Derek Chauvin Trial: Closing Arguments Presented Ahead of Jury Deliberations
The jury will be sequestered while they deliberate.
The nation is on edge as it awaits a decision in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing George Floyd during an arrest outside a Minneapolis convenience store last May. The jury arrived at court Monday with packed bags, as they will be sequestered until they reach a verdict.
Closing arguments were presented by the prosecution and defense.
“This wasn't policing. This was murder,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher said.
Then came Chauvin’s defense. “This was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be,” Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson said.
Three-thousand National Guard troops have been deployed in Minneapolis in the biggest security operation in the state’s history. The city has become a fortress, with hundreds of store fronts and other buildings boarded up.
Other cities across America are also preparing for the verdict. In New York, all police leave has been cancelled until further notice. Store owners are bracing for the worst.
Over the weekend, demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but there were some violent clashes. Community leaders fear the reaction if the verdict is “not guilty.”
A home in Santa Rosa, California was smeared with blood and a pig's head was left at the door, apparently in the belief that one of Chauvin's defense witnesses lived there.
“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified,” testified Barry Brodd, a police use-of-force expert.
But Brodd has not lived at the home that was vandalized for years.
The national tension has been further heightened by the police shooting of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy in Chicago, and the death of 20-year-old Duante Wright in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center during a traffic stop.
California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is coming under heat for controversial remarks during an appearance in Brooklyn Center.
“We've got to get more active. We've got to get more confrontational,” Waters said.
The White House responded with an appeal for calm.
“Protests must be peaceful. That's what [President Joe Biden] continues to call for,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
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