Derek Chauvin’s Defense Blames Witnesses For George Floyd’s Death

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder in the case of George Floyd, after a video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes. His defense attorneys, in the first day of Chauvin’s trial, attempted to divert the blame, including claiming that the witnesses were the actual cause of Floyd’s death.

[People gather at the unveiling of artist Kenny Altidor’s memorial portrait of George Floyd painted on a storefront sidewall of CTown Supermarket on July 13, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images]

In the clip below, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, claims that George Floyd only died because of the large crowd of witnesses. Ironically, without the crowd, and in particular cell phone video captured by a bystander, the public may have never known the facts of the case, and certainly would not have documentation of Floyd’s last minutes, in which he pled for air, his mother, and his life.

Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit bill — something that consumers often do without even realizing they are in possession of one. Nelson describes the growing crowd, with people screaming as they witnessed a man begging to be allowed to breathe, and declares that this created a safety concern, in which the police officer was forced to divert his attention from the man he was restraining — or as Nelson describes it, “the care of Mr. Floyd.”

Though the Minneapolis Chief of Police is to testify that Chauvin’s actions were not consistent with policy or training, Nelson also says that Chauvin “did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career.”

According to the Washington Post, the other three officers (J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao) involved in the arrest of George Floyd are charged with aiding and abetting, and are scheduled to stand trial in August.

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