Key Moments on Day 11 of the Derek Chauvin Trial

The judge denied a defense motion to sequester the jury after a police shooting in the Minneapolis suburbs.,


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The third week of testimony in the trial of the former officer Derek Chauvin began on Monday with prosecutors continuing to call witnesses they think will bolster their argument that Mr. Chauvin caused George Floyd’s death by pinning him to the ground for more than nine minutes.

The defense has been able to cross-examine them but must wait to begin making its case — that Mr. Floyd died from underlying health conditions and the use of drugs — in earnest by calling its own witnesses. That process will be followed by closing arguments from both sides and jury deliberation.

Here are some key moments from Day 11 of the trial.


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George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, testified on Monday in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in Mr. Floyd’s death, and spoke about who George Floyd was as a person and the memories they shared growing up.CreditCredit…Still image, via Court TV

In brief, but tearful testimony, Philonise Floyd spoke in loving terms about George Floyd, his older brother. Mr. Floyd, 39, described how the family moved to Houston from North Carolina when he was younger.

The family lived in a low-income development in the Third Ward where Mr. Floyd and his siblings grew up.

“We stayed with each other all the time, me and George,” Mr. Floyd said, adding that they enjoyed playing video games as children.

As the big brother, George Floyd took care of his siblings and “was so much of a leader in the household,” his brother said.

“George used to make the best banana mayonnaise sandwiches,” Mr. Floyd said with a smile. He said that George Floyd “couldn’t cook — he couldn’t boil water,” but that he always made sure the siblings had a snack and had their clothes for school.

Philonise Floyd said his brother was also passionate about sports and excelled in football and basketball.

“He always wanted to be the best,” he said.

At one point in the testimony, the prosecutor presented a photo of George Floyd in his No. 5 team jersey, standing with his basketball team when he was a student at South Florida Community College.

“He loved to playing basketball, and he loved teaching people the game of basketball,” Mr. Floyd recalled.

Asked about George Floyd’s relationship with their mother, Mr. Floyd described it as “one of a kind” and added “he was a big momma’s boy.”

Mr. Floyd became teary-eyed when he talked about their close relationship.

“He showed us how to treat our mom, how to respect our mom,” he said. “He loved her so dearly.”

He said he and George Floyd texted and called each other often.

“He was my big brother,” he said.

The loss of their mother in May 2018 was very painful for George Floyd, his brother said.

At the funeral, “he was just kissing her, just kissing her, and he didn’t want to leave the casket.”

Mr. Floyd said that was the last time he saw his brother alive.

There was no cross-examination.

Dr. Jonathan Rich, a cardiologist called to testify in the trial, said on Monday that Mr. Floyd’s heart was not the main cause of his death. He also ruled out a drug overdose.

“Mr. George Floyd died from a cardiopulmonary arrest,” Dr. Rich said. “It was caused by low oxygen levels” induced by the position that “he was subjected to.”

It was an observation that Dr. Rich repeated: that the way the police officers restrained Mr. Floyd led to his asphyxiation. “He was trying to get enough oxygen and because of the position that he was subjected to, the heart thus did not have enough oxygen,” he said.

Dr. Rich said that part of his clinical work involves reviewing evidence to determine why patients had died. In being called by the state to help determine how Mr. Floyd died, he described his testimony as a “meaningful contribution.”

He said that after examining medical records, the autopsy and video footage of Mr. Floyd’s arrest, he determined that Mr. Floyd’s heart was not the main cause of his death.

Dr. Rich said he had considered two other potential causes, including a primary cardiac event and possibly a drug overdose. But he said: “I can state with a high degree of medical certainty” that Mr. Floyd “did not die from a primary cardiac event and did not die from a drug overdose.”

After reviewing a toxicology report, he said that Mr. Floyd’s methamphetamine levels were low, and that he did not see any signs that a drug overdose had caused his death.

And after watching the video of Mr. Floyd’s arrest, Dr. Rich said he determined that Mr. Floyd was restrained in a life-threatening manner, and that there was no evidence of a sudden cardiac death.

He said he believed Mr. Floyd would have lived, had he been given treatment during several instances shown on the video.

He said he noticed that an officer had said at some point during the arrest that he believed Mr. Floyd was passing out. “That would have been an opportunity to quickly relieve him from that position of not getting enough oxygen,” Dr. Rich said.

He also noted that one officer had suggested that Mr. Floyd be turned on his side but was told to “leave him.” When officers learned that Mr. Floyd had no pulse, their immediate response should have been to administer chest compressions, he said.

“I believe that Mr. George Floyd’s death was absolutely preventable,” Dr. Rich said.

He said Mr. Floyd’s medical records did not show previous complaints or evidence of abnormal rhythms and palpitations and added that Mr. Floyd had an “exceptionally strong heart.”

Asked whether he saw signs that Mr. Floyd had a heart attack, Dr. Rich said, “None, whatsoever.”

On cross-examination, Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, asked Dr. Rich whether a combination of factors, including previous drug use, narrowing arteries, high blood pressure and the struggle with the officers, could have resulted in Mr. Floyd’s death even without being restrained in the prone position.

“I found no evidence to support that,” Dr. Rich answered.

Mr. Nelson also asked Dr. Rich whether Mr. Floyd would have survived had he simply got into the back seat of the squad car.

Had he not been restrained in the way that he was, Dr. Rich replied, “I think he would have survived that day.”




Protests Erupt After Minnesota Officer Shoots Black Man

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Brooklyn Center, Minn., near where Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd, after a police officer fatally shot a 20-year-old Black driver during a traffic stop on Sunday.

[coughing] [explosion] “Crowds, 100 to 200, that were marching toward the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as we understand it, and from both our own reports and media reports, we saw rocks and other objects thrown at the police department. There were reports of shots fired in the area of the police department.” [explosion] [scream] “Pretty, pretty hectic, right now, guys.”

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Hundreds of people took to the streets in Brooklyn Center, Minn., near where Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd, after a police officer fatally shot a 20-year-old Black driver during a traffic stop on Sunday.CreditCredit…Liam Doyle for The New York Times

The request from the defense followed the death a 20-year-old Black man who was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on Sunday night, sending hundreds of protesters into the streets.

Mr. Nelson, the defense lawyer, had argued that the jurors should be ordered to avoid all media and spend the rest of the trial sequestered because he feared that further unrest in the area where the shooting took place might limit their ability as fair jurors. The judge denied that and said the situation in the area, Brooklyn Center, was different because the unrest was not after a jury verdict, but in response to a separate police shooting.

The unrest will be at “forefront of the jury’s mind-set,” Mr. Nelson said. “A verdict in this case will have consequences. They have been exposed to that already. The jury should be sequestered.”

Mr. Nelson asked the court for two things: full sequestration of the jury, and to re-interview each juror about what they know about the protests and the police shooting on Sunday night. Judge Cahill denied both. “This is a totally different case,” he said.

The protests in Brooklyn Center came hours before the start of the third week of Mr. Chauvin‘s trial.

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