Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the Derek Chauvin murder trial. The proceedings are entering their fourteenth day of witness testimony.
We don’t know if Chauvin will take the stand in his own defense, and we won’t know until it happens or not. But Judge Peter Cahill’s previous comments on scheduling trials give an idea of a possible time frame if that were to take place.
Cahill has said for several days that he expects testimony to end this week and that he will potentially give jurors a day off on Friday, with the closings beginning on Monday; this would suggest that Chauvin would testify today if he did.
Chauvin, a former white officer with the Minneaoplis Police Department, is on trial for charges manslaughter in the second degree, murder in the third degree and involuntary manslaughter in the second degree, on the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. While arresting Floyd, who is Black, Chauvin pressed his knee against the man’s neck during nine minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd, who was pushed against the pavement, subjected in the prone position, died after being immobilized.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
As Chauvin’s trial appears to be nearing its end, Minneapolis remains nervous, both over these proceedings and the police murder of a black man, Daunte Wright, 20, during a traffic stop in a nearby suburb on Sunday. in the evening. Former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police officer Kim Potter was arrested Wednesday on a second-degree manslaughter charge in the Wright shooting.
Potter resigned from the police department on Tuesday; the department head, who has said he intended to fire his taser, not his gun, has also resigned.
Here is a summary of what happened during Wednesday’s proceedings:
- Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, called forensic pathologist Dr. David Fowler to the stand as an expert witness. Fowler claimed that Floyd could have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning while on the ground, as his head was near the tailpipe of a police vehicle. “There is exposure to the exhaust gases of a vehicle, so potentially there is carbon monoxide poisoning, or at least an effect of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream,” he testified. Fowler maintained Floyd’s heart conditions, fentanyl and methamphetamine use, and possible carbon monoxide poisoning. “All of those who combined to cause Mr. Floyd’s death.”
- The prosecution, during questioning, pointed out what appeared to be a major problem for this defense theory. The police vehicle would have had to be running to emit carbon monoxide for Floyd to be exposed to it and its potential dangers. Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell pressured Fowler to explain whether he could corroborate this. “Getting even more to the point, how do you even know the car was on? ” Blackwell said. Fowler testified that he “made the observation” of liquid “leaking from a tailpipe.” Blackwell pressed Fowler to explain whether this connection was conjecture. “It is not an assumption. It was an evaluation that, in my opinion, the vehicle was working ”. he answered.
- In what appeared to be a positive turn for prosecutors, Fowler also stated during questioning that Floyd should have received emergency medical help at the place of his arrest. Fowler made this claim after differentiating between death and cardiac arrest. Chauvin’s defense has repeatedly argued that Floyd passed away from an acute cardiac event, which was caused by long-standing heart problems and / or his drug use. By distinguishing between cardiac arrest and death, Fowler allowed for further questioning on this topic. Blackwell lobbied Fowler on whether immediate medical help could have prevented cardiac arrest from turning fatal. “Immediate medical care for a person who has suffered cardiac arrest may well have reversed that process,” Fowler commented.
- Blackwell’s questioning amply hammered this point, prompting Fowler to say whether he felt that Floyd should have received emergency medical help. “As a doctor, I would agree.” Blackwell then said “are you critical” of the fact that Floyd did not receive this medical care? “As a physician, I would agree,” Fowler said.
- Cahill ruled that Morries Hall, who was with Floyd in the car before his fatal encounter with police, had successfully argued that he could invoke his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. This meant that Hall would not take the stand. Hall told Cahill that he would not answer questions, saying: “I am afraid criminal charges will be filed. I have open charges that have yet to be resolved on personal matters. ”Hall’s attorney had held that even if Hall’s testimony was limited to being in the car with Floyd, it could expose him to possible drug possession or even murder charges. In Grade 3. Without getting too into the legal weeds, the bottom line of this concern is that one could be held criminally liable for a death in Minnesota if behavior, such as drug possession, could have contributed to the death.
That’s all for now. We will be back soon as the news unfolds.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism