Closing arguments set to begin in Derek Chauvin murder trial for death of George Floyd

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(MINNEAPOLIS) — The prosecution and defense in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd are set to take their final cracks on Monday at swaying jurors after calling more than 40 witnesses and presenting numerous videos of the 46-year-old Black man’s fatal 2020 arrest.

The attorneys will begin presenting their closing arguments in the high-profile case just after 10 a.m. local time, with prosecutors, who allege Chauvin killed Floyd on May 25, 2020, by holding his knee on the back of his neck for over 9 minutes, going first. Defense attorney Eric Nelson is expected to counter that Chauvin, a 19-year police veteran, was abiding by his police training when he and two other officers put a handcuffed Floyd in a prone restraint and that a sudden heart attack and drugs in his system killed him more so than Chauvin’s knee.

Once the closing arguments wrap up, the jury will be sequestered in a hotel to deliberate a verdict. Two alternates are expected to be dismissed once deliberations begin.

The Chauvin jury is composed of eight people who are white and six who identify as people of color, including four who are Black. They range in age from their early 20s to 60.

Among the panel are a tax auditor, an executive for a nonprofit health care company, a grandmother with an undergraduate degree in childhood psychology, a banker, an information technology manager who speaks multiple languages and a motorcycle-riding executive assistant.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and chose not to testify in his own defense.

During the trial, which began on March 29 and enters its 15th day on Monday, prosecutors relied heavily on video taken of the deadly encounter by multiple bystanders, surveillance and police body camera to make their case that the use of force Chauvin applied on Floyd was unreasonable, unnecessary and not part of any training or policies of the Minneapolis Police Department.

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