Derek Chauvin chooses not to testify at George Floyd murder trial

Clay Curtis
April 17, 2021

"I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interactions with Mr Floyd", Brodd said.

"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today", Chauvin said after briefly removing his mask, referring to the constitutional right against self-incrimination, in his most extensive remarks since his trial began with jury selection on March 8.

Chauvin: "It is, Your Honor".

Medical experts called by the prosecution said Floyd's death was caused by a "low level of oxygen" from the neck restraint and not due to drugs or pre-existing conditions.

"Is this your decision not to testify?" After an ambulance had taken Floyd away, Chauvin told a bystander: "We gotta control this guy 'cause he's a sizable guy. and it looks like he's probably on something".

Mr Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Mr Floyd's death after the 46-year-old was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 at a neighbourhood market last May.

Prosecutors called Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist, to rebut Fowler's testimony and he said he had found no evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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A 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, Chauvin was sacked from the force after Floyd's death.

Defence attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin address Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill.

With the trial in session, Minneapolis has been bracing for a possible repeat of the protests and violence that broke out last spring over Floyd's death.

Fowler, the former chief medical examiner of the state of Maryland, also introduced a new element in the defense case. He told reporters that they had not expected Mr Chauvin to testify, saying the prosecution "would have chopped him down second by second" on the time he knelt on Mr Floyd.

The move not to testify in his own defence means that he will not face cross-examination, with prosecutors likely replaying the video of Floyd's arrest and forcing Chauvin to explain why he kept pressing down on Floyd. Floyd's death spurred global protests against police brutality.

Dr. David Fowler disputed the conclusion made by Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner, that "homicide" was the manner of Floyd's death.

Prosecutors say Mr Floyd died because the officer's knee was pressed against Mr Floyd's neck or close to it for 9 1/2 minutes as he lay on the pavement on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind him and his face jammed against the ground.

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