By Ken Bredemeier*
WASHINGTON – A U.S. jury in a Minnesota courtroom Monday heard sharply different claims of how George Floyd, a Black man, died last year, then began deliberations in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing Floyd in one of the country’s highest profile cases in recent years.
A prosecutor accused Chauvin of killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. A defense attorney contended that Floyd died partly from drug use and that Chauvin was following his police training in the way he arrested Floyd last May on a Minneapolis street.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher summed up the case against Chauvin, 45, the white police officer who held down the handcuffed, 46-year-old Floyd, as he lay prone on a city street and gasped — 27 times, according to videos of his arrest — that he could not breathe.
Prosecutor Steven Schleicher makes closing arguments as defense attorney Eric Nelson listens during the trial.
Prosecutor Steven Schleicher makes closing arguments as defense attorney Eric Nelson listens during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder.
“He was trapped … a knee to his neck,” Schleicher said, with Chauvin’s weight on him for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.