George Floyd trial updates LIVE – Derek Chauvin refuses to testify as defense team rests their case – latest

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FORMER Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will not testify to the jury at his murder trial for the deadly arrest of George Floyd, he told the court on Thursday.

The 45-year-old has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.

Floyd died last May following an arrest during which Chauvin placed a knee on his neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

Caught on video, those tragic final moments led to widespread protests and riots across the US against police brutality and racism.

Chauvin, along with three other police officers present during the fatal arrest, was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the day after the death.

Almost 40 witnesses have been called to the stand in recent weeks, including the Minneapolis police chief and other officers who have openly condemned Chauvin’s actions.

But speaking in court for the first time since his trial began, Chauvin told Judge Peter Cahill on Thursday that he has decided not to testify in his own defense.

"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today," Chauvin said after briefly removing his mask, referring to the constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Judge Peter Cahill questioned Chauvin about his decision, asking if he was pressured in any way in making it.

"No promises or threats, your honor," Chauvin said.

Read our Derek Chauvin trial live blog for the latest on George Floyd's killing...

PASTOR: CHAUVIN SHOULD BE 'PUT UNDER THE JAIL'

Pro-police pastor Pat Robertson said Thursday Derek Chauvin should be put "under the jail" for the death of George Floyd.

Robertson, a leading evangelical preacher, slammed Chauvin and the "onslaught" of police violence following the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, near Minneapolis.

The 91-year-old said: "I am pro-police, folks. I think we need the police, we need their service and they do a good job. But … they cannot do this."

"Derek Chauvin, I mean, they oughta put him under the jail.

"He has caused so much trouble by kneeling on the [neck] of George Floyd … it's just terrible what's happening.

"And the police, why don't they open their eyes to what the public relations are? We've got to stop this stuff."

PROSECUTORS 'MET BURDEN OF PROOF'

Prosecutors in the Derek Chauvin murder trial have "met the burden of proof" to convict the former cop of the murder of George Floyd, according to Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett.

In an opinion article published on Friday, Jarrett claims that defending Chauvin has been a "futile and fatuous endeavour".

He writes: "By declining to take the witness stand to defend himself, the former police officer surely knew that he could not possibly explain the inexplicable, nor justify the unjustifiable nature of his own conduct in the killing of George Floyd.

"The many witnesses against the accused were compelling.

"But most of all, the video evidence supporting his guilt was overwhelming."

'I WALK WITH FLOYD'

Morries Lester Hall is a key witness in the trial against former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin who killed his friend George Floyd.

He was in the car with Floyd at the time of his arrest in 2020 and insisted that Floyd did not resist arrest before he was taken out of his car.

Hall, 42, told the New York Times that the pair met in Houston and that he looked up to Floyd as a friend and mentor.

At the time of his arrest by police officers Lane and Keung, Hall was in the passenger seat of the same blue Mercedes SUV as Floyd. Cops were prompted to arrest Floyd after he was accused of purchasing cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.

Morries Lester Hall was in the car with Floyd at the time of his arrest

Morries Lester Hall was in the car with Floyd at the time of his arrest

FLOYD’S FAMILY PLEDGE SUPPORT TO DAUNTE WRIGHT’S FAMILY

In a press conference staged outside the courthouse where Chauvin is on trial, family members of George Floyd pledged their support to the family of Daunte Wright, who was shot dead by police during a traffic stop on Sunday.

Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, extended his family’s condolences to Wright’s during a press conference on Tuesday.

“We will stand in support with you all,” he said. “We will fight for justice for this family, just like we’re fighting for our brother. Please pray for this family.”

DOCTOR’S TESTIMONY

Dr Wankhede Langenfeld, the doctor who tried to save Floyd for about 30 minutes before he was pronounced dead, also testified saying he believes the 46-year-old’s cause of death was a lack of oxygen.

During a cross-examination, Dr Langenfeld said that asphyxia can be caused by a number of factors, including drug use.

How Floyd died will play a key role in the trial, as a toxicology report did find methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system.

Dr Wankhede Langenfeld tried to save George Floyd

Dr Wankhede Langenfeld tried to save George Floyd

MOST CHARGES AGAINST GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTERS DROPPED

Most charges against George Floyd protesters were ultimately dropped, new analysis has shown.

Some prosecutors and law enforcement observers charge that departments carried out mass arrests as a crowd control tactic, The Guardian reports.

Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project, said: “It sends a message that you might get arrested if you express your views and first amendment rights.

“Police absolutely should not be relying on mass arrests to control a crowd or silence people who they disagree with.”

NEW FOCUS PUT ON USE-OF-FORCE TRAINING

As the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues, a spotlight is being put on law enforcement training.

Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, opened the trial by telling jurors that the neck restraint he used on Floyd was “exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career,” ABC news reported.

However, a number of law enforcement officials from Chauvin’s former department seemed to disagree.

Retired Minneapolis Police Department Sgt. David Pleoger — Chauvin’s supervisor at the time of Floyd’s death — testified that “when Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint.”

CHAUVIN WILL NOT TESTIFY

Chauvin spoke for the first time at the trial on Thursday, April 15 to say he will not testify and invoked his Fifth Amendment right.

"Is this your decision not to testify?" Judge Peter Cahill asked Chauvin.

"It is, your honor," Chauvin told the judge.

'A MISTAKE'

Defense lawyer Mike Padden, who is not involved in the trial, told the Star Tribune that Chauvin must testify.

He said: "It'll be a mistake if he doesn't.

"The jury needs to hear from him, that's the bottom line."

WHAT DID FLOYD’S AUTOPSY RESULTS SHOW?

George Floyd‘s cause of death was classified as a homicide by a medical examiner who ran an independent autopsy on June 1, 2020.

He said his heart stopped while police restrained him and compressed his neck for almost nine minutes.

The cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression,” according to the official information from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

It determined: “[Floyd] experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).”

The office also listed heart disease and hypertension under Floyd’s “other significant conditions”.

PINNED DOWN

A police use of force expert has claimed that George Floyd "wasn't actively resisting arrest" and the crowd was "not a threat" to Derek Chauvin when the ex-cop kneeled on his neck.

LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger told Chauvin's murder trial on Wednesday that the former Minneapolis police officer used “deadly force” at a time when "no force" should have been used.

He added that the manner in which Chauvin, 45, was placing his knee on Floyd could cause “positional asphyxia, which could cause death.”

"Just being in this position and being in handcuffs can cause death," Stiger said of the way in which 46-year-old Floyd was placed on his stomach on the ground.

"Add body weight to that and it can cause death."

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Stiger said Chauvin's position could cause 'positional asphyxia, which could cause death'

Stiger said Chauvin's position could cause 'positional asphyxia, which could cause death'

DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL IS IN ITS THIRD WEEK

The trial is currently in its third week, and the jury have heard from a number of notable witnesses so far, including Minneapolis police chief Madaria Arradondo, the paramedics who responded to the scene and George Floyd's girlfriend.

Arradondo's testimony was especially shocking, as the police chief said the Chauvin "absolutely" failed to follow department policies when he knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

"I absolutely agree that violates our policy," Chief Arrandondo said when asked about Chauvin's tactics by the prosecutor.

FLOYD 'KNEW HOW TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL BETTER'

George Floyd's brother added: "He would lay up onto her in the fetus position like he was still in the womb. Being around him, he showed us how to treat out mom and how to respect our mom. He just -- he loved her so dearly."

He went on to call George "a leader to us in the household," and spoke about how he would take care of his siblings and make them snacks.

He "just knew how to make people feel better," the younger Floyd said.

GEORGE FLOYD WAS A 'MAMA'S BOY'

George Floyd's younger brother gave emotional testimony, calling him a "mama's boy" as prosecution wrapped in Derek Chauvin's trial.

Philonise Floyd, 39, got choked up during Monday's testimony, as the court saw a photo of him and his brother as kids with their mom.

"That's my mother," Floyd said. "She's not with us right now. That's my oldest brother George - I miss both of them."

The younger Floyd recalled how his brother taught him how to respect, and the special relationship he had with their mother.

"He was a big mama's boy," he said. "It was so unique how they were with each other."

NEW VIDEO

A new video of George Floyd telling police “I don’t want to be shot” during a 2019 arrest has been shown at Derek Chauvin's murder trial this week.

Lawyers showed the video as part of their defense in showing Floyd’s history of feigning medical distress and swallowing drugs when confronted by cops.   

The confronting footage was presented to the court on Tuesday morning.

Derek Chauvin's lawyers show vid of George Floyd 'feigning medical distress and swallowing pills' during 2019 arrest

TRAGIC LINK

George Floyd's girlfriend was once Daunte Wright's teacher, the tragic 20-year-old's family have revealed.

The two men were both killed at the hands of cops just 10 miles apart, and Wright's aunt has now told of the more personal link between the pair.

Daunte Wright was shot and killed by senior Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter in Minnesota shortly before 2pm on Sunday during a routine traffic stop.

The young black man was shot just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed last summer, leading to an outpouring of anger from the community.

You can read more here

'I PLEAD THE FIFTH'

"Pleading the Fifth" is a colloquial term often used to invoke the self-incrimination clause when witnesses decline to answer questions where the answers might incriminate them.

The Fifth Amendment reads: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia.

"When in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

HOW LONG IS CHAUVIN FACING IN PRISON, IF CONVICTED?

Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Each of the charges are considered to be separate, meaning the 45-year-old could be convicted of all of them, some of them, or none of them.

The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison; the third-degree murder charge 25 years; and second-degree manslaughter 10 years,

This means if Chauvin is indeed found guilty of all counts, he could receive a prison sentence of up to 75 years.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin watches a screen showing video of the scene outside Cup Foods

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin watches a screen showing video of the scene outside Cup FoodsCredit: Reuters

GAS THEORY

Carbon monoxide from a cop car's exhaust may have contributed to George Floyd's death, a forensic pathologist has said.

Dr. David Fowler claimed that the gas may have played a role in Floyd's death as he was pinned to the ground next to the car.

The former chief medical examiner of Maryland shared his conclusion that Floyd's death should never have been ruled a homicide because there were too many competing potential causes of death.

One of those causes that Dr. Fowler presented was Floyd's exposure to exhaust fumes from the police car while he was being arrested last May - which could have caused some degree of carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, during cross-examination by attorney Jerry Blackwell, Dr. Fowler was forced to admit that he did not have concrete evidence to support his theory.

More on the story here

PASTOR: CHAUVIN SHOULD BE 'PUT UNDER THE JAIL'

Pastor Pat Robertson said Thursday Derek Chauvin should be "put under the jail" for the death of George Floyd.

The evangelical Christian slammed Chauvin and what he described as the "onslaught" of police violence - citing the police shooting death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday.

The 91-year-old said: "I am pro-police, folks. I think we need the police, we need their service and they do a good job.

"But … they cannot do this.

"Derek Chauvin, I mean, they oughta put him under the jail. He has caused so much trouble by kneeling on the [neck] of George Floyd … it's just terrible what's happening.

"And the police, why don't they open their eyes to what the public relations are? We've got to stop this stuff."

PROSECUTORS 'MET BURDEN OF PROOF'

Prosecutors in the Derek Chauvin murder trial have "met the burden of proof" to convict the former cop of the murder of George Floyd, according to Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett.

In an opinion article published on Friday, Jarrett claims that defending Chauvin has been a "futile and fatuous endeavour".

He writes: "By declining to take the witness stand to defend himself, the former police officer surely knew that he could not possibly explain the inexplicable, nor justify the unjustifiable nature of his own conduct in the killing of George Floyd.

"The many witnesses against the accused were compelling.

"But most of all, the video evidence supporting his guilt was overwhelming."

He adds: "In this case, the great weight of the evidence favors the prosecution.

"It has sustained the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that what Derek Chauvin did was not only wrong but criminal."

WHAT HAPPENS IF CHAUVIN IS CLEARED?

On Monday morning, both the prosecution and the defense will give their closing arguments and the jury will begin deliberations.

But what will happen if he's cleared, and what will happen if he's found guilty?

Attorney Joe Tamburino told WCCO4 that if he is convicted, Chauvin will go "right from the courtroom, he will go to jail and he will be held in jail until sentencing.

"If there is a prison sentence, which of course there would be, he would go to prison."

If Chauvin is acquitted he still could face federal criminal civil rights charges.

A grand jury has been meeting to consider those charges, and if he were to be charged and convicted in federal court, that sentence could be up to life in prison.

But in the immediate aftermath of an acquittal on all charges, the former cop will walk out of court a free man.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF CHAUVIN’S TRIAL?

While jurors were told by Judge Peter Cahill to “anticipate a long” deliberation period, but “hope” for a short one, there are a number of ways Chauvin’s case could come to a close.

Chauvin in facing three separate charges for the death of George Floyd: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The jury will be instructed to consider each charge and verdict separately.

Therefore, Chauvin could be found guilty of one charge but be acquitted of the others. He could also be found guilty or acquitted of all three.

None of the charges prosecutors chose to levy against Chauvin require them to prove that he intended to kill Floyd.

But the jury has to consider all these charges under the further complication of the lawful standard for police use of force, which must be “objectively reasonable” for another officer in the same situation.

NYPD HAS SPENT NEARLY A YEAR PREPARING FOR POST-VERDICT PROTESTS

New York Police Department officials have been preparing for nearly a year for possible protests after the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial.

Such measures include training officers, reviewing tactics and performing tabletop exercises.

Like many major cities across the US, the Big Apple experienced week-long protests, riots and looting.

"We’ve certainly been preparing," Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters on Thursday.

"We certainly have a tough week or two up ahead," he said. "A lot is going to obviously hinge on the outcome in Minneapolis."

Shea said the city’s 35,000 cops began training for possible protests in May or June of last year.

"But I think, you know, when we like everyone else, like the whole country, whether you’re in law enforcement or not, is kind of watching with bated breath to what comes out of that trial.

"I certainly hope justice is [served]. But we have to be prepared for anything in the law enforcement world."

PHILADELPHIA BRACES FOR PROTESTS

Philadelphia city leaders acknowledged past mistakes and promised a higher standard while laying out a plan for potential protests following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.

Protests were held across the city after George Floyd's death on Memorial Day, 2020, including one high-profile incident in which police used tear gas on protesters marching on an interstate.

"We should have never used tear gas," Mayor Jim Kenney said Friday. "I'm committed to making sure that we learn from our mistakes, demonstrate accountability, and hold ourselves to a higher standard."

Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the police department is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of protesters, but said "unlawful behavior will not be tolerated".

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says the city is “prepared for any possible civil unrest that may unfold in the wake of the Chauvin verdict.”

Closing arguments in the trial are set for Monday. pic.twitter.com/HK8jWBc38B

— The Recount (@therecount) April 16, 2021
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