COURTHOUSE HEAVILY FORTIFIED
Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin squeezed the life out of George Floyd while joining other officers in arresting him last May, a prosecutor told jurors in his opening statement at Chauvin’s murder trial in a heavily fortified courthouse on Monday.
Chauvin’s lead attorney, Eric Nelson, said in his opening statement that the former officer followed his police training.
Jerry Blackwell, a prosecutor with the Minnesota attorney general’s office, told jurors that officers who wear the Minneapolis police badge pledge to never use “unnecessary force or violence.”
“You will learn that on May 25, Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of George Floyd,” said Blackwell, who addressed the jury for just shy of an hour.
He displayed a still image from a bystander’s cellphone video of Chauvin, who his white, with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, saying it showed Chauvin “grinding and crushing him until the very breath — no, ladies and gentlemen — the very life was squeezed out of him.”