7 hours wey don pass
Di death of George Floyd, one 48-year-old black man, wey one white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pin down during im arrest for Minneapolis for May 2020, shock di world and spark global protests about racism and police brutality.
Oga Chauvin three-week trial, on charges of murder and manslaughter, don hear 45 witnesses testify and dem don watch hours of video footage wey eye witness film.
As prosecutors and defence lawyers dey put forward dia closing arguments, make we look back at five key elements of di trial:
1. Impact of arrest on witness
Some of di most powerful testimony come in for di first days of di trial when witness dem speak of wetin dem see dat day.
Darnella, wey be 17 at di time of Floyd death, film di video wey go viral around di world. She tell di jury say e get nights wey she stay up “apologising to George Floyd onto say she no do more physically to save im life”.
“When I look at George Floyd, I dey look at my dad. I dey look at my brothers, I dey look at my cousins, my uncles. Because all of dem na black,” na so she tok.
Di defence argue say di presence of bystanders bin influence Chauvin actions dat day. Di court hear from one Minneapolis police officer, Peter Chang, wey say di crowd been dey “very aggressive to di officers”, while Nicole McKenzie, wey dey train di city police on providing medical care, say di presence of bystanders for im arrest fit make am harder for officers to see signs of distress for those wey dem dey detain.
2. Emotional testimony from girlfriend
Another powerful moment come when Floyd girlfriend of three years, Courteney Ross, take di stand.
She describe dia first meeting, for di lobby of one Salvation Army homeless shelter, wia oga Floyd work as security guard, and how im bin dey devastated by im mother death for 2018.
Madam Ross also tell di court say two of dem bin suffer from chronic pain, wey lead to off-and-on struggle wit opioid addiction.
“We bin dey addicted and try really hard to break that addiction many times,” na so she testify.
One of di defence arguments na say oga Floyd die largely because of complications from di opioids and methamphetamine wey bin dey im system at di time of im arrest.
3. Whether force dey justified?
Another key issue wey be di koko of dis trial na whether Derek Chauvin bin violate policies on restraint when im kneel on George Floyd neck for nine and a half minutes.
Di head of Minneapolis police, Chief Medaria Arradondo, na one of di prosecution most high-profile witness wey sack Chauvin one day after di arrest.
E tell di court say di police officer suppose stop to apply “that level of force” di moment wey Floyd stop to resist. “E no dey part of our training and e certainly no dey part of our ethics or values” to continue with dat kain force, na so im tok.
Defence witness Barry Brodd, wey be use-of-force expert, say Chauvin do di “right thing” because of di “imminent threat” Floyd bin pose in resisting arrest.
But, under under cross-examination im agree to di dangers of positional asphyxia – wey be say pesin fit no breathe for some kain position – and dis na something wey law enforcers know.
4. Cause of death
Di cause of Oga Floyd death dey central to dis trial, di prosecution dey maintain say im die from asphyxia while di defence dey point to Floyd drug use and general poor health.
Dr Martin Tobin, one expert on pulmonary medicine, use video footage to explain wetin bin happen to Floyd breathing during di nine and a half minutes wey im lay under Chauvin knee.
Even “healthy person, if e put am through wetin Floyd go through, e for die,” na so e tok.
One key witness for di defence, forensic pathologist David Fowler, say Floyd death suppose dey classified as “undetermined” rather than as homicide, because di “many-many conflicting different potential mechanisms”.
Complicating factors include Floyd drug use and possible exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning from di police car exhaust, na so Dr Fowler tok, wey be di chief medical examiner for di state of Maryland until im retire for 2019.
However, under cross-examination im agree say Floyd suppose get immediate medical attention when im get cardiac arrest, as small chance bin still dey to save im life.
5. Taking di Fifth Amendment
Just before di defence bin rest dia case, di man wey dey on trial – Derek Chauvin – confirm to di judge say im no go testify.
“I go invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today,” na so e tok, dis refer to pesin constitutional right to remain silent in fear of self-incrimination.
Wen di Judge ask whether na im decision alone, and whether anyone else unfairly influence im decision, oga Chauvin respond: “No promises or threats, your honour.”
Oga Chauvin bin plead not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder – for which dem fit jail am up to 40 years – third-degree murder, and manslaughter.
One conviction on any of di counts go require di jury to return unanimous verdict.