Jurors in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin began deliberations on Monday after a prosecutor implored them to “believe your eyes” as he replayed video of the former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on a dying George Floyd’s neck.
Chauvin’s lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, countered in his own closing argument that Chauvin behaved as any “reasonable police officer” would, saying that he followed his training from 19 years on the force.
Over and over again, Steve Schleicher, a prosecutor with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, repeated a phrase: “Nine minutes and 29 seconds” — the length of time Chauvin was captured on video on May 25, 2020, with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill gave the jury final instructions before it left the courtroom at 4 p.m. (2100 GMT) to begin deliberations. Jurors adjourned after four hours and were sequestered in a hotel. Deliberations resume on Tuesday.
Although the verdict will be seen as a reckoning of the way the United States polices Black people, Schleicher emphasized in remarks that lasted nearly two hours that the jury was weighing the guilt of only one man, not a system.