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Snippet of The Daily: The Case Against Derek Chauvin

From Audio: The Case Against Derek Chauvin

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The Daily
Duration: 05:14
In Minneapolis, the tension is palpable as the city awaits the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd last summer.The court proceedings have been both emotional — the video of Mr. Floyd’s death has been played over and over — and technical.
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In Minneapolis, the tension is palpable as the city awaits the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd last summer.The court proceedings have been both emotional — the video of Mr. Floyd’s death has been played over and over — and technical.
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John. I wanted to start by having you set the scene there in Minneapolis this past week or so. What are your impressions of this trial so far? It's really a city on edge right now. I mean, you walk around downtown, there's cement barricades with fencing and barbed wire up. There's National Guard armored vehicles and National Guard members who are standing outside watching over everything, people already starting to board up windows. So there's clearly this underlying tension of you know what's going to happen with this trial. What's the verdict gonna be? And is that going to lead to more unrest like they saw last year when you know, there was lots of vandalism and buildings burning amid, you know, mass protest for racial justice? So you really get, like, around the town that this is something that cannot be avoided, that people cannot stop thinking about MM. And then you look, you know, in the courtroom now, then you have to look from afar, right? Because of covid protocols, there's very few people allowed into the courtroom as reporters we're not even allowed in. There were allowed to have one person representing all print media, one person representing all broadcast media. So I'm sitting here in my hotel room with a bag of chips and some bottled water watching this trial. And you know what's proceeding inside the courtroom? Honestly, Michael, it's like a range of emotions and impressions, I would say, because on the one hand you have this video of George Floyd's death playing over and over and over and over and over again during testimony in the courtroom. So it's in many ways kind of like bringing that kind of trauma all to the surface again, right? So there's like that emotional part of it. Then there's also like it's a trial, right? It's technical. They parse all these, you know, different legal nuances, all these medical nuances, and you're really seeing a battle developed inside the courtroom over. Fundamentally, what is this case about? For the prosecution? It's about that video that nine minutes plus that you see Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck, and then the defense is saying, No, no, no, it's not the video. It's all these other things. Don't just look at the video. And so that's really the battle lines that have been drawn as you watch this trial each and every day. So let's talk about what you've been able to watch or piece together inside the courtroom. As the prosecution has laid out its case and started to call witnesses. Where should we start? The heart of the case really is. How did George Floyd die? Because the prosecution is attempting to show that he died because Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, right? And so, in order to do that, they have to have medical experts who can attest to that, Uh, the state calls Dr Bradford Langen fell. And the one expert that we've seen who's probably said that most powerfully so far is the actual emergency room doctor who pronounced George Floyd dead at the hospital and who treated him before he died. When Mr Floyd's, uh, body, when Mr Floyd was brought in, what, you describe it as an emergency situation? Yes, absolutely. What was his condition? In terms of his cardiac condition, he was in cardiac arrest, He said, essentially, that when George Floyd came to him that his heart was already stopped. Mr. Floyd had been an arrest for by this time, 60 minutes, I determined that the likelihood of any meaningful outcome was far below 1% and that we would not be able to resuscitate Mr Floyd and so and then pronounced him dead. And he said that from all the signs that he had all the information that he received, that in a nutshell he did not have sufficient oxygen was your leading theory then, for the cause of Mr Floyd's cardiac arrest oxygen oxygen deficiency. That was one of the more likely possibilities, and that lack of oxygen led to a six year and that essentially causes heart to fail and cause It's hard to stop. And doctor is there another name for death by oxygen deficiency. Asphyxia is commonly understood terms thank you back to land until no further questions. And that's a very important point because, for one, the medical examiner who actually did the autopsy on George Floyd did not say asphyxiation is a cause of death. He basically said that George Floyd's heart stopped, and what the prosecution is trying to show is that it was the asphyxiation that led to that. While the defense, on the other hand, is trying to show that hey, There were all these reasons for George Floyd's heart stopping, you know, one of them being his drug use, one of them being a lot of the adrenaline pumping through him. So the defense is really trying to paying a holistic picture of George Floyd and his whole medical history and his drug use and things like that and use that to argue while the prosecution is saying, Hey, no, it's asphyxiation that but for the fact that Derek Chauvin melt on his neck, George Floyd would be alive.
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