Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.
What they're saying: "His name was George Perry Floyd Jr.," Schleicher began, as he summarized the stories witnesses told about Floyd's family and upbringing.
- "On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died. Face down on the pavement. Right on 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. Nine minutes and 29 seconds. Nine minutes and 29 seconds. During this time, George Floyd struggled, desperate to breath, Schleicher said.
- "There was no superhuman strength that day. There was no superhuman strength because there is no such thing as a superhuman. ... Just a human, just a man lying on the pavement being pressed upon, desperately crying out. A grown man, crying out for his mother."
The big picture: "This case is called the State of Minnesota v. Derek Chauvin. This case is not called the State of Minnesota v. the police. ... Policing is a noble profession," Schleicher said, addressing the arguments many have made about the wider implications of the case.
- "This is not a prosecution of the police. It is a prosecution of the defendant. And there is nothing worse for a good police than a bad police," he continued.
- "Who doesn't follow the rules. Who doesn't follow procedures. Who doesn't follow training. Who ignores the policies of the department, of the motto of the department to protect with courage, to serve with compassion."
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