Chauvin waives right to testify at murder trial

The defense also told Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill it would call no more witnesses after two days of testimony. Prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general's office said they would call at least one rebuttal witness.

Chauvin, who is white, was seen in bystander video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. The footage of his death sparked global protests against the disproportionate use of force by police against Black people.

His lawyers called an expert on the use of force to tell the jury that Chauvin's use of force was appropriate, contradicting the Minneapolis police chief, who testified that it far exceeded an appropriate response.

They also called a forensic pathologist who said Floyd, whose death was ruled a homicide at the hands of the police, really died of heart disease, and that the exhaust fumes of the adjacent police car may have also poisoned him.

Video Transcript

- You understand that you have a Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent. Do you understand that?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes.

- You understand that if you choose to exercise that right to remain silent, neither the state or the court can comment on your silence as a sign or an indication of your guilt, meaning they can't say, he didn't get up and defend himself-- so equate your silence with guilt. Do you understand that?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes.

- I have repeatedly advised you that this is your decision and your decision alone, right?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Correct.

- I have advised you. And we have gone back and forth on the matter would be kind of an understatement, right?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes, it is.

- But after a lengthy meeting last night, we had some further discussion, agreed?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Correct.

- And have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?

DEREK CHAUVIN: I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.

- All right, has anyone promised anything or threatened you in any way to keep you from testifying?

DEREK CHAUVIN: No promises or threats, your honor.

- Do you feel that your decision not to testify is a voluntary one on your behalf?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes, it is.

- If you would like, I can read this instruction to the jury. It's titled "defendant's right not to testify." The state must convince you, by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged. The defendant has no obligation to pr-- to prove innocence. The defendant has the right not to testify. This right is guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions. You should not draw any inference from the fact that the defendant has not testified in this case.

Do you understand that instruction?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes, your honor.

- Would you like that read to the jury?

DEREK CHAUVIN: Yes, your honor.

- Have you had enough time to talk to Mr. Nelson about whether that's a good idea or not?

DEREK CHAUVIN: I have, your honor.

- All right, and so I will read that to the jury on your request.

DEREK CHAUVIN: Thank you.

- All right, anything else regarding the defense case before we proceed to talk about rebuttal? All right, we'll have you rest in front of the jury then. And we could actually take the microphone back.