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Judge Refuses Request to Acquit Chauvin in Floyd’s Death

todayApril 16, 2021 2

Background
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Judge Peter Cahill denied the defense’s request to acquit former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Cahill rejected allegations that the prosecutors did not prove Chauvin actually killed George Floyd.

What We Know:

  • On Wednesday, Chavin’s attorney Eric Nelson stated the prosecution’s expert witnesses had different views on the cause of Floyd’s death. He held that the state failed to confirm the application of reasonable force. After 11 days, the prosecution rested its own case on Monday.
  • Prosecutor  Steve Schleicher countered this statement. He said the state already determine Chauvin used unreasonable force. Further, it introduced evidence that “clearly established” that a factor in Floyd’s death was Chauvin’s conduct.
  • Previously, Nelson argued that Chauvin clearly conducted his law enforcement duties. He also contended that Floyd died from underlying health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, and illegal drug use of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
  • Nelson asked for the acquittal on Tuesday, the second day of the defense’s case. The request came while it was still unsure if Chauvin would take the stand. However, on Thursday, Chauvin declared he would invoke the Fifth Amendment. He cited he would protect himself from self-incrimination. Before this announcement, the Associated Press (AP) wrote that testifying may have resulted in vigorous cross-examination; prosecutors might have also replayed the video of Floyd’s arrest and continued asking why he kept pressing down on the victim in each freeze-frame. The AP also reports it may have allowed the jury to see remorse or sympathy in Chauvin. Moreover, it would have allowed him to take off his mask and expose his face while at the defense table.
  • Nelson called in a use-of-force expert to challenge the basis of the case. Barry Brodd, a former officer of Santa Rosa, California, defended Chauvin’s actions. Brodd justified the Minneapolis policeman’s pinning of Floyd. He stated the situation might have gone smoother if Floyd stopped fighting and “resisted comfortably” on the pavement. Although this upset prosecutors, with one “banging the lectern at one point during cross-examination and growing incredulous,” Brodd maintained his stance.

“It’s more of a challenge to, again, put yourself in the officer’s shoes to try to make an evaluation through what they’re feeling, what they’re sensing, the fear they have, and then make a determination,” said Brodd.

  • In addition, Brodd does not believe Chauvin and the officers used excessive force when officers held Floyd down with handcuffs and Chauvin’s knee on his neck. He compared it to a situation in which law enforcement agents use a Taser on someone, and they hit their head and die. Despite this, other Minneapolis police officials agreed Chauvin applied excessive force and violated his training. Medical experts have also certified that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to the manner of restraint. The only authority who has contradicted this was Dr. Andrew Baker, the chief county medical examiner. He did not identify asphyxia as Floyd’s cause of death. Instead, Baker stated Floyd had an enlarged heart and severe underlying heart disease. Because of this, his heart could not sustain the force.
  • Brodd also told the defense that the bystanders yelling at Chauvin complicated the circumstances because it may have caused the officers at the scene to believe the crowd was also a threat.  Brodd appeared to endorse the misconception that if someone can talk, he or she can also breathe. He added that it is a reasonable assumption.

The AP reports that acquittal appeals are normally made mid-trial. Although, these pleas are usually denied. Law officials have been strict on Chauvin’s team throughout the entirety of this case. For example, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied a petition last month to review a state appellate court’s decision to charge Derek Chauvin for third-degree murder. Closing arguments for Chauvin’s trial are set to take place Monday, and it seems justice may be served for Floyd.

The post Judge Refuses Request to Acquit Chauvin in Floyd’s Death appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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