A verdict has been reached in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, according to a notice posted on the Hennepin County Court’s website.
“A verdict has been reached and will be read between 3:30-4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 20” (4:30-5:00 p.m. ET), according to the notice.
Jurors deliberated for four hours on Monday and resumed deliberating this morning at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET). The court did not specify in the notice when jurors stopped deliberating today.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. He has pleaded not guilty.
President Biden was not looking to influence the Derek Chauvin trial with his comments on the expected verdict Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, noting he felt it was appropriate to weigh in on the trial at this moment since the jury is sequestered.
Biden told reporters earlier in the Oval Office in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he is “praying that the verdict is the right verdict, which is I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, not hear me say that.”
Psaki would not specify what Biden viewed as “overwhelming” in the Chauvin trial.
“As he also noted, the jury is sequestered which is why he spoke to this, but I would expect he will weigh in more – further once there is a verdict and I’m not going to provide additional analysis on what he meant,” Psaki said at Tuesday’s White House press briefing.
Asked if there is concern that the President’s words could add to potential unrest in Minneapolis and around the country if the “right verdict” is not reached, Psaki said that regardless of the outcome, Biden has consistently called for peace.
“Our focus, as we’re working with state and local authorities, is on providing the space for peaceful protest and that will be consistent regardless of what the outcome of this, of the verdict is,” she said.
Psaki said Biden is “not looking to influence” the case, which is why he only spoke out when the jury is sequestered, but the President “has been touched on the impact on the family, hence he called the family yesterday and had that discussion.” She reiterated that much of the conversation focused on the loss the Floyd family is dealing with, something the President knows first-hand.
Psaki also said she doesn’t think Biden felt as if he was “weighing in on the verdict,” in his comments, but rather conveying compassion towards the family.
The Dallas Police Department said they are preparing for possible demonstrations after a verdict is reached in Derek Chauvin’s trial.
There currently aren’t any credible threats to the city or the North Texas region, but police are monitoring events for any potential threats, they said in a statement.
“The Department will respect individuals expressing their first amendment rights, and our goal is for a peaceful and safe assembly for all individuals exercising their constitutional rights,” police said.
Jurors have been deliberating the Chauvin case for more than eight hours now. It’s not clear exactly when they could reach a verdict.
The jury is in day two of deliberations in the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
CNN correspondent Sara Sidner was live from Minneapolis answering viewers’ questions:
The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial have now been deliberating for eight hours, and they’re going into their ninth hour.
Jurors began deliberating this morning at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET), according to the Hennepin County Court. They deliberated for another four hours on Monday.
The jury is sequestered and is staying in a hotel at night until they reach a verdict.
President Biden said Tuesday that he is praying for the right verdict in the trial if ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, noting that the evidence, in his view, is “overwhelming.”
The remarks, made in the Oval Office during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, mark a rare moment by the President of weighing in by strongly suggesting what he thinks the outcome of the trial should be before the jury has reached a verdict.
Biden, who also elaborated on his Monday conversation with the family of George Floyd, said he was only making the comments because the jury is sequestered.
“They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquility, no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying that the verdict is the right verdict, which is, I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, not hear me say that,” he told reporters in the Oval Office in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
Biden echoed remarks from Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, that they had a private conversation Tuesday discussing loss.
“I’ve come to know George’s family, not just in passing. I’ve spent time with them, I’ve spent time with his little daughter Gianna — you should see this beautiful child — and his brother, both brothers, as a matter of fact. So I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety that they’re feeling. And so I waited until the jury was sequestered, and then I called,” he said.
The jury has started day two of deliberations in the trial of Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
As CNN has previously reported, the White House is closely monitoring developments and making contingency plans in case of unrest. Aides are considering or drafting statements for Biden to deliver, either in person or in writing, once a verdict is delivered.
Biden is trying to strike a balance between acknowledging racial inequity while also maintaining calm, wanting neither to replicate the heavily militarized response to protests under Trump nor to appear absent in the face of violence or unrest directed at law enforcement, all while acknowledging the systemic racism that pervades the system.
George Floyd’s aunt and cousin said they are hoping for a guilty verdict as the jury continues its deliberations in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.
“We need this verdict. Minnesota needs this verdict to be guilty. America needs it. The world needs it. We need to get it right this time. Because there’s been too many times it has gotten wrong,” Angela Harrelson, Floyd’s aunt, said to CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
Harrelson, along with Floyd’s cousin Paris Stevens, said the family is on “pins and needles” awaiting the verdict.
Harrelson said the family has also discussed a possible not-guilty verdict.
“In the past, when Black and brown people have been in this same situation, they didn’t have a choice but to prepare with an acquittal,” Harrelson said. “… And if this is an acquittal, we’ll be devastated. But we know our fight has to be much harder now. And we’re going to continue to go on and fight as a family.”
Stevens said anyone planning for possible protests needs to be peaceful.
“They have the right to protest. Of course, we want a peaceful protest. We don’t want any other American to be hurt, anyone. But protesting is a way for us to be heard,” she said.
“Use your voice, but remember the message,” Harrelson added. “… This is about not just racism; it’s about equality. We need to try to help be a participant to help change this world to [be a] better place for future generations, so that [Floyd’s] death is not in vain. Because we cannot let his death be his last word.”
The defense presented its witness and expert testimony last week in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.
Here are highlights from the final week of testimony:
The defense’s three-prong legal strategy: The defense presented seven witnesses to bolster its three-prong strategy for clearing the former officer of culpability: Floyd died from drug and health problems; Chauvin’s use of force was ugly but appropriate; and a hostile crowd of bystanders distracted the former officer.
At the heart of defense attorney Eric Nelson’s case is the argument that medical reasons, not Chauvin’s actions, caused Floyd’s death that evening. In other words, Floyd’s use of methamphetamine and fentanyl, his initial resistance to officers and preexisting heart problems all conspired to kill him.
Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, who performed Floyd’s autopsy last May, had previously testified for the prosecution that Floyd’s death was a “homicide.” The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest — Floyd’s heart and lungs stopped. That occurred during “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” the doctor testified.
Four other medical experts offered similar testimony for the state: Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest caused by low oxygen levels from prone restraint and positional asphyxia. A cardiologist testified that Floyd’s heart showed no evidence of injury.
Expert testified that Chauvin’s actions were justified: Barry Brodd, a former police officer and use-of-force expert called by the defense on Tuesday, testified that Chauvin was justified in kneeling on Floyd for more than nine minutes and did not use deadly force.
Brodd’s testimony was at odds with the prosecution’s policing experts and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who said Chauvin’s actions were “in no way, shape or form” within department policy, training, ethics or values.
Pulmonologist takes the stand a second time: Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist who testified last week, returned to the stand Thursday for the prosecution in a short rebuttal against a defense medical expert. The state sought to counter the testimony of a forensic pathologist who told the jury Wednesday that Floyd’s cause of death was “undetermined.” Floyd’s underlying heart issues were the main causes, the pathologist said.
Dr. David Fowler, who retired as Maryland’s chief medical examiner at the end of 2019, introduced a novel defense argument: Carbon monoxide from the squad car’s exhaust may have contributed to Floyd’s death. Fowler admitted no data or test results could back up his claim. Tobin, in a short rebuttal, told the jury the carbon monoxide theory is proven wrong by a different blood test that showed Floyd’s blood oxygen saturation was 98%. That meant his carbon monoxide level could at most be 2% — within the normal range.
Judge Peter Cahill read instructions to the jurors yesterday before they left the courtroom to begin their deliberations. The jury is sequestered and is staying in a hotel at night until they reach a verdict.
“As jurors, you are being asked to make an important decision in this case,” the judge said yesterday.
He outlined four key things the jury will need to do as they deliberate:
- “One, take the time you need to reflect carefully and thoughtfully about the evidence.”
- “Two, think about why you are making the decision you are making and examine it for bias and reconsider your first impressions of the people and the evidence in this case and if the people involved in this case were from different backgrounds, for example, richer or poorer, more or less educated, older or younger or of a different gender, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation, would you still view them any evidence the same way?
- “Three, listen to one another. You must carefully evaluate the evidence and resist, and help each other resist, any urge to reach a verdict imposed by biased for or against any party or witness. Each of you have different backgrounds and will be viewing this case in light of your own insights, assumptions and biases. Listening to different perspectives may help you to better identify the possible effects these hidden biases may have on decision making.”
- “Four, resist jumping to conclusions based on personal likes or dislikes. Generalizations, gut feelings, prejudices, sympathies, stereotypes or unconscious biases.”
The judge noted that “in order for you to return a verdict, whether guilty or not, each juror must agree with that verdict. Your verdict must be unanimous. You should discuss this case with one another and deliberate with a view towards reaching an agreement.”
The judge also said that the jurors would select one person to be a foreperson and lead the deliberations.
“The law demands that you make a fair decision based solely on the evidence, your individual evaluation of that evidence, your reason and common sense and these instructions,” he told the jury.