The closing statements for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial were given on Monday (April 19).
As the prosecution gave their final remarks, Attorney Steve Schleicher said he believes Chauvin’s ego and pride were reasons he kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. “The defendant was not going to be told what to do. He was not going to let these bystanders tell him what to do,” he said. “And there was nothing — nothing they could do about it. Because he had the authority. The bystanders were powerless. They were powerless to do anything. The defendant, he chose pride over policing.”
In response, the defense said Chauvin acted as a “reasonable” cop and said there is no evidence that he killed Floyd intentionally.
“You have to look at it from the reasonable police officer standard,” Defense Attorney Eric Nelson said. “You have to take into account that officers are human beings, capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations. In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be. This is reasonable doubt.”
In total, 45 witnesses gave their testimonies during the course of the trial. Chauvin invoked his Fifth Amendment right and chose not to take the stand.
The jury has begun their deliberations and will reportedly stay in a hotel overnight. Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, the former officer could face up to 40 years, up to 25 years and up to 10 years in prison, respectively. According to CNN, the charges are considered separate, so he could be convicted of all, some or none of them.