Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell laying out the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd.

March 31, 2021
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“… Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd.”

During opening arguments, the prosecutor previewed evidence and presented a timeline of the events on May 25, 2020, reiterating that Floyd said “I can’t breathe” 27 times during the 9 minutes and 29 seconds Chauvin held Floyd to the ground.

  • The prosecutor said Chauvin was “well aware” Floyd was unarmed and posed no threat to police when “he put his knees upon his neck and his back, grinding and crushing him, until the very breath — no, ladies and gentlemen — until the very life was squeezed out of him,” adding Chauvin did not let up or get up, even when Floyd was unconscious and Chauvin was aware he had no pulse.
  • The prosecutor argued Chauvin failed in his duty to exercise reasonableness and reevaluate what level of force was reasonable from moment to moment during the course of Floyd’s arrest, and that ultimately, Chauvin had no cause to use lethal force against Floyd.
  • The prosecutor also said Chauvin is presumed innocent until proven guilty, that this case is not about policing in general but rather about Chauvin’s actions, and that the prosecution will prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Watch the prosecution’s opening argument HERE

Read about the defense’s opening argument HERE

Developing Story: Death Of George Floyd

by Jenna Lee,