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Chauvin’s Knee on Floyd Was ‘Grinding and Crushing’ – Prosecutor
By Staff, Agencies
Opening statements began on Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for the murder of George Floyd, the man whose death sparked protests across the world against racism and police brutality.
Both the prosecution and defense laid out their narrative of the events of Floyd’s May 25 arrest and death, discussing how their witnesses – who number in the hundreds – will prove their theories.
The trial began with the infamous video of the arrest, which shows Floyd’s death.
Jerry Blackwell, a prosecutor with the attorney general’s office, described Chauvin, who is white, as engaging in excessive force during the arrest and prevention of others from assisting Floyd, who was Black, as he lay dying.
Blackwell showed an image of the arrest taken on a mobile phone, which showed Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, “grinding and crushing him until the very breath.”
Floyd died while Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, an event caught on camera in a widely seen video, which became a rallying cry for demonstrators.
Blackwell said Minneapolis’s chief of police would testify that Chauvin’s conduct did not agree with the training he was provided as a member of the police force.
Chauvin is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The former police officer pleaded not guilty to the charges. He could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, though Minnesota sentencing guidelines suggest it would be closer to 10.75 to 15 years.
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