Closing arguments in George Floyd death

MINNEAPOLIS — Attorneys for the prosecution and defense in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in George Floyd’s death, were presenting their closing arguments Monday, summarizing their respective evidence and witness testimony and trying to focus jurors on the most important elements.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said Chauvin “chose pride over policing” last Memorial Day, calling Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck “unnecessary, gratuitous and disproportionate.”

“And he did it on purpose. This was not an accident. He did not trip and fall and find himself on George Floyd’s neck,” Schleicher said, adding, “Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw.”

Lead defense attorney Eric Nelson, meanwhile, urged jurors to take into account “the totality of the circumstances.” He said focusing on the 9 minutes and 29 seconds Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck “ignores the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds.”

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