The defense of the now-fired white officer argues that Floyd put himself at risk by using fentanyl and methamphetamine, then resisted police trying to stop him – factors which, combined with his heart disease, led to when he died.
But Schleicher described how Chauvin ignored Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe, and continued to kneel on top of Floyd after he stopped breathing and had no pulse – even after the arrival of the ambulance – saying he “had to know what was right below him.”
“George Floyd’s last words on May 25, 2020 were, ‘Please I can’t breathe.’ And he said these words to the officer. He said these words to the accused. Schleicher said, pointing to Chauvin. “He asked for help with his very last breath.”
“The accused heard him repeat this over and over again. He heard it, but he just didn’t listen. He kept pushing him down, rubbing inside him, shimmy, wringing his hand for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He begged. George Floyd begged until he could no longer speak, and the accused continued this assault, ”said Schleicher, who repeatedly used the word“ assault ”.
Prosecutors must prove the assault underlying the most serious charge of second degree murder.
Chauvin was “on top of him for 9 minutes and 29 seconds and he had to know,” Schleicher said. “He had to know.”
He also reminded jurors that Minneapolis police had courageously taken the Oath to Protect, and said it might be difficult to “imagine a policeman doing something like this,” but reminded jurors that he had been asked during the selection of the jury to rule out any preconceptions about police officers.
“George Floyd was no threat to anyone. He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He wasn’t trying to do anything to anyone. Faced with George Floyd that day who did not require an ounce of courage. And none were shown that day. No courage was required. All that was needed was a little compassion and none was shown that day.
Judge Peter Cahill opened the day’s session by asking jurors to consider different types of evidence and told them they would consider each charge against Chauvin separately.
The anonymous jury will deliberate in a downtown courthouse surrounded by concrete barriers and barbed wire, in an anxious town heavily walled by members of the National Guard and just days after renewed outrage over the murder by police of a 20-year-old black man in a nearby neighborhood. suburbs.
A few protesters gathered outside the courthouse on Monday as light snowflakes blew in the wind. “No breathing. No pulse. 3½ minutes. Chauvin did not let go / got up, ”read the panel of a demonstrator.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. All three charges force the jury to conclude that Chauvin’s actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death – and that his use of force was unreasonable.
The second degree murder requires prosecutors to prove that Chauvin intended to harm Floyd, but not that he intended to kill him. Third degree murder requires proof that Chauvin’s actions were “eminently dangerous” and done with indifference to the loss of life. Second degree manslaughter forces jurors to believe he negligently caused Floyd’s death and knowingly took the risk of causing serious injury or death.
Each count has a different maximum sentence: 40 years for unintentional second degree murder, 25 years for third degree murder and 10 years for second degree manslaughter. The sentencing guidelines require much less time, including 12 and a half years on either count of murder.