CLOSING arguments have begun in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday after the defense and prosecution both rested their cases last week.
The 45-year-old has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
Floyd died last May following an arrest during which Chauvin placed a knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”
Caught on video, those tragic final moments led to widespread protests and riots across the US against police brutality and racism.
Chauvin, along with three other police officers present during the fatal arrest, was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the day after the death.
45 witnesses were called to the stand in recent weeks – 38 for the prosecution and seven for the defense – including the Minneapolis police chief and other officers who have openly condemned Chauvin’s actions.
One person notably absent from the list of those to take the stand was Chauvin himself, who on Thursday invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
Before the 12 jurors are sequestered to determine Chauvin’s fate, they will hear a final appeal from both sides in the form of a closing argument.
Jurors will then be directed by the judge to decide on a verdict, which could take just a few hours or several weeks.
Minneapolis transformed into a military fortress over the weekend, as the city braces for violence over the trial’s outcome.
Read our Derek Chauvin trial live blog for the latest on George Floyd’s killing…