Derek Chauvin Has Chosen Not To Testify At His Murder Trial Over Death Of George Floyd

by : Cameron Frew on : 15 Apr 2021 15:38
Derek Chauvin Has Chosen Not To Testify At His Murder Trial Over Death Of George FloydHennepin County Jail/George Floyd/Facebook

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder over the death of George Floyd, has chosen not to testify at his trial.

Court proceedings in the murder trial kicked off on March 29, with a range of witnesses brought in to testify on the bodycam footage leading up to Floyd’s death, coming after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.


The ex-officer told Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill he will not testify in his defence.

Chauvin, 45, invoked the fifth amendment and will not take the stand. Cahill asked, ‘Is this your decision not to testify?’ He replied, ‘It is, your honour.’

His lawyer Eric Nelson also told the court the defence rests. Chauvin was not expected to testify in the trial. He is facing charges of third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death in May last year.


Following the testimony of witnesses and experts brought in by the prosecution, which were almost unanimous in their opinion that Chauvin’s restraint was unnecessary, if not unauthorised, the defence called its first witness two days ago with a police trainer who believed it was ‘justified’.

Dr. David Fowler, a forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, also disagreed with the findings of the Hennepin County medical examiner, who ruled Floyd’s death a homicide. ‘I would fall back to undetermined, in this particular case,’ he said, as per BBC News.

Fowler also argued, ‘There is exposure to a vehicle exhaust, so potentially carbon monoxide poisoning, or at least an effect of carbon monoxide in his bloodstream.’


During cross-examination, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell then asked how he knew the car was on, to which he said he could see liquid ‘dripping from the tail pipe… it’s not an assumption. It was an evaluation which, in my mind, the vehicle was running’.

In his opinion, there were ‘so many conflicting different potential mechanisms’ – however, earlier experts were quite adamant of the death’s simplicity. ‘He was trying to get enough oxygen, and because he was unable to because of the position that he was subjected to, the heart didn’t have enough oxygen either, which means the entire body is deprived of oxygen,’ cardiologist Dr. Jonathon Rich said.

Saying Floyd’s death was ‘absolutely preventable’, he added, ‘I can state with a high level of medical certainty that George Floyd did not die from a primary cardiac event, and he did not die from a drug overdose.’


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

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


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Chauvin trial: Floyd's death should be 'undetermined', defence expert says