Jurors on Monday began mulling the fate of the white ex-Minneapolis policeman accused of killing African-American George Floyd, a death that sparked a nationwide reckoning on racism and which prosecutors called a “shocking abuse of authority”.
“You must be absolutely fair,” Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in his final instructions to the 12-member jury hearing the case against former officer Derek Chauvin. “Consider and weigh the evidence and apply the law.”
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s May 25, 2020 death, which sparked protests against racial injustice around the world and has become a landmark test of police accountability in the United States.
Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd as he was pinned facedown handcuffed on the ground for more than nine minutes complaining “I can’t breathe.”