Biden 'praying' Chauvin jury reaches 'right verdict,' calling case 'overwhelming'

STATE OF AMERICA Jury deliberates and National Guard called out ahead of verdict in George Floyd case

By An Wentzel• 20 April 2021

As the jury deliberates in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, these are the main arguments used by the prosecution and defense during the three-week trial.

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was praying for the "right verdict" in the murder trial of the police officer accused of killing George Floyd, as the jury met for a second day of deliberations.

"He was just calling", Philonise Floyd said of the president on "Today".

Floyd's cause of death was also a key element of the trial and prosecutors called medical experts to testify that he died of hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, from Chauvin's knee on his neck and that illegal drugs were not a factor.

The most compelling evidence in the case against Chauvin was the video of Floyd's arrest taken by a 17-year-old bystander, Darnella Frazier.

"George Floyd was not a threat to anyone", Schleicher said. "All that was required was some compassion, and he got none".

Floyd was suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby convenience store. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Chauvin decided not to testify in his own defense and invoked his constitutional Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Under U.S. law, the prosecution must prove the allegations against defendants, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Waters told protesters in Minnesota to "stay on the street" and to become "more active" and "more confrontational" if Chauvin is found not guilty. He called her comments "abhorrent" and "disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch".

On Tuesday afternoon, the White House canceled an earlier speech Biden had planned to deliver on his infrastructure plan so that he could watch the verdict come in alongside Harris and a group of other aides in his private dining room just off the Oval Office.

Philonise Floyd, George's brother, revealed on NBC's "Today" show that Biden had called his family Monday to say he was praying for them. "I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution".

Prosecutions of police officers are notoriously hard in the United States because they enjoy what is called "qualified immunity", said David Schultz, a law professor at the University of Minnesota and Hamline University.

Nelson asked the judge to declare a mistrial after Maxine Waters, a Democratic member of Congress from California, attended a protest in Minnesota and called for a guilty verdict and more demonstrations. Many stores are boarded up to prevent a recurrence of the damage and looting that took place after Floyd's death nearly a year ago.

Floyd's death led to weeks of daily protests in Detroit.

That's because another fired Minneapolis officer found guilty of third-degree murder has a pending appeal before the state Supreme Court - and if his conviction is overturned, it could mean a Chauvin conviction would fall, too.

Mr Chauvin's lawyer Eric Nelson argued that his client did what any "reasonable police officer" would have done after finding himself in a "dynamic" and "fluid" situation involving a large man scuffling with three officers.

Tensions are high as the jury begins deliberations, with National Guard troops deployed in Minneapolis after Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot dead in a suburb of the Minnesota city on April 11 by a white policewoman. Waters, who joined those protesting the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright on Saturday in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, told news outlets that "I hope that we're going to get a verdict that is a guilty", and that "if we don't, we can not go away".

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