21:54 GMT12 May 2021
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    On 25 May 2020, then-police officer Chauvin kneeled on the neck of African American man George Floyd for over eight minutes during an arrest, despite the latter's pleas he could not breathe. Floyd died and Chauvin was later fired and charged with second-degree murder.

    Sputnik is live from Minneapolis, Minnesota where Hennepin County Courthouse is hearing the closing arguments in the judicial process over Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of killing George Floyd.

    Last week, Chauvin refused to testify as per his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Previously, a forensic pathologist representing the defence surmised that Floyd had died of a sudden heart rhythm disturbance owing to heart disease. Prosecutors insist that Floyd succumbed to a lack of oxygen.

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    • 01:47

      Jury in Chauvin's Trial Retires for the Night, Deliberations Set to Resume on Tuesday

      According to the Hennepin County Court, deliberations ended at 8 p.m. local time on Monday (01:00 GMT on Tuesday). The 12-juror panel will resume deliberations on Tuesday morning, at 9:00 a.m. local time (14:00 GMT), according to Fox News.

    • 01:28

      Demonstrators Marching in Minneapolis as Chauvin Trial Nears End - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Protesters went out into the streets of Minneapolis on Monday amid the trial of the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd, KARE 11 reports.

      Demonstrators were marching through downtown Minneapolis on Monday, calling for justice for Floyd. A church was also reportedly on fire in northeast Minneapolis.

    • 21:00

      Jury Retires to Begin Deliberations in Derek Chauvin's Trial

      "Now members of the jury, the case is in your hands,"  Judge Peter Cahill said on Monday. "I'm certain that you realize this case is important and serious and therefore deserves your careful consideration."

    • 20:46

      Pentagon Reviewing National Guard Request From Washington Mayor

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby confirmed on Monday that the mayor of Washington, DC has requested the Defense Department to authorize the deployment of National Guard troops to the nation's capital.

      "On the [Washington] DC Guard request, I know that there is a request that the Army is looking at right now," Kirby said in a press briefing.

      Kirby said details of the request will be available if the deployment is authorized.

      Earlier on Monday, Mayor Muriel Bowser said she requested assistance from the National Guard ahead of the conclusion of the court trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd last May.

    • 19:54

      Washington, DC Requests National Guard Assistance Ahead of Chauvin Trial Verdict – Mayor

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Washington, DC authorities have requested assistance from National Guard ahead of the conclusion of the court trial of Derek Chauvin in Minnesota, national capital Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters on Monday.

      “We continue to hope that justice prevails in that trial. We also want to stay focused in our city on making sure that everyone is safe, so we have a request in to the guard,” Bowser said during a press briefing.

      Washington, DC authorities "have been coordinating and preparing for several weeks" for possible unrest, Bowser said. Metropolitan Police chief Robert Contee put officers force on 12-hour shifts, she added.

      DC director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Christopher Rodriguez, has underscored that the National Guard members will not be armed.

      The assistance requested at traffic locations downtown and for some metro stations, he added.

    • 18:41

      Defence Says Prosecution Failed to Prove Officer Chauvin’s Guilt Beyond Reasonable Doubt

      The defence for former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin said on Monday that the prosecution failed to meet the "beyond a reasonable doubt" criteria in its effort to prove the his guilt in the death of George Floyd in police custody.

      Both sides are presenting their final arguments before the jury passes a verdict over last year’s incident that sparked a nationwide wave of protests against a racially motivated police brutality.

      "I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt", lawyer Eric Nelson said.

      Nelson challenged both arguments put forth by the prosecution that Floyd died of oxygen deprivation and that Chauvin used unreasonable level of force in violation of police instructions.

      Nelson argued that asphyxia as a cause of death may be incompatible with a 98 percent oxygen saturation level found in Floyd’s blood samples. He reiterated that the ability to talk suggests the ability to breathe.

      The defence sought to prove that Floyd could have died of a fatal cardiac event caused by preexisting health conditions together with a drug overdose.

      Referring to his client as "a reasonable police officer," Nelson urged the jury to review the incident in its entirety, not just 9 minutes and 29 seconds the prosecution chose to focus on.

      "Officers are entitled to take into consideration what you and I don’t think about... Human behaviour can be unpredictable. No one knows it better than a police officer", Nelson said.

      The defence attorney noted that Chauvin was initially canceled from the call, but later summoned for a back up as three of his rookie colleagues struggled to overcome Floyd’s "active resistance" and place him in a patrol car. Nelson cited regulations that allow officers to keep suspects contained, confined and controlled until they are no longer resistant. He also mentioned the upset bypassers’ crowd who changed Chauvin perception of what was happening and may have prevented a timely emergency assistance to Floyd.

      "Compare the evidence against itself. Test it, challenge it, compare it to the law, read the instructions in their entirety. Start from the point of a presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get", Nelson told the jury.

      The prosecution sought to prove that the physical force applied by Chauvin on Floyd’s back and neck during the arrest on 25 May 2020 caused the African American’s death and violated police guidelines. Chauvin faces three charges - second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter entailing a maximum punishment of 40, 25 and 10 years in prison respectively.

    • 17:13

      Biden Reportedly Keeping Watchful Eye on Derek Chauvin Trial, Fearful of New Racial Tensions

      U.S. President Joe Biden leaves delivers remarks on his plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, at the White House, Washington, U.S., April 14, 2021.

      Biden Reportedly Keeping Watchful Eye on Derek Chauvin Trial, Fearful of New Racial Tensions

      Minneapolis and other US cities are scrambling to enhance their security amid potential civil unrest as the verdict looms in the case of Derek Chauvin, the former policeman who is charged with suffocating Black Minnesota man George Floyd to death last year.
      Read more
    • 16:45

      Facebook 'Vigilant' Over Posts Inciting Violence Ahead of Chauvin Trial Verdict

      Defence attorney Eric Nelson introduces Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, to potential jurors during jury selection in his trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., March 15, 2021 in this courtroom sketch from a video feed of the proceedings.

      Facebook 'Vigilant' Over Posts Inciting Violence Ahead of Chauvin Trial Verdict

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Facebook announced on Monday a set of measures in the runup to the verdict of Derek Chauvin to curb posts that may lead to civil unrest or violence, including posts that celebrate or mock the death of George Floyd.
      Read more
    • 16:15

      'This is Not Trial of George Floyd': Prosecutor Presents Arguments in Court

      “We need to be clear — this is not the trial of George Floyd. George Floyd is not on trial here,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher said. “You've heard some things about George Floyd, that he struggled with drug addiction, that he was being investigated for allegedly passing a fake $20 bill that there was never any evidence introduced that he knew was fake in the first place. Right, but, but he is not on trial he didn't get a trial when he was alive and he is not on trial here.”

    • 14:52

      Closing Arguments in Chauvin’s Trial Begin

      The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis policeman accused of killing George Floyd, entered the closing arguments phase on Monday as the prosecution and defenсe have their final chance to convince the jury.

      Prosecutor Steve Schleicher was the first to take the floor after judge Peter Cahill gave detailed instructions to the jury who will have to decide whether Chauvin is guilty.

      “What the defendant did to George Floyd? Killed him”, Schleicher said.

      Chauvin faces three charges - second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter entailing a maximum punishment of 40, 25 and 10 years in prison respectively.

      The prosecution seeks to prove that the physical force applied by Chauvin on Floyd’s back and neck during his arrest on May 25, 2020 caused Floyd’s death and violated police guidelines.

      "The force was too much. [Floyd] was trapped with the unyielding pavement underneath him, as unyielding as the men who held him down... So desperate to breathe, he pushed with his face. With his face", Schleicher told the jury in a Minneapolis courtroom.

      "George Floyd begged until he could speak no more... All that was required was a little compassion and none was shown on that day", he said.

      Schleicher argued that Chauvin violated the use of force policy, the deescalation policy and the duty to render emergency aid.

      "He knew better, he just didn’t do better... This is not an anti-police prosecution, this is a cruel police prosecution", he said.

      Schleicher alleged that Chauvin acted purposefully and suggested that "ego and pride" was his motivation - reluctance to give in to pleas from bystanders concerned about Floyd’s torment.

      "He did what he did on purpose. And it killed George Floyd... He betrayed the badge", Schleicher said.

      The defence is expected to ask the jury for full acquittal. During the trial it sought to prove that Floyd died of preexisting health conditions and drug overdose rather than asphyxia and Chauvin’s actions were in line with police instructions.

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