Jury reaches verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

National

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens as his defense attorney Eric Nelson gives closing arguments as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill preside Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

MINNEAPOLIS (KRON) – On the second day of deliberation, the jury deciding the fate of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has reached a verdict.

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The verdict is expected to be announced Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. PST.

Chauvin, 45 is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, all of which require the jury to conclude that his actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death and that his use of force was unreasonable.

Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

The most serious charge carries up to 40 years in prison.

The jury of 12 people began deliberations Monday, April 19, having been sequestered until the verdict was reached following closing arguments in which prosecutors argued that Chauvin squeezed the life out of Floyd last May in a way that even a child knew was wrong.

The defense contended that the now-fired white officer acted reasonably and that the 46-year-old Floyd died of a heart condition and illegal drug use.

“Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher said in closing arguments, referring to the bystander video of Floyd pinned to the pavement with Chauvin’s knee on or close to his neck for up to 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as onlookers yelled at the officer to get off.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson countered by arguing that Chauvin did what any reasonable police officer would have done after finding himself in a “dynamic” and “fluid” situation involving a large man struggling with three officers.

Cities across the U.S. have heightened security in the days leading up to the verdict. Floyd’s death set off protests last spring in Minneapolis and nationwide, some turning violent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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