Derek Chauvin ‘Had To Know’ He Killed George Floyd, Prosecution Says In Closing Argument

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 19 Apr 2021 18:17
Derek Chauvin 'Had To Know' He Killed George Floyd, Prosecution Says In Closing ArgumentDarnella Frazier/Facebook/Offices Of Ben Crump Law

The prosecution has argued that Derek Chauvin ‘had to know’ that he killed George Floyd after kneeling on his neck for several minutes.

The comments came as part of their closing statement today, April 19, which saw Steve Schleicher tell the jury he believed it wasn’t an accident that Chauvin killed Floyd in May 2020 as he ignored his pleas for help.


Schleicher added that Floyd simply needed some compassion from the police officers and dubbed him ‘not a threat to anyone’.

Derek ChauvinPA Images

He said as part of his closing statement, as per The Guardian, ‘On May 25, 2020 George Floyd died face down on the pavement. Nine minutes and 29 seconds, nine minutes and 29 seconds. During this time, George Floyd struggled, desperate to breathe, to make enough room in his chest to breathe.’

Schleicher continued:


But the force was too much. He was trapped with the unyielding pavement underneath him, as unyielding as the men who held him down, pushing him, a knee to the neck, a knee to the back, twisting his fingers, holding his legs for nine minutes and 29 seconds, the defendant on him.

He also insisted that the trial was not an anti-police prosecution and that Chavuin had ‘abandoned his values, abandoned his training, and killed a man’.

‘[…]If you’re doing something that hurts somebody, and you know it, you’re doing it on purpose. He knew better. He just didn’t do better,’ Schleicher added.


Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell made similar comments earlier on in the trial and stated that the former police officer had ‘betrayed his badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd’.

Schleicher finished his statement with, ‘This wasn’t policing. This was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts. All of them. And there’s no excuse.’

Prior to his statement, Judge Cahill outlined that a defendant is not criminally liable if a superseding cause caused the death, meaning a cause that comes after the defendants acts. Chauvin’s currently facing  third-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.


Meanwhile, Chauvin’s defence team have argued that Floyd died from a drug overdose rather than due to the late police officer’s actions. One witness went as far as defending Chauvin’s use of force and deemed it ‘justified’.

Barry Brodd, a police trainer and use-of-force expert said on the stand last week:

I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, and was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement, in his interactions with Mr. Floyd.

Chauvin’s defence team have just begun their closing arguments.


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Now, US News


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Derek Chauvin trial: defense and prosecution make closing arguments – live