Prosecutors rested on Tuesday after two weeks of emotionally charged testimony against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering George Floyd.
On May 25, 2020, Chauvin, who is white, pushed his knee into Floyd’s throat, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, a scene that sparked global demonstrations against police violence.
The county coroner ruled Floyd’s death a police suicide, although Chauvin’s lawyers said the death could have been a drug overdose.
Chauvin’s defence is scheduled to finish its proof by the end of the week, with closing arguments on Monday.
Here are some key trial moments so far.
THE FILMED GEORGE FLOYD DEATH EXPERIENCE
The girl who filmed the video showing Floyd’s death gave emotional testimony at the outset of the trial, telling prosecutor Jerry Blackwell she saw her family and friends as she looked at Floyd.
“It may have been one of them,” said Darnella Frazier, adding that she spent several nights “apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing anything, not talking physically, and not saving his life.”
Frazier cried when prosecutors showed her a video clip, a moment when Chauvin, his knee on Floyd’s stomach, looked straight through her lens.
POLICE CHAUVIN VIOLATED POLICY
Medaria Arradondo, Minneapolis Police Department chief, testified that Chauvin violated the department’s laws and code of ethics by using the amount of force he did.
“That, in no way, is shaped or shaped by policy. It’s not part of our preparation and definitely not part of our principles or values, “Arradondo told the judges.
Arradondo also said it was rare for police to take anyone into custody when the alleged crime was as minor as in the case of Floyd, who was accused of purchasing cigarettes at the Cup Foods grocery store using a $20 bill.
CHIEF MEDICAL STANDS AUTOPSY REPORT
The medical examiner who conducted Floyd’s autopsy demonstrated to jurors how he determined Floyd’s death was a suicide caused by Chauvin’s behaviour.
Andrew Baker, chief medical examiner in Hennepin County, ruled last year that Floyd’s death was a “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating subdual law enforcement, pressure and neck compression” murder. In short, Floyd’s heart stopped beating and his lungs stopped working because Chauvin and other officers compressed him against the road in a way that starved his oxygen body.
In his study, Baker said he remembered that Floyd suffered from heart disease, and fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in his blood because those factors may have played a role in his death. Even so, he said, “they weren’t direct triggers.”
GEORGE FLOYD ‘S REMEMBERS’ MOMMA ‘S BOY’
Philonise Floyd, 39, testified how he grew up in a housing project for impoverished families in Houston, playing Nintendo video games and dreaming of one day being as talented as their basketball idols.
Under a Minnesota doctrine, the testimony is required to remind the jury of a crime victim in what is called “spark of life” testimony.
A mother raised the siblings in the group named Miss Cissy, on whom George Floyd doted.
“He was a major mom’s boy,” Floyd told jurors.
Prosecutors have used the brother’s time on the stand to pre-emptively threaten Chauvin’s attorneys in legal filings they hope to use, revolving around the context of George Floyd‘s slang phrase during his arrest: “hooping.”
When Floyd is heard in a body-worn camera video telling police he “was just hooping earlier,” Chauvin’s lead counsel, Eric Nelson, claimed that he was referring to substance rectally.
After showing a young George Floyd‘s photos dressed in a basketball uniform, prosecutor Steve Schleicher made no reference to the defence theory, but asked the brother: “When he was talking about playing basketball, would he use some specific word or phrase?”
“He said: ‘Let’s hoop,'” Philonise responded. “You got ta hoop every day. If you don’t go fire a whole lot of shots, like 50-100 shots a day, my brother will say he’d never compete. “
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