The jury weighs the fate of the officers who banned George Floyd when he died

ST. Paul, Minn. According to the prosecution, three Minneapolis police officers mercilessly watched their colleague, Derek Chauvin, slowly kill George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. In the eyes of defense attorneys, officers trusted Mr. Chauvin, the veteran officer at the scene, to do his duty and should be acquitted.

The dueling positions presented on Tuesday brought arguments in the federal trial over Floyd’s death to an end, and jurors on Wednesday will begin deliberating which of the three judges is. Quan – Tou Thao, 36 years old; J. Alexander Kueng, 28 years old; and Thomas Lane, 38 – guilty of violating Mr. Floyd’s civil rights.

The jury has heard from doctors, police officers and other witnesses since the trial started almost a month ago, and now they must decide whether any actions by the officers on May 25, 2020 – for which they were quickly fired – would rise to criminal levels. Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane, both in their first weeks as full-time officers, helped Mr. Floyd down, and Mr. Thao retained a group of relevant bystanders. All three officers were charged with failing to provide medical aid to Mr. Floyd, while Mr. Kueng and Mr. Thao were also charged with failing to intervene to stop Mr. Chauvin.

The trial primarily focused on the training of Minneapolis police officers and their mission to provide aid or prevent a colleague from using excessive force. The ruling could signal whether jurors are looking at police with more scrutiny – even when assessing the actions of officers not primarily responsible for a person’s death.

Mr. Chauvin, 45, has been in custody since April, when he convicted of murder Mr. Floyd. He pleaded guilty to a federal charge Floyd’s civil rights violations in December. Three other officers are also facing state charges of abetting and abetting the killings, with a trial scheduled for Tuesday. Last year.

In his closing argument on Tuesday, Manda Sertich, a federal prosecutor in Minnesota, tried to highlight the time Mr. Floyd had to endure while three police officers were without aid. She also argued that the officers had intentionally stripped Mr. Floyd of his rights, meaning they knew what Mr. Chauvin did was wrong. The juror must find that the defendant’s actions were intentional to convict them.

By the time Mr. Floyd uttered his last plea in the air, Ms. Sertich said, all three officers had taken several minutes to assist him.

Thao was “doing nothing” for 4 minutes and 40 seconds when Floyd called for help, Ms. Sertich said. During that time, she said, Mr. Kueng ignored Mr. Floyd’s pleas as he “stands by his side” with Mr Chauvin, never urging him to give up. And Mr. Lane, who was holding Mr. Floyd, chose “not to stop the terror that was erupting right under his nose”, suggesting only once that Mr Chauvin rolled Mr Floyd towards him but “did nothing to let Mr. George Floyd prosecutor said.

Even when Mr Floyd said he couldn’t breathe for the 27th time, Ms. Sertich said, officers were “only halfway through their crimes”.

The officers are being tried together, but each has their own attorney, and the three attorneys gave separate closing arguments for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.

They argued that their client delayed the verdict of Mr. Chauvin, the senior officer at the scene; that their attention is sometimes diverted from Mr. Floyd’s deteriorating condition; and restraining Mr. Floyd is necessary because he took fentanyl and refused to get in the back of a police car after allegedly using a fake $20 bill. The lawyers also criticized the prosecutors, with one saying prosecutors made false arguments and another claiming they brought the case because of political pressure.

Robert Paule, Mr. Thao’s lawyer, told the jury: “Just because something has a tragic end doesn’t mean it’s a crime.

Earl Grey, Mr. Lane’s attorney, noted that his client asked Mr Chauvin if officers should oust Mr. Floyd to his side and so he was not charged for not interfering. Mr. Gray also said that Mr. Lane was quick to tell paramedics that Mr. Floyd was unresponsive after they arrived at the scene and that he drove an ambulance with Mr. Floyd.

“How in the world can our government, the great United States of America – liberty and all that – accuse someone of doing that?” Mr Gray said, adding that it was “kind of scary.”

Thomas Plunkett, Mr. Kueng’s attorney, said the crowd of witnesses created an unusual and hostile situation, and he said jurors were the officers’ last line of defense against “mob mentality” that he says is driving their prosecution.

Police officers answered the 911 call from Salesperson at a convenience store in South Minneapolis reported that Mr. Floyd used a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

As officers clamped Mr. Floyd’s hand over his stomach in the street, a teenager videoed Mr. Floyd, a black security guard who lost his job during the coronavirus pandemic, begging for air under his knees relentlessly. Mr. Chauvin. The video prompted the Minneapolis police chief to quickly fire all four officers, and it sparked protests demanding racial justice. millions of people on the streets and sidewalks of the United States. Mr. Chauvin and Mr. Lane are white, Mr. Thao is a Hmong and Mr. Kueng is black.

Most of 18 jurors were selected to hear the case – 12 main jurors and six alternate jurors, who will replace main jurors if necessary – are white, partly reflecting the fact that jurors are drawn from all over Minnesota and not must be the more diverse Twin Cities area.

Tim Arango and Jay Senter Reporting contributions from St. Paul. The jury weighs the fate of the officers who banned George Floyd when he died

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