Friday, June 25, 2021

George Floyd case: US city of of Minneapolis on edge as jury deliberates Chauvin verdict

The jury has retired to weigh up its verdict in the George Floyd death case, in which former police officer Derek Chauvin is being tried for murder charges. Security has been ramped up around the court building in the US city of Minneapolis in anticipation of unrest. National Guard troops are positioned along busy routes throughout the city.

Closing arguments on the case were heard last night, when the prosecutor said in his closing remarks that it was murder. He summarised the state’s succinct position that Chauvin used excessive force when he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May, which was not part of his training.

The defence lawyer argued that Chauvin had correctly followed police training. He cited Floyd’s pre-existing health issues and drug use as the real cause of death.

Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man, was accused of using a counterfeit 20 dollar bill to buy cigarettes, when he was held by the police.

Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Once arguments close, the jury will be sequestered and decide the verdicts on these charges.

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