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15th Apr 2021

Derek Chauvin refuses to testify George Floyd murder trial

Danny Jones

Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd in May 2020, is pleading the fifth and refusing to testify

Nearly a year on from the death of George Floyd, who died after police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his next for eight minutes and 46 seconds, Chauvin’s trial continues.

The latest development in the case is that Chauvin is now invoking the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution and, therefore, is refusing to testify. Instead of answering questions, the former Minneapolis police officer simply stated: “I will invoke my 5th amendment privilege today” and is simply deferring to his lawyer.

After Judge Peter Cahill asked him whether he was certain whether this is the decision he would like to make – reminding the defendant that his attorney cannot decide for him – Chauvin confirmed it was his decision not to testify.

The trial is to deem whether Chauvin’s actions “exceeded an appropriate response” and, as such, murdered George Floyd in the second degree. Over the past couple of days, medical evidence has also been looked at.

While medical examiner, Dr. David Fowler, has been looking to aid the defence in convincing jurors of Derek Chauvin’s innocence – citing that heart disease and drug use were the primary cause of death – cross-examination by the prosecution showed that the evidence did not support some of his conclusions.

In contrast, as he told the courtroom on Friday, the post-mortem carried out by Dr. Andrew Baker indicated that it was indeed the restraint of Mr Floyd that caused his death.

The trial remains a high-profile one, as George Flloyd death last year led to mass protests and calls for accountability throughout 2020 and discussion around institutional racism have continued into this year.

The proceedings continue against the backdrop of yet another alleged racially motivated killing of a Black man, Daunte Wright, who was shot by a police officer who supposedly mistook her pistol for a taser gun.