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Theres no defense for Chauvin’s actions. Now it’s up to the jury

After 4 days and just 7 witnesses, the defense rested in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis cop charged with murder in the death of George Floyd.

After his lawyer apparently tried to convince him to testify in his own defense, Chauvin declined to do so. Instead, he took the fifth amendment, refusing to testify because it might incriminate him.

I think Chauvin knows there’s no defense for what he did. Grinding his knee into a man’s neck for nine and a half minutes can’t be excused, and can’t go unpunished. And with 17 complaints against him during his 19 years on the force, prosecutors would have a field day if he testified.

At a time when a cop faces manslaughter charges after claiming she meant to Taze Daunte Wright; when a Chicago cop has shot a 13-year-old after he dropped a gun and raised his hands; when the statistics around police shootings of Black and brown men and boys has come into focus, it just wouldn’t help Chauvin to get on the stand and lie.

Because here’s the reality. The prosecution in the Chauvin trial put up 38 witnesses. Chauvin and his team barely put up a fight. Now there are two questions left to answer. Will the jury see the video of Floyd’s death in the same way the rest of the world did, and deliver a guilty verdict? And will the judge see the heartlessness in Chauvin’s actions, and hand down a maximum sentence?

But more important than both of those questions is this one—will any of that change the way policing is done in Black communities. Because if it doesn’t, we might end up seeking justice for the next George Floyd.

Photo: George Floyd Square By Jill Blue Moon Studio

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