"He had a bedside manner in court," said Joe Daly, an emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. "He could explain everything, and he had this very pleasing Irish lilt. He ha

Author : LavadaCrooks
Publish Date : 2021-04-21 05:43:54
"He had a bedside manner in court," said Joe Daly, an emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. "He could explain everything, and he had this very pleasing Irish lilt. He ha

Moriarty said she didn't think Nelson had enough of a grasp of the medical knowledge to cross-examine the state's experts. Tobin would have been hard for most attorneys to cross-examine, she said.

"I understand the strategy is wanting to make it look like it’s you and Chauvin against the power of the state and all their experts," Moriarty said. "I don’t know if that was particularly effective."

For all of the explanations provided by the defense for Floyd's death, Nelson never adequately explained why Chauvin held Floyd down for 2 1/2 minutes even after he had no pulse. The only explanation provided was that Chauvin was maintaining his position until an ambulance arrived in the face of an angry crowd that made the area unsafe.

The fact that Chauvin continued to press on Floyd's neck even after he had no pulse "is hard to get away from, and I don't think it was dealt with," Daly said. "Nobody looked too threatening, if you asked me." 

Defense lacked a narrative

Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, said the defense's attempts to construct a narrative of the events felt disingenuous, and Nelson failed to gain the trust of jurors through his arguments. 

"If you watched the closings, you heard the state call out the defense for what they called 'nonsense,' really calling out those disingenuous arguments," she said. A conviction on all three charges means the state succeeded, but also "the defense just really was not able to sell their version and their narrative."

Nelson argued that Floyd's drug use and his underlying health issues caused his death while he struggled with police. But he never called what happened to Floyd "tragic" until his closing argument.

"He waited until two hours into his closing to even utter the word 'tragic,'" Davis said. "The thing is, he didn’t have a coherent narrative and I think you saw that right at the beginning of his closing. If you have a coherent narrative, you tell that story right at the beginning of closing when you have the jury’s attention."

The state did exactly that, starting its closing with a short biography of Floyd and who he was as a person. Prosecutors pushed a consistent theory throughout the case, Davis said.

The state won key concessions from the defense's two expert witnesses and undermined their credibility during their cross examinations. Dr. David Fowler testified that Chauvin likely died of a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" due to his hypertensive heart disease, plus the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system, while he was being restrained and subdued by police.

Because of the many factors, Fowler concluded the manner of Floyd's death was "undetermined" rather than a homicide.

"Undetermined –– that’s not a strong opinion," Moriarty said. It was especially problematic for the defense when compared to the state's strong expert witnesses.

"You would rather have your own narrative about what happened," Moriarty said, "rather than say you can’t prove it, (so) it's reasonable doubt. That’s not a very strong position to find yourself in."

Fowler conceded that Chauvin and the other officers should have immediately offered CPR and chest compressions to Floyd when he was clearly in medical distress and when they learned he had no pulse.

Moriarty said she felt the jury was "offended" by some of the characterizations Nelson reverted to during the trial, including his attempt to goad Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter who told Chauvin he was putting Floyd in a "blood choke," into "coming across as some angry Black man." Nelson characterized the crowd, which included a 9-year-old girl, other minors and an off-duty firefighter, as an angry mob.

"They were all people who were trying to help" and followed police directions, Moriarty said. She noted that a use-of-force expert for the defense acknowledged that simply stopping the restraint would have de-escalated the situation.

"You cannot ignore the racism and the racist ideas inherent in the defense's presentation of its case," Davis said.

Chauvin was not humanized

Chauvin chose not to testify, opting to exercise his the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He wore a surgical mask throughout the trial, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, and taking notes on a yellow notepad.

He rarely looked at the jury or made any expressions of emotion.

"All we have is that look of him on his face on George Floyd's back and neck, and we never got to see anything other than that," Davis said. "He didn’t react in court to any of the really emotional testimony from what we could tell."

Minneapolis on high alert

The jurors were ordered to stay away from news on the trial, and ultimately all news in general, by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. 

Still, it's impossible to believe the jurors could not "taste the tension" in Minneapolis, said A.L. Brown, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in neighboring St. Paul. The courthouse was surrounded by fencing and razor wire, and National Guard soldiers were stationed outside.

"They know the dangers of a not-guilty verdict," Brown said. "It may not drive the outcome, but they’re surely aware of it."

Brown said pretending the criminal justice system is fair doesn't reflect the reality he sees in court.

“People will draw from these verdicts what they need,” he said. “There’s a portion of our population that will say, ‘See? What’s all the whining about? He had a trial. Was found guilty. America works. Stop burning things. Follow the law. Go back to your homes.’”

But a guilty verdict across the board — “that’s the closest to happiness this case can get you.”

Follow Tami Abdollah, a national correspondent for criminal justice, on Twitter at @latams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin's convicti

Moriarty said she didn't think Nelson had enough of a grasp of the medical knowledge to cross-examine the state's experts. Tobin would have been hard for most attorneys to cross-examine, she said.

"I understand the strategy is wanting to make it look like it’s you and Chauvin against the power of the state and all their experts," Moriarty said. "I don’t know if that was particularly effective."

For all of the explanations provided by the defense for Floyd's death, Nelson never adequately explained why Chauvin held Floyd down for 2 1/2 minutes even after he had no pulse. The only explanation provided was that Chauvin was maintaining his position until an ambulance arrived in the face of an angry crowd that made the area unsafe.

The fact that Chauvin continued to press on Floyd's neck even after he had no pulse "is hard to get away from, and I don't think it was dealt with," Daly said. "Nobody looked too threatening, if you asked me." 

Defense lacked a narrative

Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, said the defense's attempts to construct a narrative of the events felt disingenuous, and Nelson failed to gain the trust of jurors through his arguments. 

"If you watched the closings, you heard the state call out the defense for what they called 'nonsense,' really calling out those disingenuous arguments," she said. A conviction on all three charges means the state succeeded, but also "the defense just really was not able to sell their version and their narrative."

Nelson argued that Floyd's drug use and his underlying health issues caused his death while he struggled with police. But he never called what happened to Floyd "tragic" until his closing argument.

"He waited until two hours into his closing to even utter the word 'tragic,'" Davis said. "The thing is, he didn’t have a coherent narrative and I think you saw that right at the beginning of his closing. If you have a coherent narrative, you tell that story right at the beginning of closing when you have the jury’s attention."

The state did exactly that, starting its closing with a short biography of Floyd and who he was as a person. Prosecutors pushed a consistent theory throughout the case, Davis said.

The state won key concessions from the defense's two expert witnesses and undermined their credibility during their cross examinations. Dr. David Fowler testified that Chauvin likely died of a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" due to his hypertensive heart disease, plus the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system, while he was being restrained and subdued by police.

Because of the many factors, Fowler concluded the manner of Floyd's death was "undetermined" rather than a homicide.

"Undetermined –– that’s not a strong opinion," Moriarty said. It was especially problematic for the defense when compared to the state's strong expert witnesses.

"You would rather have your own narrative about what happened," Moriarty said, "rather than say you can’t prove it, (so) it's reasonable doubt. That’s not a very strong position to find yourself in."

Fowler conceded that Chauvin and the other officers should have immediately offered CPR and chest compressions to Floyd when he was clearly in medical distress and when they learned he had no pulse.

Moriarty said she felt the jury was "offended" by some of the characterizations Nelson reverted to during the trial, including his attempt to goad Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter who told Chauvin he was putting Floyd in a "blood choke," into "coming across as some angry Black man." Nelson characterized the crowd, which included a 9-year-old girl, other minors and an off-duty firefighter, as an angry mob.

"They were all people who were trying to help" and followed police directions, Moriarty said. She noted that a use-of-force expert for the defense acknowledged that simply stopping the restraint would have de-escalated the situation.

"You cannot ignore the racism and the racist ideas inherent in the defense's presentation of its case," Davis said.

Chauvin was not humanized

Chauvin chose not to testify, opting to exercise his the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He wore a surgical mask throughout the trial, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, and taking notes on a yellow notepad.

He rarely looked at the jury or made any expressions of emotion.

"All we have is that look of him on his face on George Floyd's back and neck, and we never got to see anything other than that," Davis said. "He didn’t react in court to any of the really emotional testimony from what we could tell."

Minneapolis on high alert

The jurors were ordered to stay away from news on the trial, and ultimately all news in general, by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. 

Still, it's impossible to believe the jurors could not "taste the tension" in Minneapolis, said A.L. Brown, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in neighboring St. Paul. The courthouse was surrounded by fencing and razor wire, and National Guard soldiers were stationed outside.

"They know the dangers of a not-guilty verdict," Brown said. "It may not drive the outcome, but they’re surely aware of it."

Brown said pretend

Moriarty said she didn't think Nelson had enough of a grasp of the medical knowledge to cross-examine the state's experts. Tobin would have been hard for most attorneys to cross-examine, she said.

"I understand the strategy is wanting to make it look like it’s you and Chauvin against the power of the state and all their experts," Moriarty said. "I don’t know if that was particularly effective."

For all of the explanations provided by the defense for Floyd's death, Nelson never adequately explained why Chauvin held Floyd down for 2 1/2 minutes even after he had no pulse. The only explanation provided was that Chauvin was maintaining his position until an ambulance arrived in the face of an angry crowd that made the area unsafe.

The fact that Chauvin continued to press on Floyd's neck even after he had no pulse "is hard to get away from, and I don't think it was dealt with," Daly said. "Nobody looked too threatening, if you asked me." 

Defense lacked a narrative

Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, said the defense's attempts to construct a narrative of the events felt disingenuous, and Nelson failed to gain the trust of jurors through his arguments. 

"If you watched the closings, you heard the state call out the defense for what they called 'nonsense,' really calling out those disingenuous arguments," she said. A conviction on all three charges means the state succeeded, but also "the defense just really was not able to sell their version and their narrative."

Nelson argued that Floyd's drug use and his underlying health issues caused his death while he struggled with police. But he never called what happened to Floyd "tragic" until his closing argument.

"He waited until two hours into his closing to even utter the word 'tragic,'" Davis said. "The thing is, he didn’t have a coherent narrative and I think you saw that right at the beginning of his closing. If you have a coherent narrative, you tell that story right at the beginning of closing when you have the jury’s attention."

The state did exactly that, starting its closing with a short biography of Floyd and who he was as a person. Prosecutors pushed a consistent theory throughout the case, Davis said.

The state won key concessions from the defense's two expert witnesses and undermined their credibility during their cross examinations. Dr. David Fowler testified that Chauvin likely died of a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" due to his hypertensive heart disease, plus the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system, while he was being restrained and subdued by police.

Because of the many factors, Fowler concluded the manner of Floyd's death was "undetermined" rather than a homicide.

"Undetermined –– that’s not a strong opinion," Moriarty said. It was especially problematic for the defense when compared to the state's strong expert witnesses.

"You would rather have your own narrative about what happened," Moriarty said, "rather than say you can’t prove it, (so) it's reasonable doubt. That’s not a very strong position to find yourself in."

Fowler conceded that Chauvin and the other officers should have immediately offered CPR and chest compressions to Floyd when he was clearly in medical distress and when they learned he had no pulse.

Moriarty said she felt the jury was "offended" by some of the characterizations Nelson reverted to during the trial, including his attempt to goad Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter who told Chauvin he was putting Floyd in a "blood choke," into "coming across as some angry Black man." Nelson characterized the crowd, which included a 9-year-old girl, other minors and an off-duty firefighter, as an angry mob.

"They were all people who were trying to help" and followed police directions, Moriarty said. She noted that a use-of-force expert for the defense acknowledged that simply stopping the restraint would have de-escalated the situation.

"You cannot ignore the racism and the racist ideas inherent in the defense's presentation of its case," Davis said.

Chauvin was not humanized

Chauvin chose not to testify, opting to exercise his the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He wore a surgical mask throughout the trial, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, and taking notes on a yellow notepad.

He rarely looked at the jury or made any expressions of emotion.

"All we have is that look of him on his face on George Floyd's back and neck, and we never got to see anything other than that," Davis said. "He didn’t react in court to any of the really emotional testimony from what we could tell."

Minneapolis on high alert

The jurors were ordered to stay away from news on the trial, and ultimately all news in general, by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. 

Still, it's impossible to believe the jurors could not "taste the tension" in Minneapolis, said A.L. Brown, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in neighboring St. Paul. The courthouse was surrounded by fencing and razor wire, and National Guard soldiers were stationed outside.

"They know the dangers of a not-guilty verdict," Brown said. "It may not drive the outcome, but they’re surely aware of it."

Brown said pretending the criminal justice system is fair doesn't reflect the reality he sees in court.

“People will draw from these verdicts what they need,” he said. “

Moriarty said she didn't think Nelson had enough of a grasp of the medical knowledge to cross-examine the state's experts. Tobin would have been hard for most attorneys to cross-examine, she said.

"I understand the strategy is wanting to make it look like it’s you and Chauvin against the power of the state and all their experts," Moriarty said. "I don’t know if that was particularly effective."

For all of the explanations provided by the defense for Floyd's death, Nelson never adequately explained why Chauvin held Floyd down for 2 1/2 minutes even after he had no pulse. The only explanation provided was that Chauvin was maintaining his position until an ambulance arrived in the face of an angry crowd that made the area unsafe.

The fact that Chauvin continued to press on Floyd's neck even after he had no pulse "is hard to get away from, and I don't think it was dealt with," Daly said. "Nobody looked too threatening, if you asked me." 

Defense lacked a narrative

Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, said the defense's attempts to construct a narrative of the events felt disingenuous, and Nelson failed to gain the trust of jurors through his arguments. 

"If you watched the closings, you heard the state call out the defense for what they called 'nonsense,' really calling out those disingenuous arguments," she said. A conviction on all three charges means the state succeeded, but also "the defense just really was not able to sell their version and their narrative."

Nelson argued that Floyd's drug use and his underlying health issues caused his death while he struggled with police. But he never called what happened to Floyd "tragic" until his closing argument.

"He waited until two hours into his closing to even utter the word 'tragic,'" Davis said. "The thing is, he didn’t have a coherent narrative and I think you saw that right at the beginning of his closing. If you have a coherent narrative, you tell that story right at the beginning of closing when you have the jury’s attention."

The state did exactly that, starting its closing with a short biography of Floyd and who he was as a person. Prosecutors pushed a consistent theory throughout the case, Davis said.

The state won key concessions from the defense's two expert witnesses and undermined their credibility during their cross examinations. Dr. David Fowler testified that Chauvin likely died of a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" due to his hypertensive heart disease, plus the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system, while he was being restrained and subdued by police.

Because of the many factors, Fowler concluded the manner of Floyd's death was "undetermined" rather than a homicide.

"Undetermined –– that’s not a strong opinion," Moriarty said. It was especially problematic for the defense when compared to the state's strong expert witnesses.

"You would rather have your own narrative about what happened," Moriarty said, "rather than say you can’t prove it, (so) it's reasonable doubt. That’s not a very strong position to find yourself in."

Fowler conceded that Chauvin and the other officers should have immediately offered CPR and chest compressions to Floyd when he was clearly in medical distress and when they learned he had no pulse.

Moriarty said she felt the jury was "offended" by some of the characterizations Nelson reverted to during the trial, including his attempt to goad Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter who told Chauvin he was putting Floyd in a "blood choke," into "coming across as some angry Black man." Nelson characterized the crowd, which included a 9-year-old girl, other minors and an off-duty firefighter, as an angry mob.

"They were all people who were trying to help" and followed police directions, Moriarty said. She noted that a use-of-force expert for the defense acknowledged that simply stopping the restraint would have de-escalated the situation.

"You cannot ignore the racism and the racist ideas inherent in the defense's presentation of its case," Davis said.

Chauvin was not humanized

Chauvin chose not to testify, opting to exercise his the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He wore a surgical mask throughout the trial, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, and taking notes on a yellow notepad.

He rarely looked at the jury or made any expressions of emotion.

"All we have is that look of him on his face on George Floyd's back and neck, and we never got to see anything other than that," Davis said. "He didn’t react in court to any of the really emotional testimony from what we could tell."

Minneapolis on high alert

The jurors were ordered to stay away from news on the trial, and ultimately all news in general, by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. 

Still, it's impossible to believe the jurors could not "taste the tension" in Minneapolis, said A.L. Brown, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in neighboring St. Paul. The courthouse was surrounded by fencing and razor wire, and National Guard soldiers were stationed outside.

"They know the dangers of a not-guilty verdict," Brown said. "It may not drive the outcome, but they’re surely aware of it."

Brown said pretending the criminal justice system is fair doesn't reflect the reality he sees in court.

“People will draw from these verdicts what they need,” he said. “There’s a portion of our population that will say, ‘See? What’s all the whining about? He had a trial. Was found guilty. America works. Stop burning things. Follow the law. Go back to your homes.’”

But a guilty verdict across the board — “that’s the closest to happiness this case can get you.”

Follow Tami Abdollah, a national correspondent for criminal justice, on Twitter at @latams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin's conviction is pro

Moriarty said she didn't think Nelson had enough of a grasp of the medical knowledge to cross-examine the state's experts. Tobin would have been hard for most attorneys to cross-examine, she said.

"I understand the strategy is wanting to make it look like it’s you and Chauvin against the power of the state and all their experts," Moriarty said. "I don’t know if that was particularly effective."

For all of the explanations provided by the defense for Floyd's death, Nelson never adequately explained why Chauvin held Floyd down for 2 1/2 minutes even after he had no pulse. The only explanation provided was that Chauvin was maintaining his position until an ambulance arrived in the face of an angry crowd that made the area unsafe.

The fact that Chauvin continued to press on Floyd's neck even after he had no pulse "is hard to get away from, and I don't think it was dealt with," Daly said. "Nobody looked too threatening, if you asked me." 

Defense lacked a narrative

Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, said the defense's attempts to construct a narrative of the events felt disingenuous, and Nelson failed to gain the trust of jurors through his arguments. 

"If you watched the closings, you heard the state call out the defense for what they called 'nonsense,' really calling out those disingenuous arguments," she said. A conviction on all three charges means the state succeeded, but also "the defense just really was not able to sell their version and their narrative."

Nelson argued that Floyd's drug use and his underlying health issues caused his death while he struggled with police. But he never called what happened to Floyd "tragic" until his closing argument.

"He waited until two hours into his closing to even utter the word 'tragic,'" Davis said. "The thing is, he didn’t have a coherent narrative and I think you saw that right at the beginning of his closing. If you have a coherent narrative, you tell that story right at the beginning of closing when you have the jury’s attention."

The state did exactly that, starting its closing with a short biography of Floyd and who he was as a person. Prosecutors pushed a consistent theory throughout the case, Davis said.

The state won key concessions from the defense's two expert witnesses and undermined their credibility during their cross examinations. Dr. David Fowler testified that Chauvin likely died of a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" due to his hypertensive heart disease, plus the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system, while he was being restrained and subdued by police.

Because of the many factors, Fowler concluded the manner of Floyd's death was "undetermined" rather than a homicide.

"Undetermined –– that’s not a strong opinion," Moriarty said. It was especially problematic for the defense when compared to the state's strong expert witnesses.

"You would rather have your own narrative about what happened," Moriarty said, "rather than say you can’t prove it, (so) it's reasonable doubt. That’s not a very strong position to find yourself in."

Fowler conceded that Chauvin and the other officers should have immediately offered CPR and chest compressions to Floyd when he was clearly in medical distress and when they learned he had no pulse.

Moriarty said she felt the jury was "offended" by some of the characterizations Nelson reverted to during the trial, including his attempt to goad Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter who told Chauvin he was putting Floyd in a "blood choke," into "coming across as some angry Black man." Nelson characterized the crowd, which included a 9-year-old girl, other minors and an off-duty firefighter, as an angry mob.

"They were all people who were trying to help" and followed police directions, Moriarty said. She noted that a use-of-force expert for the defense acknowledged that simply stopping the restraint would have de-escalated the situation.

"You cannot ignore the racism and the racist ideas inherent in the defense's presentation of its case," Davis said.

Chauvin was not humanized

Chauvin chose not to testify, opting to exercise his the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He wore a surgical mask throughout the trial, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, and taking notes on a yellow notepad.

He rarely looked at the jury or made any expressions of emotion.

"All we have is that look of him on his face on George Floyd's back and neck, and we never got to see anything other than that," Davis said. "He didn’t react in court to any of the really emotional testimony from what we could tell."

Minneapolis on high alert

The jurors were ordered to stay away from news on the trial, and ultimately all news in general, by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. 

Still, it's impossible to believe the jurors could not "taste the tension" in Minneapolis, said A.L. Brown, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in neighboring St. Paul. The courthouse was surrounded by fencing and razor wire, and National Guard soldiers were stationed outside.

"They know the dangers of a not-guilty verdict," Brown said. "It may not drive the outcome, but they’re surely aware of it."

Brown said pretending the criminal justice system is fair doesn't reflect the reality he sees in court.

“People will draw from these verdicts what they need,” he said. “There’s a portion of our population that will say, ‘See? What’s all the whining about? He had a trial. Was found guilty. America works.

Moriarty said she didn't think Nelson had enough of a grasp of the medical knowledge to cross-examine the state's experts. Tobin would have been hard for most attorneys to cross-examine, she said.

"I understand the strategy is wanting to make it look like it’s you and Chauvin against the power of the state and all their experts," Moriarty said. "I don’t know if that was particularly effective."

For all of the explanations provided by the defense for Floyd's death, Nelson never adequately explained why Chauvin held Floyd down for 2 1/2 minutes even after he had no pulse. The only explanation provided was that Chauvin was maintaining his position until an ambulance arrived in the face of an angry crowd that made the area unsafe.

The fact that Chauvin continued to press on Floyd's neck even after he had no pulse "is hard to get away from, and I don't think it was dealt with," Daly said. "Nobody looked too threatening, if you asked me." 

Defense lacked a narrative

Sarah Davis, executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, said the defense's attempts to construct a narrative of the events felt disingenuous, and Nelson failed to gain the trust of jurors through his arguments. 

"If you watched the closings, you heard the state call out the defense for what they called 'nonsense,' really calling out those disingenuous arguments," she said. A conviction on all three charges means the state succeeded, but also "the defense just really was not able to sell their version and their narrative."

Nelson argued that Floyd's drug use and his underlying health issues caused his death while he struggled with police. But he never called what happened to Floyd "tragic" until his closing argument.

"He waited until two hours into his closing to even utter the word 'tragic,'" Davis said. "The thing is, he didn’t have a coherent narrative and I think you saw that right at the beginning of his closing. If you have a coherent narrative, you tell that story right at the beginning of closing when you have the jury’s attention."

The state did exactly that, starting its closing with a short biography of Floyd and who he was as a person. Prosecutors pushed a consistent theory throughout the case, Davis said.

The state won key concessions from the defense's two expert witnesses and undermined their credibility during their cross examinations. Dr. David Fowler testified that Chauvin likely died of a "sudden cardiac arrhythmia" due to his hypertensive heart disease, plus the methamphetamine and fentanyl in his system, while he was being restrained and subdued by police.

Because of the many factors, Fowler concluded the manner of Floyd's death was "undetermined" rather than a homicide.

"Undetermined –– that’s not a strong opinion," Moriarty said. It was especially problematic for the defense when compared to the state's strong expert witnesses.

"You would rather have your own narrative about what happened," Moriarty said, "rather than say you can’t prove it, (so) it's reasonable doubt. That’s not a very strong position to find yourself in."

Fowler conceded that Chauvin and the other officers should have immediately offered CPR and chest compressions to Floyd when he was clearly in medical distress and when they learned he had no pulse.

Moriarty said she felt the jury was "offended" by some of the characterizations Nelson reverted to during the trial, including his attempt to goad Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter who told Chauvin he was putting Floyd in a "blood choke," into "coming across as some angry Black man." Nelson characterized the crowd, which included a 9-year-old girl, other minors and an off-duty firefighter, as an angry mob.

"They were all people who were trying to help" and followed police directions, Moriarty said. She noted that a use-of-force expert for the defense acknowledged that simply stopping the restraint would have de-escalated the situation.

"You cannot ignore the racism and the racist ideas inherent in the defense's presentation of its case," Davis said.

Chauvin was not humanized

Chauvin chose not to testify, opting to exercise his the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. He wore a surgical mask throughout the trial, sitting ramrod straight in his chair, and taking notes on a yellow notepad.

He rarely looked at the jury or made any expressions of emotion.

"All we have is that look of him on his face on George Floyd's back and neck, and we never got to see anything other than that," Davis said. "He didn’t react in court to any of the really emotional testimony from what we could tell."

Minneapolis on high alert

The jurors were ordered to stay away from news on the trial, and ultimately all news in general, by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. 

Still, it's impossible to believe the jurors could not "taste the tension" in Minneapolis, said A.L. Brown, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in neighboring St. Paul. The courthouse was surrounded by fencing and razor wire, and National Guard soldiers were stationed outside.

"They know the dangers of a not-guilty verdict," Brown said. "It may not drive the outcome, but they’re surely aware of it."

Brown said pretending the criminal justice system is fair doesn't reflect the reality he sees in court.

“People will draw from these verdicts what they need,” he said. “There’s a portion of our population that will say, ‘See? What’s all the whining about? He had a trial. Was found guilty. America works.

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Stop burning things. Follow the law. Go back to your homes.’”

But a guilty verdict across the board — “that’s the closest to happiness this case can get you.”

Follow Tami Abdollah, a national correspondent for criminal justice, on Twitter at @latams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin's conviction is progress, but it 'will do nothing to change' urban policing on its own

Stop burning things. Follow the law. Go back to your homes.’”

But a guilty verdict across the board — “that’s the closest to happiness this case can get you.”

Follow Tami Abdollah, a national correspondent for criminal justice, on Twitter at @latams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin's conviction is progress, but it 'will do nothing to change' urban policing on its own

gress, but it 'will do nothing to change' urban policing on its own

There’s a portion of our population that will say, ‘See? What’s all the whining about? He had a trial. Was found guilty. America works. Stop burning things. Follow the law. Go back to your homes.’”

But a guilty verdict across the board — “that’s the closest to happiness this case can get you.”

Follow Tami Abdollah, a national correspondent for criminal justice, on Twitter at @latams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin's conviction is progress, but it 'will do nothing to change' urban policing on its own

ing the criminal justice system is fair doesn't reflect the reality he sees in court.

“People will draw from these verdicts what they need,” he said. “There’s a portion of our population that will say, ‘See? What’s all the whining about? He had a trial. Was found guilty. America works. Stop burning things. Follow the law. Go back to your homes.’”

But a guilty verdict across the board — “that’s the closest to happiness this case can get you.”

Follow Tami Abdollah, a national correspondent for criminal justice, on Twitter at @latams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin's conviction is progress, but it 'will do nothing to change' urban policing on its own

on is progress, but it 'will do nothing to change' urban policing on its own



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