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US city on edge as jury deliberates Chauvin verdict

April 20, 2021 1:09 pm
Minneapolis is braced for a repeat of the violence that gripped the city last spring after George Floyd's death. [Source: BBC]

The jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer accused of killing George Floyd last year, has retired to weigh up its verdict.

Security has been ramped up around the court building in the US city of Minneapolis, which is protected by barbed wire, high barriers and armed soldiers from the National Guard.

“This was murder,” the prosecutor said in closing arguments on Monday.

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The defence argued that Mr Chauvin had correctly followed police training.

He behaved as any “reasonable police officer” would, lead lawyer Eric Nelson said, adding the circumstances surrounding Mr Floyd’s death gave rise to reasonable doubt.

But prosecutor Steve Schleicher urged jurors to “use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw,” referring to the video showing Mr Chauvin kneeling on Mr Floyd for more than nine minutes last May.

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