Minneapolis on edge as jury deliberates Chauvin verdict

Minneapolis on edge as jury deliberates Chauvin verdict
Minneapolis is braced for a repeat of the violence that gripped the city last spring after George Floyd's death. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The jury in the trial of the ex-Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, who was accused of killing George Floyd last year, has retired to consider its verdict.

The prosecution told the judges that Mr Chauvin had murdered Mr Floyd, a black American, but the defence said their client had correctly followed police training.

The court is being protected by high barriers, barbed wire and armed soldiers from the National Guard.

Cities across the US are bracing for protests regardless of the verdict.

The prosecution and defence made their closing statements On Monday. The murder trial lasted three weeks. The prosecution then had another opportunity to rebut defence arguments before the jury was sent to deliberate.

Eric Nelson, the lawyer of Mr Chauvin, 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.

The lawyer said Mr Chauvin’s badge and body camera were knocked off his chest owing to “the intensity of the struggle”.

Chauvin’s lawyer also argued that Mr Floyd’s drug use was “significant” because the body reacts to opioid use, specifically in the case of someone who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and hypertension.

The lawyer also argued that the former police officer was unlikely to have intentionally violated use-of-force rules as he would have been aware that the whole interaction was being recorded.

Mr Nelson: “Officers know that they are being videotaped.”

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