EXPLAINER: Video dominates trial in George Floyd's death
In this image from Minneapolis city surveillance video, Minneapolis police are seen attempting to take George Floyd into custody May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn. AdThe video shows Chauvin with his knee wedged into the back of Floyd’s neck. Despite the disturbing video, prosecutors still must show some supporting evidence that it was Chauvin’s actions that contributed to Floyd's death, especially to prove murder. But many legal experts say the video evidence in Chauvin's case is among the most convincing they have ever seen. Under rules of trial procedure in Minnesota, they can ask the judge if they can see video evidence again.
2 views of Floyd onlookers: Desperate to help, or angry mob
There is a growing crowd and what officers perceive to be a threat.”The carefully calibrated language by each side is no accident. She admitted raising her voice and using foul language “because I was desperate” to help Floyd. Nelson asked if Williams grew angrier as the arrest continued, and the mixed martial arts fighter agreed that he did. When Williams appeared to step off the curb and Thao touched him, Nelson said Williams threatened the officer. She confirmed to him that as time went on, more people gathered, voices became louder, and people got more angry.
Ex-cop told onlooker Floyd was big, ‘probably on something’
AdWhen Floyd was finally taken away by paramedics, Charles McMillian, a 61-year-old bystander who recognized Chauvin from the neighborhood, told the officer he didn't respect what Chauvin had done. At one point, he threw his upper body out of the car, and officers tried to push him back in. Lane was heard saying officers found a “weed pipe” on Floyd and wondered if he might be on PCP, saying Floyd's eyes were shaking back and forth fast. The officer also asked twice if the officers should roll Floyd on his side, and later said calmly that he thought Floyd was passing out. She later told the judge that she had been feeling stress and having trouble sleeping, but told the judge she was OK to proceed.
Witnesses: Onlooker anger increased as Floyd stopped moving
It seemed as if he didn’t care what we were saying,” said 18-year-old Darnella Frazier, one of several witnesses who testified through tears. Floyd was arrested after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Williams admitted under questioning that he told Thao he would beat the officers if Thao touched him again. But witnesses also testified that no bystanders actually interfered with police. From Chauvin, and from officer Thao.”Also Tuesday, prosecutors played cellphone video recorded by yet another bystander, 18-year-old Alyssa Funari, that showed onlookers shouting and screaming at Chauvin after Floyd stopped moving.
EXPLAINER: In ex-cop's trial, defense promises video too
In this image from Minneapolis city surveillance video, Minneapolis police are seen attempting to take George Floyd into custody May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn. But many legal experts say the video evidence in Chauvin's case is among the most convincing they have ever seen. “If you are the defense, you want jurors to get in the weeds, into issues other than the video. Under rules of trial procedure in Minnesota, they can ask the judge if they can see video evidence again. He said allowing jurors to view video evidence in the jury room and to discuss what they see among themselves can be crucial in reaching the right verdict.
Ample opportunities for viewers to follow Chauvin trial
In this image from Minneapolis city surveillance video, Minneapolis police are seen attempting to take George Floyd into custody May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn. Floyd’s name is more widely known than Chauvin's, but calling it the “Floyd trial” would wrongly imply that the victim was the one on trial. Most called it the Chauvin trial. CourtTV called it “The Death of George Floyd Murder Trial.” ABC said it was the “Derek Chauvin Trial, 10 Months After George Floyd’s Death.”For some of the specialty networks, the trial offers a rare opportunity to increase viewership, both on the air and online. CBS' website will carry its own coverage, along with that of the network's Minneapolis affiliate, he said.
Jurors shown video at ex-officer’s trial in Floyd’s death
The defense attorney also disputed that Chauvin was to blame for Floyd’s death. Jurors watched intently as the video played on multiple screens, with one drawing a sharp breath as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. ... She couldn’t help.”The timeline differs from the initial account submitted last May by prosecutors, who said Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. AdBefore the trial began, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump blasted the idea that the trial would be a tough test for jurors. City and state leaders are determined to prevent a repeat of the riots that followed Floyd’s death, with National Guard troops already mobilized.
Snap-decision defense may not work for Minneapolis officer
But it's an argument that's almost certainly not available to Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer who goes on trial Monday, March 29, 2021, in George Floyd's death. The fired Minneapolis police officer who goes on trial Monday was captured on video pinning George Floyd to the pavement, his knee on the Black man's neck, for about nine minutes last May. In 2020, six officers were charged in such cases, including at least four after the nationwide outrage over Floyd’s death. AdProsecutors in Chauvin’s case hope the pleas from onlookers to check on Floyd will serve the same purpose. “But each second after that, there was no need for a split-second decision.”___Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
EXPLAINER: How is officer's duty relevant to Floyd case?
Weren’t Derek Chauvin and other officers “duty bound to deal with the arrestee as they find them?” Cahill asked. That duty could be key at the trial that starts with opening statements Monday, especially as the defense asserts that Floyd's swallowing of pills contributed to his death. The Minneapolis Police Department sought to train its officers to minimize violence in the years before Floyd died. Floyd's death indicates the 2016 reforms in Minneapolis didn't work, he said. The officers get Floyd to the ground and hold him there.
Jury set for ex-cop’s trial in Floyd death; starts Monday
AdDerek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd. The widely seen video set off street protests in Minneapolis, some violent, that spread across the U.S. and the world. He said Floyd’s death sparked discussions about racism at work, and he decided to educate himself by reading a book about the subject. Throughout jury selection, the defense frequently struck people who told the court they already had strong feelings about Chauvin’s guilt. ___Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
Judge won't move trial in Floyd's death; 13th juror picked
Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin will stretch into a third week after attorneys seated just one additional juror Friday. The 13th juror picked is a woman who said she’d seen only clips of the video of Floyd’s arrest and needs to learn more about what happened beforehand. Hennepin County Judge Pete Cahill said court would resume Monday to pick two more jurors -- for a total of 15, one more than expected. AdSeven jurors had been picked last week when the Minneapolis City Council announced it had unanimously approved the massive payout to settle a civil rights lawsuit over Floyd’s death. Floyd’s death, captured on a widely seen bystander video, set off weeks of sometimes violent protests across the country and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.
EXPLAINER: Chauvin's lawyer is outnumbered, but has help
It’s an apparent mismatch that results from the state’s takeover of the prosecution, but defense attorney Eric Nelson is getting some help. Days later, amid massive protests over Floyd's death, Minnesota Gov. AdPeters said the MPPOA works with a group of 12 defense attorneys who take turns handling cases as they come up. He's enough of an expert on driving while intoxicated that he frequently lectures on the topic and often contributes to a DWI sourcebook for Minnesota attorneys, his biography says. “I saw a couple of reports of, ‘The MPPOA selected a DWI lawyer to represent Chauvin,'" Peters said.
12th juror picked, lawyers clash over expert in Floyd trial
So far, the racial makeup of the jury is evenly split; six of the jurors are white, four are Black, and two are multiracial, according to the court. “The defense is doing a full-on trial of George Floyd, who is not on trial, but that is what they're doing," said Blackwell, adding that the defense also planned to make arguments about Floyd's drug use. Floyd’s death, captured on bystander video, set off weeks of sometimes-violent protests across the country and led to a national reckoning on racial justice. Three other former officers face an August trial in Floyd’s death on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Ad___Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
2 jurors dropped from Chauvin trial after $27M settlement
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill recalled seven jurors who were seated before the settlement was announced last week, at the request of former officer Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson. Cahill questioned each about what they knew of the settlement and whether it would affect their ability to serve. The dismissal of only two jurors suggested the impact of the settlement on the jury pool was less than feared, likely reducing the chance of Cahill granting a defense request to delay the trial. Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man who was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. AdThree other former officers face an August trial in Floyd’s death on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Battle over Floyd's 2019 arrest highlights key trial issue
Chauvin is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd during an arrest last may in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death, captured on a widely seen bystander video, set off weeks of sometimes-violent protests across the country and led to a national reckoning on racial justice. AdThe judge previously rejected Chauvin’s attempt to tell the jury about Floyd’s May 2019 arrest — a year before his fatal encounter with Chauvin — but heard fresh arguments Tuesday from both sides. But he said he would weigh the defense's argument that alleged drug use during the 2019 arrest that led to “a hypertensive emergency” is relevant to what may have caused Floyd's death in 2020. Three other former officers face an August trial in Floyd’s death on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Patterns emerge in jury screening for trial in Floyd's death
MINNEAPOLIS – The first week of jury selection in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death established patterns for how attorneys go about dismissing potential jurors they perceive as unfavorable to their side. The defense is striking people who tell the court they already have strong feelings about Derek Chauvin's guilt. One candidate wrote in his questionnaire that he had a “very negative” perception of Chauvin after watching the widely seen video of Floyd’s arrest. The court has two more weeks of jury selection blocked out before opening arguments scheduled for March 29. The woman said Floyd’s death has affected her life, prompting her to volunteer at a nonprofit group that helps underserved and vulnerable children.
Floyd family agrees to $27M settlement amidst ex-cop's trial
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump called it the largest pretrial settlement ever for a civil rights claim, and thanked city leaders for “showing you care about George Floyd.”“It’s going to be a long journey to justice. “This makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life mattered, and that by extension, Black lives matter.”Ad“Even though my brother is not here, he's here with me in my heart,” Philonise Floyd said. “I just want you to know how deeply we are with you,” she said to Floyd's family members. Floyd’s family filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in July against the city, Chauvin and three other fired officers charged in his death. AdIt wasn't immediately clear how the settlement might affect the trial or the jury now being seated to hear it.
EXPLAINER: Ex-cop trial to include 'spark of life' on Floyd
Defense attorneys complain the doctrine allows prosecutors to play on jurors' emotions and has nothing to do with evidence. If Cahill allows prosecutors to go too far, he could hand Chauvin grounds for an appeal. WHAT IS THE “SPARK OF LIFE” DOCTRINE? Frank told Cahill he plans to bring in photographs of Floyd at various stages of his life and present at least two witnesses. The smart defense attorneys will figure out how to use this.”___Find AP's full coverage of the death of George Floyd: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
EXPLAINER: Why jurors can't be dismissed based on their race
Prosecutors have already challenged the dismissal of two potential jurors, objecting that defense attorneys threw out the Hispanic man and woman based on their race. AdEach side also gets a certain number of peremptory challenges to dismiss potential jurors that they don't have to justify. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1986 Batson v. Kentucky case that peremptory strikes cannot be used to dismiss jurors based solely on their race. Prosecutors did that in Minneapolis this week after Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, blocked two potential jurors who identify as Hispanic. “So while that can be accepted as a race-neutral justification for dismissing a potential juror, there is implicitly race built into the question.
Attorneys in ex-cop's trial probe jurors' views about police
Judge Peter Cahill seated two more jurors to go with the three picked Tuesday for Derek Chauvin’s trial on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. AdThe new decision from the state’s highest court left open the possibility that Cahill could add the charge back. Legal experts say giving the jury another option for convicting Chauvin of murder raises the chance of a conviction. His community wasn’t specified — jurors are being drawn from all over Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis and many of its suburbs. “In my community, I think when there is suspicious activity the police will stop by, they will ask a question,” he said.
Pandemic shapes trial of Minneapolis ex-cop in Floyd's death
(Court TV, via AP, Pool)MINNEAPOLIS – Because the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death is being held during the coronavirus pandemic, the courtroom has been overhauled for safety. The pandemic has upended court systems across the country, delaying jury trials and creating huge backlogs of cases. Many courts have installed barriers or moved jury orientation and even trials themselves to bigger spaces such as convention centers to get at least some jury trials going again. In Minnesota, in-person criminal jury trials have been mostly on hold since November. Tall plexiglass dividers separate the judge and court staffers from the limited number of other people in the courtroom.
At Chauvin trial, some in jury pool have sharp views on case
One woman who saw the video said she doesn't understand why Chauvin didn’t get up when Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. The exchanges between potential jurors, attorneys and the judge illustrate the challenges in seating a jury in such a well-known case. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, and jury selection is proceeding despite uncertainty over whether a third-degree murder charge will be added. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to a nationwide reckoning on race. The races of the second and third jurors selected were not made clear in court.
EXPLAINER: Why battle over a murder charge in Floyd's death
Derek Chauvin is already facing a second-degree unintentional murder charge and a manslaughter charge. Floyd's death sparked months of mass protests nationwide over police brutality and race. For those seeking justice in Floyd's death, anything less than murder is likely to feel like injustice. Chauvin's lawyer sought to dismiss the charge, arguing there was not probable cause to charge him with third-degree murder. The second-degree murder charge requires prosecutors to prove Chauvin caused Floyd’s death while committing or trying to commit a felony — in this case, third-degree assault.
Jury selection paused for ex-cop charged in Floyd's death
(Court TV/Pool via AP)MINNEAPOLIS – Jury selection for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death was halted before it began Monday by the state's effort to add a third-degree murder charge. AdThere was no indication when that court will rule, but a hold could delay Chauvin’s trial for weeks. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. For third-degree murder, they must prove that Chauvin's actions caused Floyd's death, and that his actions were reckless and without regard for human life. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond, and led to a nationwide reckoning on race.
Floyd's cause of death, ex-cop's force will be keys at trial
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and jury selection in his trial begins Monday, March 8, 2021. Jury selection begins Monday in Derek Chauvin's trial, which is expected to come down to two key questions: Did Chauvin's actions cause Floyd's death, and were his actions reasonable? Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond, and led to a nationwide reckoning on race. The second-degree murder charge requires prosecutors to prove Chauvin caused Floyd's death while committing or trying to commit a felony — in this case, third-degree assault. Instead, they must prove his actions caused Floyd's death, and that they were reckless and without regard for human life.
Key players in trial of ex-officer charged in Floyd's death
Jury selection begins Monday, March 8, 2021, for Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)MINNEAPOLIS – Jury selection begins Monday for a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death. City, county and state officials are preparing for any sort of reaction that trial testimony or a verdict might elicit. AdTHE JUDGEHennepin County Judge Peter Cahill is respected and has a reputation as a no-nonsense, fair judge. AdPROSECUTIONDays after Floyd's death, Minnesota's governor announced that Attorney General Keith Ellison would take the lead on prosecuting the case.
Officials: Chauvin was ready to plead to 3rd-degree murder
Chauvin was prepared to plead guilty to third-degree murder in George Floyd's death before then-Attorney General William Barr personally blocked the plea deal last summer, officials said. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was prepared to plead guilty to third-degree murder in George Floyd's death before then-Attorney General William Barr personally blocked the plea deal last year, officials said. Barr rejected the deal in part because he felt it was too soon as the investigation into Floyd's death was still in its relative infancy, the officials said. Tom Kelly, Chauvin's attorney at the time of the plea talks, said Thursday he could not discuss the case. AdSeparately, the judge handling Chauvin's case on Thursday declined a prosecution request to reinstate a third-degree murder charge.
Delay sought in ex-officers' trial over George Floyd's death
Prosecutors in the case against the four Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd requested that the trial delayed by three months. Prosecutors cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the amount of time needed before enough people are vaccinated and health risks are sufficiently diminished. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP)MINNEAPOLIS – Prosecutors in the case against the four Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd requested that the trial delayed by three months. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, said he doesn't intend to object to the prosecution seeking a delay in the trial. “The pandemic has been around for a while.”Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ex-cops blame one another, seek own trials in Floyd's death
Protesters hold a die-in outside the Hennepin County Family Justice Center where four former Minneapolis police officers appeared at a hearing Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Minneapolis. The officers are charged in the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in May. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Prosecutors: Chauvin used neck restraints in past arrests
In one July 2019 arrest, prosecutors say, Derek Chauvin kicked an intoxicated male in the midsection, then applied a neck restraint until he fell unconscious. In June 2017, Chauvin restrained an arrested female by placing his knee on her neck while she was prone on the ground, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said in those cases and in two others, Chauvin held the restraints “beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances." Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd's neck even as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. In addition to the arrests in which Chauvin used neck or head and upper body restraints, prosecutors also listed an August 2015 incident in which Chauvin saw other officers place a suicidal and intoxicated male into a side-recovery position after using a stun gun on him.
Lawyers for ex-cops raise Floyd's history of crime, drug use
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. Minneapolis adopted a policy in 2016 requiring officers to intervene when colleagues are using inappropriate force. Yet three other officers at the scene failed to stop 19-year police veteran Derek Chauvin when he put his knee on Floyd's neck despite Floyd's cries that he couldn't breathe. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Lawyers for ex-cops raise Floyd's history of crime, drug use
Yet three other officers at the scene failed to stop 19-year police veteran Derek Chauvin when he put his knee on Floyd's neck despite Floyd's cries that he couldn't breathe. Floyd, a Black man who was in handcuffs, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became motionless. Mike Brandt, a defense attorney not connected to the case, said countering that video with Floyd's past is good strategy. “You are trying to push the pendulum back … from those damning videos of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck," he said. In documents requesting dismissal, Lane's attorney, Earl Gray, wrote about Floyd’s prior charges of armed robbery and drug possession in Texas.
Officer to Floyd: 'It takes ... a lot of oxygen to talk'
FILE - This May 31, 2020, file photo provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff shows former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was arrested for the May 25 death of George Floyd. As George Floyd told Minneapolis police officers that he couldn't breathe more than 20 times in the moments before he died, Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee against Floyd's neck, dismissed his pleas, saying it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk," according to transcripts of body camera video recordings made public Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (Hennepin County Sheriff via AP, File)
Officer charged in Floyd's death eligible for pension money
MINNEAPOLIS Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is eligible to receive pension benefits during his retirement years even if he's convicted of killing George Floyd, according to the Minnesota agency that represents retired public workers. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of George. The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association said in a statement that former employees who meet length-of-service requirements qualify for benefits regardless of whether they quit or are fired. Those payments are not affected by criminal charges or convictions, the agency said, citing state law. Chauvin was a member of the Minneapolis police force for 19 years.