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Defense Begins Making Its Case In Derek Chauvin Trial

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For the first time since the start of the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, jurors heard witnesses say the former police officer did the right thing, Esme Murphy reports (2:41). WCCO 4 News At 6 - April 13, 2021

Video Transcript

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: For the first time since the start of the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, jurors heard witnesses say the former police officer did the right thing. The defense began presenting its case after the prosecution rested, with 38 witnesses over 11 days. One of the key defense witnesses testified that Chauvin's use of force on George Floyd was justified and reasonable. Esme Murphy is outside the courthouse right now, and she joins us. Hi, Esme.

ESME MURPHY: Hi there, Amelia. Well, the defense expert, Barry Brodd, was brought on to counter not only the prosecution's experts on use of force, but also the half-dozen Minneapolis police officers, including the police chief, who all testified that the use of force by Derek Chauvin on George Floyd was not only deadly, it was not called for.

ERIC NELSON: And can you just briefly overview your opinions in this particular case?

BARRY BRODD: I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement.

ESME MURPHY: The prosecution used body camera clips to try and shake defense expert Barry Brodd.

BARRY BRODD: A compliant person would have both their hands in the small of their back and just be resting comfortably. Versus, like, he's still moving around.

- Did you say "resting comfortably?"

BARRY BRODD: Or laying comfortably.

- Resting comfortably on the pavement?

ESME MURPHY: The defense also used video of a May 2019 arrest to point to Floyd's behavior and drug use.

- Spit out what you got! I'm gonna taze you!

ESME MURPHY: The paramedic who examined Floyd that day said he admitted he'd been taking the opioid Percocet all morning.

MICHELLE MOSENG: I asked him why. He said it's because he was addicted. His blood pressure was dangerously high. It was 216 over 160.

ESME MURPHY: Officers sent him to the hospital for observation. The defense pressed other witnesses about Floyd's drug use and behavior the day of the fatal encounter. Shawanda Hill, a friend of Floyd's who ran into him at Cup Foods, testified he was his usual self.

SHAWANDA HILL: Happy, normal talking, alert.

ESME MURPHY: Defenses also argued that Chauvin was threatened and distracted by bystanders. They called Minneapolis Park Police officer Peter Chang, who agreed the bystanders were a concern.

PETER CHANG: I was concerned for the officers' safety because of the crowd. So I just want to make sure that the officers were OK.

ESME MURPHY: Now, the defense will continue its case tomorrow. There is still no word if Derek Chauvin will testify in his own defense.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: All right. Thank you, Esme. And you can watch the trial streaming all day on CBSN Minnesota. Just download our app, or you can watch it live on WCCO.com.