Jury deliberations begin after closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial

Still from video footage posted on Facebook showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd

The defense called a retired police officer who said Chauvin's use of force against Floyd was "justified".

It has been rare to charge police with crimes in the death of civilians, and winning a conviction is harder in part because juries are often reluctant to second guess an officer's split-second decisions.

"There are things that a police officer is entitled to take into consideration above and beyond the facts: the training that they receive, their experience as a police officer, their department's policies on use of force, and all of these things kind of lead into the question of, most critically, what are the facts that were known to a reasonable police officer at the precise moment before force was used?"

He defended the actions of Chauvin and the other officers who held Floyd down on the ground.

The fate of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of killing George Floyd, is now in the hands of jurors.

"It's exactly what you saw with your eyes". It's what you now know in your heart.

Medical experts for the prosecution said Floyd died from a lack of oxygen from Chauvin's knee on his neck and that drugs were not a factor.

"Even a 9-year-old little girl knows it - get off him", Mr Blackwell said.

A retired forensic pathologist called by the defense said Floyd died of cardiac arrest brought on by heart disease and fentanyl and methamphetamine.

"They're trying to convince you that Mr. Floyd's heart disease played no role", he said.

George Floyd is being worked on in the ambulance to try to start his heart after it was determined that he was in cardiac arrest
Calls for racial justice and police reform have intensified Credit Pool /Shutterstock

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson countered by arguing that Chauvin did what any "reasonable" police officer would have done after finding himself in a "dynamic" and "fluid" situation involving a large man struggling with three officers.

Wright's killing triggered several nights of protests in Minneapolis, and ahead of a verdict in Chauvin's case National Guard troops have been deployed in the Minnesota city where shop windows have been boarded up as a precaution.

Judge Peter Cahill has ordered the 12-member jury to be sequestered for deliberations.

The judge told Chauvin's lawyer: "Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned".

"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law, or to the judicial branch in our function", he later added.

"I hope that we are going to get a verdict that will say, guilty, guilty, guilty", Waters said.

"We can not allow civil unrest to descend into chaos". "But we also must understand very clearly, if we don't listen to those communities in pain and those people on the streets, many of whom were arrested for speaking a fundamental truth that we must change, or we will be right back here again". We get more active, we've got to get more confrontational.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said they are not sure.

The trial has been broadcast live by TV networks in the United States since the more than 40 witnesses took the stand beginning three weeks ago, though the coverage was sometimes interrupted by fresh episodes of police violence caught on camera.


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