Closing Argument This Morning in Derek Chauvin Trial
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - Unprecedented security has been put in place throughout downtown Minneapolis for the last chapter of the Derek Chauvin trial.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations later today on whether the former Minneapolis police officer should be convicted or acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the death of George Floyd last May. The jury will get the case after hearing closing arguments, which are scheduled to be presented to the panel this morning. As he gave his instructions to the jury for preparing to begin deliberations last Friday, the judge in the case said "plan for long, and hope for short."
Chauvin faces second and third-degree murder and a second-degree manslaughter charge that allege his actions caused the death of Floyd, who was held in a prone position on the ground with the former officer's knee pressed against his neck for over nine minutes. The prosecution presented several expert witnesses that blamed Floyd's death on low oxygen levels as a direct result of Chauvin's actions, while the defense brought forward witnesses and testimony that suggested Floyd died as a result of heart disease and potentially toxic levels of fentanyl in his body.
Hundreds of Minnesota National Guard soldiers have joined forces with State Troopers, police officers, and Sheriff's deputies from throughout the state to guard the Hennepin County Courthouse, the State Capitol, and other key infrastructure in the Twin Cities while also performing security patrols in an effort to prevent the rioting, looting, and arson fires that followed Floyd's death last year. At the same time, the citizen-soldiers and law enforcement officers have been responding to sporadic violence associated with protests over the recent shooting death of a 20-year-old man by a police officer in Brooklyn Center.