Derek Chauvin waives right to testify at George Floyd murder trial

Former Minneapolis policeman will not address jury at trial over deadly arrest

Defence attorney Eric Nelson (L) and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin are seen earlier this week at Hennepin County Courthouse. Photograph: Court TV, via AP, Pool

Defence attorney Eric Nelson (L) and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin are seen earlier this week at Hennepin County Courthouse. Photograph: Court TV, via AP, Pool

 

Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin has waived his right to testify to the jury at his murder trial for the deadly arrest last May of George Floyd.

The defence also told Judge Peter Cahill that it would call no more witnesses, after two days of such testimony at the trial at the Hennepin County Courthouse. Prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general’s office said they would call at least one rebuttal witness.

Chauvin, who is white, was seen in bystander video footage kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. The footage of his death sparked global protests against the disproportionate use of force by police against black people.

Mr Chauvin’s lawyers had called an expert on the use of force to tell the jury that Mr Chauvin’s use of force in the incident was appropriate, contradicting the Minneapolis police chief, who had testified that it far exceeded an appropriate response.

They also called a forensic pathologist who said Floyd, whose death was ruled a homicide at the hands of the police, really died of heart disease, and that the exhaust fumes of the adjacent police car may have also poisoned him. – Reuters