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Jury starts deliberating in Chauvin murder trial

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JUDGE PETER CAHILL: "All rise for the jury."

The jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin began its deliberations on Monday, after closing arguments from the prosecution and defense and three weeks of testimony in a case that has gripped the nation.

PROSECUTOR JERRY BLACKWELL: "Ultimately, it isn’t really that complicated."

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell wrapped up closing arguments with an appeal to the jury’s common sense, telling them to trust what they saw in the video of George Floyd's death under the knee of the former Minneapolis police officer.

BLACKWELL: "You can believe your eyes, ladies and gentlemen. It was what you thought it was. It was what you saw. It was homicide."

Lead defense attorney Eric Nelson argued it wasn't that simple, saying more analysis was needed and that Chauvin behaved as any "reasonable police officer" would.

NELSON: "We have to analyze this case from the perspective of a reasonable police officer at the precise moment with the totality of the circumstances when it comes to the use of force. We have to look at the cause of death to determine did Mr. Floyd die exclusively of asphyxia or were there other contributing factors?"

Prosecutor Blackwell's rebuttal:

BLACKWELL: "The fact that other factors contributed to the death does not relieve the defendant of criminal liability."

Earlier, prosecutor Steve Schleicher said it was "nonsense" to believe that anything other than a knee on the neck for more than nine minutes killed Floyd. Nelson disagreed.

NELSON: "I would submit to you that it is nonsense to suggest that none of these other factors had any, any role. That is not reasonable."

The jury's verdict will be seen as a reckoning in the way the U.S. polices Black people, but the prosecution urged the jury to weigh the guilt of the man, not the system.

PROSECUTOR STEVE SCHLEICHER: "He betrayed the badge... He chose pride over policing."

The magnitude of the case and possibility that a not guilty verdict could trigger renewed civil unrest was evident in downtown Minneapolis, where 3,000 National Guard troops have been deployed.