The Hennepin County judge who is overseeing former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial has denied the defense’s request to have the ex-cop acquitted on all charges.
According to The Hill, Judge Peter Cahill refused the defense’s claims that the prosecution failed to prove that Chauvin’a actions caused Floyd’s death. “The court’s duty at this point is to look at the evidence in a light most favorable to the state and even when there are inconsistencies, major or minor, between witnesses, the jury is free to believe some and not the others,” Cahill explained.
“When viewing a set of facts in a light most favorable to the state, they could give their greatest weight to those witnesses who establish that the use of force was unreasonable and that the cause of death was positional asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, however, the state wishes to characterize it, but, most importantly, that it was caused by the defendant,” he added.
“That is viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the state,” Cahill continued. “It is clear that that has been established, and so, based on that standard, the motion for judgment of acquittal is denied.”
So far, Floyd’s cause of death has been the main focus of the trial. Several key witnesses for the prosecution say he died from lack of oxygen after Chauvin placed his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes. Multiple people testified that his use of force was “excessive” and “totally unnecessary.”
However, the defense believes other factors caused Floyd’s death, including drugs, underlying health issues and carbon monoxide from the squad car. Dr. David Fowler, former head of the medical examiner’s office in Maryland, said Floyd died as a result of his hypertensive heart disease and the plaque that built up inside his arteries.