Derek Chauvin’s Lawyer Begins Defense in Trial of George Floyd’s Death

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney on Tuesday will begin presenting the case that his client didn’t kill George Floyd but took reasonable measures to restrain a distressed criminal suspect with a sickly heart who posed a danger to officers after poisoning himself with fentanyl.

After two weeks of playing defense—largely through the cross-examination of witnesses called by the prosecution—Mr. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, now has the chance to call his own witnesses. He will attempt to rebut a prosecution that has relied heavily on the graphic footage of Mr. Floyd’s arrest and death, which caused widespread protests and riots across the country almost a year ago.

Mr. Nelson will seek to raise reasonable doubt about Mr. Chauvin’s guilt by pointing to Mr. Floyd’s resistance to arrest, drug use and health condition as the cause of his May 25, 2020, death, defense lawyers said.

“There’s room for [Mr. Nelson], when you get to the mechanics of what happened to Floyd’s body, to plant other theories of death,” said Michael J. Brandt, a Minnesota criminal defense attorney who has followed Mr. Chauvin’s case closely.

Prosecutors formally rested their case Tuesday morning against Mr. Chauvin. Their witnesses—including bystanders, the city’s police chief, and medical specialists—painted a damning picture of a reckless police officer smothering a helpless man in broad daylight.

Source: WSJ – US News

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