Floyd’s cause of death, the power of a former police officer is the key to the trial

Minneapolis – Minneapolis police officers were quickly fired and charged with murder after a bystander video showed that he pressed his knees against George Floyd’s neck and ignored the black man’s cry for being unable to breathe. I did. But even with that powerful footage, legal experts say the case is not a slam dunk.

The jury selection will begin on Monday at the Derek Chauvin trial. This is expected to result in two important questions. Did Chauvin’s actions cause Floyd’s death, and was his actions rational?

“It’s hard to conclude that the prosecutor won’t cause any problems in the case without watching the video,” said Susan Gertner, a former prosecutor in neighboring Ramsey County. “But it’s not that simple.”

Floyd retained his position on May 25, after white Chauvin pressed his knees against Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes and then dragged him because Floyd was handcuffed and lay on his stomach. Died. Floyd’s death caused occasional fierce protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to national calculations of the race.


Shovin has been charged with two unintentional murders and two manslaughter charges, and a judge in the Court of Appeals considered a resurgence of the three murder charges he dismissed last fall on Friday. I ruled that I had to. All three other police officers were also dismissed and tried in August on charges of second murder and manslaughter.

On the second murder charge, the prosecutor must prove that Chauvin committed or attempted to commit a felony, causing Floyd’s death. In this case, there are three assaults. Manslaughter has a lower standard and requires evidence that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death by negligence that created an unreasonable risk and consciously took the risk of serious injury or death.

How Floyd died is shaped as the main flash point of the trial.

Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, claims in court documents that he was likely to have died from fentanyl consumed by Floyd, or a combination of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and underlying health conditions.


But Cayhill didn’t have to prove that Chauvin was the only cause of Floyd’s death in his second murder last fall, and his actions were “substantial causal factors.” I wrote that there was.

Still, unrelated defendant lawyers say Nelson has only to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of a single jury.

“He was screaming with him fixed under his knees, but I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” (Shovin) argued that he wasn’t under pressure and he couldn’t breathe. Was due to the drug in his system or something for its effect, or his anxiety, “said F. Clayton Tyler, a prominent local defense lawyer.

Defendant lawyers also say it may not be easy to prove that Chauvin has committed a felony of assault — as necessary for a second murder in this case. That’s because Chauvin is allowed to use force as a police officer, and his lawyer argues that using force against Floyd is rational.


Gartner said the defense faces the challenge of moving the jury’s focus away from the video and the strong emotions it creates. She said they would instead try to focus on medical evidence and Floyd’s underlying condition while trying to portray the arrest situation as “justified in line with police norms.” ..

Brant and Tyler said they probably had to take a position to explain why Chauvin felt he had to keep Floyd in check for so long. Mr. Brant is likely to say he followed his training, and his experience with other suspects under the influence of drugs shows that things can suddenly become unstable and dangerous. He said it was necessary because he was there.

However, the prosecutor submitted a list of previous cases where Chauvin strangled at work or used similar restraints. Cahill has determined that only one piece of evidence can be admitted. In the 2017 arrest, Chauvin detained a woman with her knees on her neck when she was prone to falling to the ground.


Kay Hill also said prosecutors could tell the jury about the 2015 case where Chauvin saw another police officer put a drunken man in a lateral recovery position after using a stun gun. Arbitrated. Kay Hill said prosecutors could refer if they could show that Chauvin was present when medical professionals said the man could have died if police extended detention. It was.

By telling the jury about these cases, Mr. Brant knew how Chauvin would detain someone and provide relief, and he had done it wrong before. He said the prosecutor could show that.

Brant said the third-degree murder charges do not have to show that Chauvin intends to assault, which could make it easier for prosecutors to prove that it has been resurrected. Stated. Instead, they must prove that his actions caused Floyd’s death, and that they were reckless and unrelated to human life.

The two manslaughter claims that Chauvin took the risk that a rational person would have known that it could cause death. To prevent that, Chauvin could claim that he had used the same hold in the past and didn’t think it would cause any problems, Brandt said.


However, Mr. Brandt said the “whole case” against Chauvin was a video recording the time he detained Floyd.

“I hear the passers-by in the video. The spectator said,” Hey, he can’t breathe. Let go of him. What are you doing? You’re killing him, “Brant said. “That is, it’s like they’re playing live.”

Tyler said that if he was a prosecutor, he would use a still shot of Chauvin’s expressionless face from the video and keep it in view for the jury to see.

“That is, the look on his face,” Tyler said. “If I had been prosecuting this case, I must say that I would have the picture there. Do you want to show indifference? Look at him.”


Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter.


Find the Associated Press’s full coverage of George Floyd’s death: https: //

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Floyd’s cause of death, the power of a former police officer is the key to the trial

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