Defense: Chauvin actions 'reasonable' in situation

Closing arguments took place at Derek Chauvin’s murder trial Monday. Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that Chauvin acted reasonably under the circumstances and that Floyd died of underlying heart disease and illegal drug use. (Apr. 19)

Video Transcript

ERIC NELSON: A reasonable police officer would understand this situation, that Mr. Floyd was able to overcome the efforts of three police officers while handcuffed, with his legs and his body [? straight. ?] Three things happen. Mr. Floyd takes his last breath. You see Officer Chauvin's reaction to the crowd is to pull his mace and shake it. He's threatening the use of force, as is permitted by the Minneapolis Police Department policy. And Genevieve Hansen walks in at that time from behind him, startling him. All of these facts and circumstances simultaneously occur at a critical moment. And that changed Officer Chauvin's perception of what was happening.

They just want you to ignore significant medical issues that presented to Mr. Floyd. And the failure of the state's experts to acknowledge any possibility-- any possibility at all-- that any of these other factors, in any way, contributed to Mr. Floyd's death defies medical science, and it defies common sense and reason. All of this, ladies and gentlemen, of the jury-- all of this-- when you take into consideration the presumption of [? innocence-- ?] the presumption of innocence-- and proof beyond a reasonable doubt, I would submit to you that it is nonsense to suggest that none of these other factors had any role. That is not reasonable. The state has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. And therefore, Mr. Chauvin should be found not guilty of all counts.