‘Evidence Is Now Complete’: Both Sides Rest in Chauvin Trial

April 15, 2021, 2:07 p.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 2:07 p.m. ET

Memorials to George Floyd near where he was arrested. Some activists in Minneapolis said watching the murder trial of Derek Chauvin was “exhausting.”
Credit…Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

By the time George Floyd died in May, Leslie Redmond was a veteran of protests in Minneapolis. In 2015, she was one of the people who occupied a police precinct for 18 days. In 2020, she was the leader of the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., organizing marches and meeting with community leaders.

But even though she is accustomed to standing up for what she believes in, Ms. Redmond said it was difficult to watch the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who is charged with murdering Mr. Floyd.

“Here we are in 2021, waiting to see if we get justice,” she said, referring to other cases in Minneapolis in which police officers have been acquitted in the death of Black men. “I was exhausted last May. You can only imagine how exhausted I am now. It is unbearable. I constantly get emotional.”

Ms. Redmond, 29, said she was focused on using her new organization, Don’t Complain, Activate, to help heal a community that has been repeatedly traumatized, especially these past few weeks while having to rewatch Mr. Floyd’s death over and over during the trial.

Less-experienced activists, many spurred to act for the first time after Mr. Floyd’s death, are feeling the same exhaustion as Ms. Redmond. In nearby Minnetonka, Minn., Ahlaam Abdulwali, 17, says she has seen little change in her mostly white school district after presenting officials with a 10-page document describing racist experiences in September.

“The murder of George Floyd showed me I can’t depend on others for change,” said Ms. Abdulwali, who is Somali-American and Muslim. “At this point, almost a year later, trying to pressure the school district, and nothing has changed. It’s a disappointment.”

For Rafael Forbush, who founded the Multiracial Jewish Association of Minnesota after Mr. Floyd’s death, the last year has been challenging. At first, larger Jewish organizations rarely responded to calls to discuss the issues of racism and anti-Semitism that Jews of color face, Mr. Forbush, 35, said. Now, almost a year later, they are more receptive. But the feeling of despair sometimes sets in, he says.

This past week has shown us how tiring, how exhausting this work is, even if we feel we have made progress,” said Mr. Forbush, who identifies himself as half Black. “It makes it so much more difficult, and feels like we haven’t done anything. The last year has been exhausting. Minneapolis being under the international spotlight hasn’t made it easier.”

While downtown Minneapolis, especially near the courthouse, has been heavily fortified during Mr. Chauvin’s trial, with National Guard troops patrolling the streets every night, there have been few protests there this week. Instead, protesters have descended on Brooklyn Center, a suburb where a white police officer fatally shot Daunte Wright, a Black man, on Sunday.

Ms. Redmond said she has prayer and reflection sessions planned for Saturday as part of her new foundation. And if there are calls for protests because of an acquittal, she said she will join them. But for now, she is focused on healing after a year in which Minneapolis has been under the world’s gaze.

April 15, 2021, 12:29 p.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 12:29 p.m. ET

The local CBS station in Minneapolis covering the trial of the former police officer Derek Chauvin. 
Credit…Still image, via WCCO

Viewers tuning into the Minneapolis NBC affiliate expecting to see Hoda Kotb or Jenna Bush Hager on the “Today” show are instead seeing the inside of a courtroom and hearing experts discuss police use of force.

For three weeks, KARE, the affiliate, has packed its daytime schedule, usually full of morning shows and soap operas, with legal experts giving analysis of the trial of the former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin. It’s the same on the local FOX station: gavel-to-gavel coverage starting at about 8:30 a.m. every morning until the judge sends the jury home. That’s usually followed by a panel discussing takeaways from the day’s testimony. CBS and ABC affiliates are interrupting programming for key developments.

It’s less Nancy Grace of Court TV fame and more a sober examination of legal concepts, medical theories and testimony. On Thursday, Mary Moriarty, the former chief public defender in Hennepin County, explained the morning’s events, including why Mr. Chauvin had invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not testify and why the prosecution submitted new evidence about a medical report it just found.

The defense rested on Thursday, and the jury is expected to start deliberating on Monday. And while Minneapolis residents are closely watching coverage of the trial, there is one group that isn’t allowed to. Every night, Judge Peter A. Cahill thanks the 12 jurors for their service and leaves them with a thought about the TV coverage.

“Have a good night,” he says. “And don’t watch the news.”

April 15, 2021, 12:21 p.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 12:21 p.m. ET

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Pulmonologist Testifies That Car Exhaust Did Not Kill George Floyd

Returning to the stand for the state on Thursday, Dr. Martin J. Tobin referenced tests done on Mr. Floyd’s blood and called the statement by Dr. David Fowler, a defense witness and forensic pathologist, that carbon monoxide could have killed him “simply wrong.”

“Mr. Floyd, when he went to Hennepin County, he had an arterial blood gas obtained, so that’s sticking a needle into the artery at the wrist, and you take out the blood. And you get all these different measurements, and you also get the oxygen saturation. And that is the, how much of the hemoglobin, the protein in the blood that carries the oxygen, how much of that hemoglobin is saturated with oxygen. And we know in Mr. Floyd that it was 98 percent saturated.” “So 98 percent saturated with oxygen.” “With oxygen, when they measured it in Hennepin County.” “Does that tell us anything whatsoever about what the carbon monoxide content could have been at a maximum?” “Yes, it does. It tells us that if the hemoglobin is saturated at 98 percent, it tells you all all there was for everything else is 2 percent. And so the maximum amount of carbon monoxide would be 2 percent. That tells you the maximum amount of carboxyhemoglobin. That was what was mentioned yesterday. The maximum amount is 2 percent, it doesn’t even tell you that it is 2 percent — it could be something else. But 2 percent of carboxyhemoglobin is within the normal range. You and I have levels of carboxyhemoglobin of somewhere between 0 and 3.” “And so, in other words, as to the statement that his carboxyhemoglobin could have increased by 10 to 18 percent, in your view, that’s not possible.” “It’s simply wrong.” “And it was, at most, 2 percent.” “At most 2 percent.” “Normal.” Very, I mean, which is normal.”

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Returning to the stand for the state on Thursday, Dr. Martin J. Tobin referenced tests done on Mr. Floyd’s blood and called the statement by Dr. David Fowler, a defense witness and forensic pathologist, that carbon monoxide could have killed him “simply wrong.”CreditCredit…Still image, via Court TV

Dr. Martin J. Tobin, a prosecution medical expert, returned to the stand on Thursday as a rebuttal witness for the state, providing the final testimony that jurors heard in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Dr. Tobin, a pulmonologist who testified last week, was brought back by prosecutors to offer a counter opinion to testimony given yesterday by Dr. David Fowler, the former chief medical examiner of Maryland. Dr. Flower said he believed that George Floyd died from a cardiac arrhythmia, which was caused by multiple factors including heart disease, drug use and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning.

During Dr. Fowler’s testimony, he acknowledged that he had not seen any testing of Mr. Floyd’s blood that showed carbon monoxide poisoning, but said he believed that Mr. Floyd’s carboxyhemoglobin, the combination of carbon monoxide and hemoglobin, could have increased by 10 to 18 percent because he was being restrained near the exhaust pipe of a police squad car.

During his rebuttal testimony, Dr. Tobin said that the idea that carbon monoxide caused Mr. Floyd’s death was “simply wrong.” Tests performed by Hennepin County after his death showed that Mr. Floyd had a 98 percent oxygen saturation, Dr. Tobin said.

That means the maximum amount of carboxyhemoglobin in his blood could not have been greater than 2 percent, he said, which is “within the normal range.”

April 15, 2021, 11:56 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:56 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Judge Cahill tells the jury to “plan for long and hope for short” when it comes to deliberations. They will be dismissed shortly until Monday, when they will hear closing arguments from each side. They will then start deliberation.

April 15, 2021, 11:56 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:56 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Before dismissal, the judge tells the jury how much to pack. After closing arguments, the jurors will be sequestered in a hotel until they reach a verdict (or fail to do so).

April 15, 2021, 11:54 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:54 a.m. ET

“The evidence is now complete for this case,” Judge Peter Cahill tells the jury as both the prosecution and the defense rest.

April 15, 2021, 11:36 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:36 a.m. ET

Arthur Reed, Philonise Floyd, Adner Marcelin, and the Rev. Greg Drumwright walking to the Hennepin County Government Center earlier in the trial.
Credit…Octavio Jones/Reuters

A cousin of George Floyd, Arthur Reed, said he was not surprised when Derek Chauvin opted on Thursday morning not to testify, according to John Eligon, a New York Times journalist acting as the pool reporter inside the courtroom.

The prosecution “would have chopped him down second by second,” about why he knelt on Mr. Floyd for so long, Mr. Reed said. “We didn’t think they were going to put him on at all.”

Mr. Reed was in the one seat that the Floyd family has allocated to it in the courtroom each day. “We’re just ready to get this over with, make sure he gets the justice he deserves,” he said. “We think the state has put on an excellent case.”

April 15, 2021, 11:31 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:31 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Zinger here: In a rebuttal of defense testimony, Dr. Tobin, the prosecution medical witness, says that it’s so obvious that pressure on the neck would narrow the airway that no one even does research on it. After his brief questioning, the court takes another break.

April 15, 2021, 11:23 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:23 a.m. ET

Dr. Martin Tobin testified earlier in the trial as well.
Credit…Court TV still image, via Associated Press

The pulmonologist who broke down in agonizing detail George Floyd’s last moments, pinpointing his final breath, returned to the witness stand on Thursday.

Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist who specializes in the mechanics of breathing, was recalled by prosecutors to rebut defense claims that carbon monoxide from the police car could have contributed to Mr. Floyd’s death. Dr. Tobin said he found no evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning in Mr. Floyd’s blood.

The defense argued against Dr. Tobin’s return, saying the prosecution just wanted to get the pulmonologist “in front of the jury again to talk about things he’s already talked about.”

Previously, Dr. Tobin testified that he pinpointed the exact moment that Mr. Floyd died, and prosecutors slowed down the video to show jurors when Mr. Floyd’s eyes fluttered open and then closed for good.

“That’s the moment the life goes out of his body,” Dr. Tobin said.

April 15, 2021, 11:21 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:21 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

We’re back from break, and the defense has officially rested its case.

April 15, 2021, 11:19 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:19 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

One thing I’m thinking about as the case winds down is how little we’ve heard from, or even really about, Derek Chauvin. The prosecution could have presented previous incidents, one in which Chauvin used restraint on a suspect who was not resisting, and one in which he was said to have saved a man’s life by placing him in the side recovery position — a contrast to how he handled George Floyd. But they opted not to.

April 15, 2021, 11:20 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:20 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

So with the exception of a few exchanges captured on video, and his pleading the Fifth and declining to testify this morning, the man whose face was strikingly impassive as he knelt on Floyd’s neck remains a silent figure.

April 15, 2021, 11:19 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:19 a.m. ET

The former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager during testimony in 2016.
Credit…Pool photo by Grace Beahm

Although Derek Chauvin has opted not to testify in his defense against charges that he murdered George Floyd, police officers have taken the stand in their own defense. The results have been mixed. Here are a few examples:

Jason Van Dyke, on trial in Chicago in 2018 for the murder of Laquan McDonald, gave testimony that some said dehumanized the victim. “His face had no expression,” Mr. Van Dyke said of Mr. McDonald. “His eyes were just bugging out of his head. He had these huge white eyes just staring right through me.”

His account contradicted the video. “The video doesn’t show my perspective,” he told the jury.

Outcome: Convicted of murder, sentenced to nearly 7 years.

Mohamed Noor, on trial in Minneapolis in 2019 for the murder of Justine Ruszczyk, who had called 911 to report hearing a potential sexual assault, described his anguish after learning that he had shot an unarmed resident. “It felt like my whole world came crashing down,” he said.

On cross-examination, he was forced to admit that he had never seen Ms. Ruszczyk’s hands. “I had to make a split-second decision,” he said.

Outcome: Convicted of murder, sentenced to 12 years.

Michael Slager, on trial in Charleston, S.C., in 2016 for the murder of Walter L. Scott as he fled from a traffic stop, told the jury that he had nightmares after the shooting. “I fired until the threat was stopped, like I’m trained to do,” he said.

Outcome: Hung jury. Mr. Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation and was sentenced to 20 years.

Betty Jo Shelby, on trial in Tulsa, Okla., in 2017 for the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed driver, said she did what she was trained to do if she believed someone had a gun.

“I have all the indications that he has a gun,” she said. “I do not pull a Taser out, which is less lethal. I meet a gun with a gun.”

Outcome: Acquitted.

Jeronimo Yanez, on trial in St. Paul, Minn., in 2017 for the shooting death of a motorist, Philando Castile, said he feared for his life.

“I had no other choice. I was forced to engage Mr. Castile. He was not complying with my directions,” Mr. Yanez said. Mr. Yanez was on the lookout for suspects in an armed robbery, and said that Mr. Castile “gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look. It’s a trigger.”

Outcome: Acquitted.

April 15, 2021, 10:58 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:58 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Court is in a 15-minute recess before the prosecution calls Dr. Martin Tobin back to the stand to rebut some of yesterday’s medical tesimony for the defense.

April 15, 2021, 11:02 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 11:02 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

During this recess, the state is talking to Dr. Tobin and warning him not to mention anything about the new evidence that surfaced about George Floyd and carbon monoxide poisoning. The state will be very careful in its questioning of Dr. Tobin after Judge Cahill warned of a mistrial.

April 15, 2021, 10:53 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:53 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Judge Cahill is upset that the medical examiner’s office did not turn over all of its test results until the 11th hour, and says the prosecution cannot bring up the newly disclosed evidence regarding carbon monoxide levels in George Floyd’s blood if they put their expert medical witness, Dr. Martin Tobin, back on the stand. “If he even hints that there are test results that the jury has not heard of, it’s going to be a mistrial,” the judge says.

April 15, 2021, 10:55 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:55 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Though the prosecution wants to cover every possible base, it’s not clear that this decision will be a big blow to their case, because Dr. Fowler, the defense medical expert, listed carbon monoxide poisoning as only one of several possible factors in Floyd’s death, and the state already undermined that theory on cross-examination.

April 15, 2021, 10:45 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:45 a.m. ET

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Derek Chauvin Declines to Testify in Murder Trial

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd, invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in his own defense on Thursday.

“You understand that you have a Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent. Do you understand that?” “Yes.” “You understand that if you choose to exercise that right to remain silent, neither the state nor the court can comment on your silence as a sign or an indication of your guilt? Meaning they can’t say he didn’t get up and defend himself, so equate your silence with guilt. You understand that?” “Yes.” “All right. Now, you also understand that you can waive that right and testify?” Do you understand that?” “Yes, I do.” “Have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?” “I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.” “Mr. Chauvin, I’m going to address you directly because the decision whether or not to testify — I’m going to take this off — is entirely yours. In other words, it’s a personal right. Mr. Nelson makes a lot of the decisions in trial, but one he cannot make for you is whether or not you testify, and he can give you advice and you can take that advice or reject that advice. But the decision ultimately has to be yours and not his. Is this your decision not to testify?” “It is, your honor.” “All right. Do you have any questions about your right to remain silent or to testify on your own behalf?” “Not at this time, I don’t.” “Has anyone promise anything or threatened you in any way to keep you from testifying?” “No promises or threats, your honor.” “Do you feel that your decision not to testify is a voluntary one on your behalf?” “Yes, it is.”

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Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd, invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in his own defense on Thursday.CreditCredit…Still image, via Court TV

For the first time in nearly three weeks of testimony, the former officer Derek Chauvin spoke in the courtroom. Nearing the end of the defense’s case, Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, asked Mr. Chauvin whether he would like to testify in his own defense.

Mr. Nelson said he and Mr. Chauvin have had repeated conversations on the matter, including a “lengthy meeting” Wednesday night. Mr. Chauvin, who removed his mask to answer Mr. Nelson’s questions, chose to waive his right to testify.

“I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today,” he said.

Judge Peter A. Cahill also described to Mr. Chauvin the instructions that he would give the jury before they begin deliberations. The judge will instruct jurors that Mr. Chauvin has a right not to testify and they cannot hold Mr. Chauvin’s decision not to testify against him.

Mr. Chauvin, 45, faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd.

April 15, 2021, 10:37 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:37 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

It appears that Dr. Andrew Baker, the local medical examiner, heard the testimony yesterday from the defense medical witness, Dr. David Fowler, suggesting that George Floyd might have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from car exhaust, and called prosecutors to tell them he had some relevant test results. Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin’s defense lawyer, is complaining that the state had ample time to come up with this evidence previously.

April 15, 2021, 10:28 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:28 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

The prosecution is now talking about “newly discovered evidence” regarding George Floyd and carbon monoxide from exhaust of the police car he was restrained next to, an issue that came up yesterday with the defense’s medical expert, Dr. David Fowler. The state is expected to bring back to the stand today Dr. Martin Tobin, one of its experts who testified last week, to rebut some of yesterday’s testimony by Dr. Fowler.

April 15, 2021, 10:23 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:23 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

The judge is questioning Derek Chauvin to make sure that it is his decision not to testify, and that the decision is entirely voluntary. This is to prevent any later claim that he was ill-advised by his defense, or that his failure to testify was a result of an ineffective lawyer.

April 15, 2021, 10:23 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:23 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Judge Cahill also discussed the jury instructions with Chauvin. He says the jury will be told that Chauvin has a right not to testify in the case, and that they should not hold it against him.

April 15, 2021, 10:20 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:20 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

I think we just heard Derek Chauvin’s voice in the courtroom for the first time, other than on video. His laywer, Eric Nelson, is asking him about his decision on whether to testify.

April 15, 2021, 10:20 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 10:20 a.m. ET

Reporting from Minneapolis

Chauvin says he is not going to take the stand, invoking his Fifth Amendment right. Outside of the hearing of the jury, he is being questioned by Nelson about the discussions they have had — many times, they say — about whether he will testify.

April 15, 2021, 9:46 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 9:46 a.m. ET

Protests erupted near the Brooklyn Center Police Department for a fourth night Wednesday after Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by an officer on Sunday. Kimberly A. Potter, the officer who shot Mr. Wright, was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree manslaughter. The shooting has become another flash point in the protests for racial justice that have swept the country.

April 15, 2021, 7:30 a.m. ET

April 15, 2021, 7:30 a.m. ET

If Derek Chauvin, right, were to testify in his own defense, he could open himself up to difficult questions from prosecutors.
Credit…Still image, via Court TV

Perhaps the biggest question in the Derek Chauvin trial on Thursday is whether the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with murdering George Floyd will testify in his own defense.

Judge Peter A. Cahill has said that if the proceedings continue ahead of schedule, the court will not convene on Friday, and that he expects closing arguments to begin as soon as Monday. That means Thursday could be the final day for the defense team to present its case.

It has used this week to call two expert witnesses — one use-of-force expert and one medical expert — who testified that Mr. Chauvin did not violate police policy and that his actions did not cause Mr. Floyd’s death.

Though Mr. Chauvin may have benefited from those two witnesses, testifying on his own behalf is risky. Jurors could dislike him, and he could open himself up to difficult questions from prosecutors, who have displayed their prowess at cross-examinations this week.

If Mr. Chauvin does take the stand on Thursday, his testimony will come at a tense moment. In a Minneapolis suburb less than 10 miles from the courthouse, a white police officer fatally shot a Black man as he resisted arrest on Sunday. Officials said that the officer, Kimberly A. Potter, meant to pull her Taser, but accidentally drew her handgun before shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Ms. Potter, who has resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday and released on bail. Protesters have demonstrated in Brooklyn Center every night this week, and the mood remains uneasy in the Twin Cities. Mr. Floyd’s death last year led to the largest wave of protests that America had seen in decades, and officials are urging people to demonstrate peacefully as these two events — the aftermath of the shooting of Mr. Wright, and the trial of Mr. Chauvin — unfold together.

Dr. David Fowler, a former chief medical examiner of Maryland who has testified in numerous high-profile police use-of-force cases, told the court on Wednesday that Mr. Floyd died from sudden cardiac arrhythmia, and he did not cite Mr. Chauvin’s use of force as a contributing cause.

He said he believed that several other factors could have spurred Mr. Floyd’s death: pre-existing heart problems, drug use, and even carbon monoxide exhaust from the vehicle near Mr. Floyd as he was restrained.

“You put all of those together, it’s very difficult to say which of those is the most accurate,” he said, characterizing Mr. Floyd’s cause of death as “undetermined.”

Dr. Fowler’s testimony contradicted those of several experts called by the prosecution, including a cardiologist and a pulmonologist.

He disputed the notion that the prone position that Mr. Chauvin kept Mr. Floyd in for nine and a half minutes was dangerous, citing studies about whether such a position can cause asphyxia. Some of the prosecution’s witnesses said those studies did not accurately depict real-life scenarios.

Jerry Blackwell, the prosecutor who cross-examined Dr. Fowler, got Dr. Fowler to agree that sudden cardiac arrest is often reversible and that Mr. Floyd should have been given medical attention.

April 14, 2021, 10:01 p.m. ET

April 14, 2021, 10:01 p.m. ET

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Protesters gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, Minn., for a fourth night to protest the killing of Daunte Wright, a Black man shot by a police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday.CreditCredit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered for a fourth night outside a police station in suburban Minneapolis on Wednesday, protesting the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a police officer.

Carrying signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice No Peace,” a crowd assembled in the rain outside the Brooklyn Center, Minn., police station, and confrontations between protesters and law enforcement officials began nearly immediately. After several skirmishes in which protesters threw bottles of water and milk, the police fired several flash-bang grenades over the crowd. They used pepper spray and fired marker rounds, which can stain clothing.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the police declared the assembly “unlawful” and ordered the crowd to disperse, but hundreds of people remained, some trying to shield themselves with wooden barricades.

A helicopter flew low over the scene, shining a spotlight on the crowd. Protesters and police officers alike found themselves gagging on pepper spray.

After 10 p.m., the hour set as an official curfew by the Brooklyn Center mayor, state troopers marched from the south toward the protesters, knocking over the wooden barriers and plastic trash barrels separating them from the crowd and forcing demonstrators to the east. More officers arrived from the north. Most in the crowd fled. The police said on Twitter that they had begun arresting those protesters who had ignored orders to leave.

News that Kimberly A. Potter, the officer who fired the shot that killed Mr. Wright, had been charged with second-degree manslaughter drew mixed reaction from activists.

Ariana Buford, 25, of Brooklyn Center, said the potential penalty seemed light given Ms. Potter’s long experience as a police officer. “The charges need to be more severe,” she said. “She’s been a police officer longer than I’ve been alive.”

Keveon Ford, 45, a private contractor from Coon Rapids, Minn., said the charge was appropriate given the police claim that Ms. Potter had shot Mr. Wright by accident, appearing to mistake her handgun for her Taser. But he worried that she would not be convicted.

“Why can’t police be held accountable for their actions?” he asked. “This is the only profession where you aren’t held accountable.”

Ms. Potter was arrested on Wednesday, a day after she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, and was released on bail after posting $100,000 bond, according to a spokesman for the sheriff’s department.

Hundreds of people have faced off with the police in Brooklyn Center each night since Mr. Wright’s death on Sunday, with the region already on edge amid the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged with murdering George Floyd last May.

April 14, 2021, 12:52 p.m. ET

April 14, 2021, 12:52 p.m. ET

The area outside Cup Foods, where George Floyd was arrested, is now known as George Floyd Square.
Credit…Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

The defense began presenting its witnesses on Monday, after more than 30 witnesses took the stand for the state during the first two weeks of the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Witness testimony for the defense is expected to last at least through the end of the week before the trial moves into closing arguments and, finally, jury deliberation. Mr. Chauvin, 45, faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd.

Judge Peter A. Cahill said this week that if the defense’s case continues ahead of schedule, the court would not convene on Friday so that closing arguments would not happen until Monday. As soon as closing arguments are finished, the jury will be sequestered and can take as long as it needs to deliver a verdict.

Jury selection — eight days of intense questioning to potential jurors about their political biases and views on racism and policing — began on March 9. Ultimately, 12 jury members and two alternates were chosen.

Both sides delivered opening statements on March 29, which were followed by the prosecution calling their witnesses to the stand. Each witness is questioned by the state, then cross-examined by the defense. Questioning goes back and forth between the state and the defense.

Each side submitted a list of potential witnesses to the judge ahead of the trial: The state submitted the names of 363 potential witnesses, and the defense listed 212, but it was unclear how many would actually appear.

April 5, 2021, 2:24 p.m. ET

April 5, 2021, 2:24 p.m. ET

The Great Seal of the State of Minnesota displayed in Hennepin County District Court.
Credit…Still image, via Court TV

During breaks or parts of the Derek Chauvin trial that cannot be broadcast, the camera delivering the live feed of the proceedings will often pan away to a copy of the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota that is affixed to the wall behind the judge.

For those wondering what they’re looking at, the phrase on the seal says, “L’Étoile du Nord,” which is French for “The Star of the North.”

As for the other images and symbols on it, the Minnesota secretary of state’s website says “the cultivated ground and plow symbolize the importance of agriculture” to the state while the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls are featured as a nod to its natural resources.

There are also three examples of the state tree, known as the red pine or the Norway pine, and the stump in the foreground is a recognition of Minnesota’s timber industry. The sun at the horizon is said to be shining across the plains that cover much of the state.

“The American Indian on horseback represents the great American Indian heritage of the state,” the website adds, “while the horse, spear, ax, rifle and plow represent important tools that were used for hunting and labor.”

March 29, 2021, 8:49 a.m. ET

March 29, 2021, 8:49 a.m. ET

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How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody

The Times has reconstructed the death of George Floyd on May 25. Security footage, witness videos and official documents show how a series of actions by officers turned fatal. (This video contains scenes of graphic violence.)

It’s a Monday evening in Minneapolis. Police respond to a call about a man who allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. Seventeen minutes later, the man they are there to investigate lies motionless on the ground, and is pronounced dead shortly after. The man was 46-year-old George Floyd, a bouncer originally from Houston who had lost his job at a restaurant when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Crowd: “No justice, no peace.” Floyd’s death triggered major protests in Minneapolis, and sparked rage across the country. One of the officers involved, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. The other three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. The Times analyzed bystander videos, security camera footage and police scanner audio, spoke to witnesses and experts, and reviewed documents released by the authorities to build as comprehensive a picture as possible and better understand how George Floyd died in police custody. The events of May 25 begin here. Floyd is sitting in the driver’s seat of this blue S.U.V. Across the street is a convenience store called Cup Foods. Footage from this restaurant security camera helps us understand what happens next. Note that the timestamp on the camera is 24 minutes fast. At 7:57 p.m., two employees from Cup Foods confront Floyd and his companions about an alleged counterfeit bill he just used in their store to buy cigarettes. They demand the cigarettes back but walk away empty-handed. Four minutes later, they call the police. According to the 911 transcript, an employee says that Floyd used fake bills to buy cigarettes, and that he is “awfully drunk” and “not in control of himself.” Soon, the first police vehicle arrives on the scene. Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng step out of the car and approach the blue S.U.V. Seconds later, Lane pulls his gun. We don’t know exactly why. He orders Floyd to put his hands on the wheel. Lane reholsters the gun, and after about 90 seconds of back and forth, yanks Floyd out of the S.U.V. A man is filming the confrontation from a car parked behind them. The officers cuff Floyd’s hands behind his back. And Kueng walks him to the restaurant wall. “All right, what’s your name?” From the 911 transcript and the footage, we now know three important facts: First, that the police believed they were responding to a man who was drunk and out of control. But second, even though the police were expecting this situation, we can see that Floyd has not acted violently. And third, that he seems to already be in distress. Six minutes into the arrest, the two officers move Floyd back to their vehicle. As the officers approach their car, we can see Floyd fall to the ground. According to the criminal complaints filed against the officers, Floyd says he is claustrophobic and refuses to enter the police car. During the struggle, Floyd appears to turn his head to address the officers multiple times. According to the complaints, he tells them he can’t breathe. Nine minutes into the arrest, the third and final police car arrives on the scene. It’s carrying officers Tou Thao and Derek Chauvin. Both have previous records of complaints brought against them. Thao was once sued for throwing a man to the ground and hitting him. Chauvin has been involved in three police shootings, one of them fatal. Chauvin becomes involved in the struggle to get Floyd into the car. Security camera footage from Cup Foods shows Kueng struggling with Floyd in the backseat while Thao watches. Chauvin pulls him through the back seat and onto the street. We don’t know why. Floyd is now lying on the pavement, face down. That’s when two witnesses begin filming, almost simultaneously. The footage from the first witness shows us that all four officers are now gathered around Floyd. It’s the first moment when we can clearly see that Floyd is face down on the ground, with three officers applying pressure to his neck, torso and legs. At 8:20 p.m., we hear Floyd’s voice for the first time. The video stops when Lane appears to tell the person filming to walk away. “Get off to the sidewalk, please. One side or the other, please.” The officers radio a Code 2, a call for non-emergency medical assistance, reporting an injury to Floyd’s mouth. In the background, we can hear Floyd struggling. The call is quickly upgraded to a Code 3, a call for emergency medical assistance. By now another bystander, 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, is filming from a different angle. Her footage shows that despite calls for medical help, Chauvin keeps Floyd pinned down for another seven minutes. We can’t see whether Kueng and Lane are still applying pressure. Floyd: [gasping] Officer: “What do you want?” Bystander: “I’ve been —” Floyd: [gasping] In the two videos, Floyd can be heard telling officers that he can’t breathe at least 16 times in less than five minutes. Bystander: “You having fun?” But Chauvin never takes his knee off of Floyd, even as his eyes close and he appears to go unconscious. Bystander: “Bro.” According to medical and policing experts, these four police officers are committing a series of actions that violate policies, and in this case, turn fatal. They’ve kept Floyd lying face down, applying pressure for at least five minutes. This combined action is likely compressing his chest and making it impossible to breathe. Chauvin is pushing his knee into Floyd’s neck, a move banned by most police departments. Minneapolis Police Department policy states an officer can only do this if someone is, quote, “actively resisting.” And even though the officers call for medical assistance, they take no action to treat Floyd on their own while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Officer: “Get back on the sidewalk.” According to the complaints against the officers, Lane asks him twice if they should roll Floyd onto his side. Chauvin says no. Twenty minutes into the arrest, an ambulance arrives on the scene. Bystander: “Get off of his neck!” Bystander: “He’s still on him?” The E.M.T.s check Floyd’s pulse. Bystander: “Are you serious?” Chauvin keeps his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost another whole minute, even though Floyd appears completely unresponsive. He only gets off once the E.M.T.s tell him to. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, according to our review of the video evidence. Floyd is loaded into the ambulance. The ambulance leaves the scene, possibly because a crowd is forming. But the E.M.T.s call for additional medical help from the fire department. But when the engine arrives, the officers give them, quote, “no clear info on Floyd or his whereabouts,” according to a fire department incident report. This delays their ability to help the paramedics. Meanwhile, Floyd is going into cardiac arrest. It takes the engine five minutes to reach Floyd in the ambulance. He’s pronounced dead at a nearby hospital around 9:25 p.m. Preliminary autopsies conducted by the state and Floyd’s family both ruled his death a homicide. The widely circulated arrest videos don’t paint the entire picture of what happened to George Floyd. Crowd: “Floyd! Floyd!” Additional video and audio from the body cameras of the key officers would reveal more about why the struggle began and how it escalated. The city quickly fired all four officers. And Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder. Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting murder. But outrage over George Floyd’s death has only spread further and further across the United States.

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The Times has reconstructed the death of George Floyd on May 25. Security footage, witness videos and official documents show how a series of actions by officers turned fatal. (This video contains scenes of graphic violence.)

On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, after a convenience store employee called 911 to report that Mr. Floyd had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.

By combining videos from bystanders and security cameras, reviewing official documents and consulting experts, The New York Times reconstructed in detail the minutes leading to Mr. Floyd’s death. Our video shows officers taking a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help.

March 29, 2021, 8:15 a.m. ET

March 29, 2021, 8:15 a.m. ET

The trial for officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is shown on the outdoor televisions at the Fox News headquarters in Midtown.
Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

The trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is unusual for many reasons: It is being livestreamed from Minneapolis, attendance is severely limited because of the coronavirus and the public’s interest in the case may make this one of the highest-profile trials in recent memory.

The trial can be watched on nytimes.com, via a livestream provided by Court TV, which is also airing the trial in full.

Among the people allowed in the courtroom, on the 18th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center, are: the judge, jurors, witnesses, court staff, lawyers, Mr. Chauvin and only a handful of spectators.

The judge, Peter A. Cahill, wrote in an order on March 1 that only one member of Mr. Floyd’s family and one member of Mr. Chauvin’s family would be allowed in the room at any time. Two seats that are reserved for reporters and various journalists, including from The New York Times, will be rotating throughout the trial.

The lawyers, spectators, jurors and witnesses are required to wear masks when they are not speaking. Spectators are prohibited from having any visible images, logos, letters or numbers on their masks or clothing, according to Judge Cahill’s order.

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