Closing arguments begin at officer’s trial in Floyd death

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Officer Derek Chauvin “had to know” he was squeezing the life out of George Floyd as the Black man cried over and over that he couldn’t breathe and finally fell silent, a prosecutor told the jury Monday during closing arguments at Chauvin’s murder trial.

“Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw,” Steve Schleicher said, referring to the excruciating bystander video of Floyd pinned to the pavement with Chauvin’s knee on or close to his neck last May for up to 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as bystanders yelled at the white officer to get off.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson countered by arguing that Chauvin did what any “reasonable” police officer would have done after finding himself in a “dynamic” and “fluid” situation involving a large man struggling with three police officers.

The dueling arguments got underway with Minneapolis on edge against a repeat of the violence that erupted in the city and around the U.S. last spring over Floyd’s death.

The defense contends the 46-year-old Floyd died of underlying heart disease and his illegal use of fentanyl and methamphetamine.

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