The judge says he expects closing arguments to begin next week as the trial of Derek Chauvin extends into its third week. Local advocates are beginning to speak up on the impact the trial has.
“Historically across the country we’ve seen cop after cop after cop, especially white cops let’s be honest, get off on these types of cases,” said Attorney Ven Johnson.
Despite the Derek Chauvin trials similarity to various cases in the past, Johnson believes this time around it will play out differently.
“No question it looks like it’s going in favor of the state who’s the prosecuting on behalf of George Floyd,” Johnson said.
He points to video evidence along with witnesses and testimony given thus far.
“The witnesses for the prosecution have literally been the who’s who of medicine, toxicology, pathology, forensic pathology, police experts,” Johnson said.
However, he said there is one thing everyone needs to keep in mind -- the jury.
“It only takes one juror out of the 12 to say not guilty,” Johnson said. “They say not guilty and they have a mistrial. That’s what his lawyer is trying to do is create a mistrial because that’s as good as a not guilty only mistrial means they might try him again.”
Chauvin's lawyer blaming Floyd's history of drug use for his death. Saginaw activist DeShawn Hayes has been keeping up with the trial but finds it difficult to watch
“They’re trying to literally justify his death with past drug usage that has nothing to do with the image burned and etched into your brain,” Hayes said.
In the midst of the Derek Chauvin trial another black man was shot and killed by police in Minnesota, 20-year-old Daunte White. The officer who fired the shot claims they accidentally mistook their gun for their taser.
“Everyone who deals with a weapon knows the difference between a taser and a handgun, especially if that’s your job to carry a weapon every single day. You don’t mistake a taser for a handgun,” Hayes said.
Hayes said the incident is yet another reminder of why police need to be held accountable, to put an end to a history of unjust killings.