After two intense weeks, the debates should still last eight days, said Judge Peter Cahill at the resumption of the hearing. “The closed session will be ordered for the jury from Monday (next), day when we await the last pleadings”, declared the magistrate who supervises the trial for murder of the police officer Derek Chauvin.
Noting the scuffles that occurred during the night, the accused’s lawyer asked him to immediately isolate the jurors, but Judge Cahill refused. “I understand that there is civil unrest”, but “I do not believe that this is a cause for additional concern”, he justified.
The prosecution then began questioning a cardiologist, for whom George Floyd “went into cardiac arrest due to lack of oxygen” linked to the position in which police held him on May 25. That day, Derek Chauvin pressed for nearly ten minutes with his knee on the neck of the black forty-something, pinned to the ground and handcuffed.
His lawyer Eric Nelson maintains, however, that he did not cause the death of George Floyd and that the latter succumbed to an overdose combined with heart failure. “After checking the facts, I can say with a high level of medical certainty that George Floyd did not have a simple heart attack or overdose,” Jonathan Rich retorted on Monday.
Prosecutors should still summon another expert, then a brother of the victim, before giving way to the defense for these hearings broadcast live by most of the major American television channels.
A drama that rekindles anger
This Monday, the cameras are also focused outside the court on a new drama, which has rekindled anger against the police and pushed the authorities to strengthen the security system in Minneapolis.
Demonstrations, violence, soldiers of the National Guard and curfew … Tensions during the night from Sunday to Monday plunged the city back into the troubled hours which had followed the death of George Floyd, while remaining more circumscribed.
Police killed a 20-year-old black man, Daunte Wright, on Sunday afternoon as he was driving with his girlfriend in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of the metropolis. The officers asked him to stop after finding a traffic violation. They then realized that he was the subject of an arrest warrant and wanted to arrest him, according to a statement from their services.
The young man then got back into his car and a policeman drew his gun, opened fire and fatally shot him. The passenger in the vehicle was also injured, without her life being in danger, police said. An investigation to determine whether the use of force was justified was immediately opened by agents of the State of Minnesota.
“There was NO need to release a WEAPON,” said Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump without delay. “This level of DEADLY force as our country relives the tragic death of George Floyd in the SAME CITY is absolutely unacceptable,” he tweeted.
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