Chauvin trial jury told to ‘pack suitcases’ as closing arguments begin

Closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial begin on Monday in Minneapolis, with a verdict on the culpability of the former police officer in the death of George Floyd expected as early as this week.

Lawyers for the prosecution and defence will begin wrapping up their arguments at 9am on Monday, before the jury retreats behind closed doors to consider the verdict.

The death of Mr Floyd sparked national and international protests last year. Video footage of his death showed that Mr Chauvin pressed his knee on the neck of Mr Floyd for almost nine minutes while he died.

The trial heard from 45 witnesses, including several medical experts, toxicologists and current law enforcement officials, most of whom testified that Mr Floyd’s death was due to asphyxiation while he was restrained face-down on the street by Mr Chauvin.

But the defence has argued that 46-year-old Mr Floyd died from pre-existing conditions or due to the presence of drugs in his system as they seek to prove their client’s innocence.

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