Prosecution on last day of trial: ‘His name was George Perry Floyd Jr.’
"For 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He begged, George Floyd begged until he could speak no more, and the defendant continued. This assault," the prosecutor said.
The prosecution in the murder trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin delivered their closing arguments on Monday after resting its case on April 13. Prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher began by humanizing the victim George Floyd to the jury.
“His name was George Perry Floyd Jr. and he was born on Oct 14, 1973 in Fayetteville, North Carolina,” he said according to CNN. Schleicher continued to speak of Floyd’s mother and the relationship the two shared. “The mom of the house, the mom of the neighborhood — and you heard about the special bond that she and George Floyd shared during his life.”
After discussing Floyd’s life, Schleicher cut right to his violent death.
“On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died face down on the pavement right on 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. Nine minutes and 29 seconds, nine minutes and 29 seconds. During this time, George Floyd struggled. Desperate to breathe, to make enough room in his chest, to breathe. But the force was too much. He was trapped. Trapped with the unyielding pavement underneath him – as unyielding as the men that held him down.”
In his closing arguments, Schleicher also made it clear to the jury that Floyd nor policing were on trial, saying “this case is called the state of Minnesota versus Derek Chauvin. This case is not called the state of Minnesota versus the police.”
He continued, “You met several Minneapolis police officers during this trial. You met them. They took the stand. They testified and make no mistake, this is not a prosecution of the police. It is a prosecution of the defendant. And there is nothing worse, for good police, then a bad police,” he said.
He finished his arguments by telling the jury, “and you can believe your own eyes. This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes,” he said. Schleicher continued, “This wasn’t policing. This was murder.”
“The defendant was guilty of all three counts, all of them, and there was no excuse.”
Speaker of the Housed Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on the closing arguments.
“Today is a solemn day as the closing arguments are presented in the George Floyd murder trial. I commend the Floyd family for their dignified calls for justice, which were heard around the world,” the statement read. “As outraged as we are by his death, let us be prayerful that the truth will prevail and will honor George Floyd’s memory.”
Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson began his closing arguments by claiming the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt his that client was guilty according to NPR.
“Compare the evidence against itself. Test it, challenge it,” Nelson said. He continued with bodycam footage, and the dispatch report. “A reasonable officer would understand this situation. That Mr. Floyd was able to overcome the efforts of three police officers while handcuffed, with his legs and his body strength.”
Nelson added that although Chauvin kneeled on Floyd for over nine minutes, the events leading up to it were not given proper consideration. He closed by telling the jury to consider all of the evidence, NPR reported.
“When you review the entirety of the evidence. When you review the law, as written and you conclude it all within this, all within a thorough and honest analysis. The state has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Nelson said. “Therefore, Mr. Chauvin should be found not guilty of all counts.”
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