months of protests against racial injustice across the US and the world [File: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo] 
The death of George Floyd has sparked months of protests against racial injustice across the US and the world [File: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo]

“This wasn’t policing, this was murder,” said Steve Schleider, who presented a closing argument on behalf of the prosecution.

Schleider started his closing arguments by displaying the picture of George Floyd as a baby in the hands of his mother, a powerful picture that invoked feelings of sympathy.

The prosecution argued that Chauvin’s use of force was not reasonable or professional. It was also excessive, and violated the policy and the law.

“This is not an anti-police prosecution, it’s a pro-police prosecution,” the prosecution said, discarding the claim that the trial of Derek Chauvin was the prosecution of the entire police force.

What police officers said in trial of Derek Chauvin 

The world turned to the United States of America on Monday morning as the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of killing George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, was set to come to an end.

Derek Chauvin and Kellie Chauvin 
Derek Chauvin and Kellie Chauvin

The prosecution delivered its closing arguments on Monday after resting their cases on Friday, following three weeks of expert opinions and emotional testimonies, giving both sides one final opportunity to win the jurors over. And it may just take a few hours or days to reach a verdict on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The second-degree unintentional murder charge has a maximum sentence of 40 years behind bars, the third-degree murder charge attracts a maximum sentence of 25 years behind bars, and the third-degree manslaughter charge could put Chauvin behind bars for a maximum of 10 years with an option of a $20,000 fine without jail time.

“If I were you, I would plan for long and hope for short,” Judge Peter Cahill told the jurors on Friday to prepare for a lengthy deliberation as they left for the weekend.

Cahill said it was up to the jury how long they wish to deliberate, “how long you need to come to a unanimous decision on any count.”

For the prosecution, Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck led to his death. Prosecutors relied on medical experts, video footage and eyewitness account to build their case against Chauvin.

Current Police officers, including Chauvin’s own bosses before his dismissal, testified that he used an excessive force when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds even as Floyd had his hands cuffed behind his back, was in prone position and repeatedly said he could not breathe.

Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who ruled Chauvin’s death a homicide, said he did not believe the drugs in Floyd’s system caused his death.

“In my opinion, the law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take, by virtue of those heart conditions,” Baker told the court during his testimony.

The defense argued that Chauvin’s history of drug use and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning from the squad car exhaust were to blame, an attempt to sow doubt in the mind of the jurors who must render a unanimous decision on each charge.

The defense argued that “Mr. Floyd died of a cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, his coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body.”

World’s renowned pulmonologist Martin Tobin whose book has been described as the “bible of mechanical ventilation” testified that Mr. Floyd died of low lever of oxygen caused by the knee on the neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

Martin Tobin 
Dr. Martin Tobin

Dr. Tobin, who was seen as one of the most compelling witnesses rejected the claims that carbon monoxide could have killed Floyd, arguing that Floyd had a carbon monoxide level below 2 percent, which falls within the normal range of between 0 and 3 percent for all human beings.

The trial of Derek Chauvin is coming to an end amid protests over the killings of other African American men at the ends of police.

Just about 10 miles from where Floyd was killed last year, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African American man was killed over a week ago by Kim Potter, a female police officer who claimed she mistook her taser for her gun following a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis.

Freedom Fighter Philomena Wankenge holds her hand in the air during a rally on Capitol Hill as ctivists lay face down during a rally on Capitol Hill, for more than eight minutes symbolizing the amount of time George Floyd was pinned under the knee of a former police officer in Minneapolis when he was killed. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. During an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American police officer, kept his knee on the side of Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down. During the last three minutes, Floyd was motionless. After Floyd's death, demonstrations and protests against racism and police brutality were held across the US and the world, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the movement and gathering restrictions put in place by governments to prevent the spread of the coronavirus 
Freedom Fighter Philomena Wankenge holds her hand in the air during a rally on Capitol Hill as ctivists lay face down during a rally on Capitol Hill, for more than eight minutes symbolizing the amount of time George Floyd was pinned under the knee of a former police officer in Minneapolis when he was killed.

Those protests are continuing to grow as the world awaits the verdict on George Floyd’s death. They are likely to grow louder if the former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Show More
error: Alert: Share This Content !!

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker