tv Inside Politics CNN April 19, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT
opportunity. he's saying he will get up and get in the car. he isn't given the opportunity to do that. that's not resistance. that's compliance. at least an attempt to comply. force must be reasonable. it must be reasonable at the point it starts, at the point it ends and all points in between officers are required to reassess the situation, reevaluation the situation, to take in the information and react to it. the defendant didn't do it. the defense has made the argument that the crowd justified the defendant's use of force, the blame should fall on the bystanders for displaying concern over a man's life. what? this was a distraction, there was some concern, the defendant doesn't appear too concerned. it wasn't the bystanders' fault.
a 19-year police veteran, a field training officer, with over 800 hours of training, should not be distracted by the comments of a 17-year-old or being filmed by some civilians. there's a policy about filming. they understand that civilians can film them. they know that. it's right there. this isn't something new or earth shattering or even particularly noteworthy. sergeant steiger, you recall him from lapd, he used to patrol on skid row and talked about people throwing rocks and bottles. they have a phone, phones. they're expressing concern. they're not doing anything. this is not justification for an assault, for murder. the defense suggested in their cross-examination that
reasonable minds can disagree, or that some of the witnesses don't line up exactly where the force began or what exactly should be done. don't get caught up in that. don't miss the forest for the trees. consider the testimony as a whole. officer after officer after oofrs got on that stand raised their hand and told you the chief of police, right, this conduct, the 9 minutes and 29 seconds violates the department's core values. he violated his duty of care. he failed to render aid. remember commander now inspector katy blackwell who was in charge of all training? looked at this and said i don't even know what this is. i don't know what this modification is. this isn't how they train.
these aren't the rules. lieutenant mercil, looked at this, and he said, without equivocation, not an mpd trained tactic. it is not. we don't train our people to do this. you can present a thousand hypothetical situations. you can talk about what didn't happen all day long into next week. but when you talk about what did happen on that day, at that time, that's what they said, use of force unreasonable. supervisor, sergeant pleoger, the force should have ended right after mr. floyd was on the ground. his supervisor said that. lieutenant zimmerman, the oldest serving or i should say the most years of service on the minneapolis police department, longest serving correct myself, longest serving member of the department he looked at this, he
said, this was totally unnecessary. totally unnecessary. a use of deadly force. not reasonable. only reasonable force is authorized. sergeant stiger, expert witness, los angeles police department, trained thousands of police officers. he looked at this. this is objectively unreasonable force. professor stostoughton. law school professor. this use of force was disproportionate and violates national standards. the experts agree because the force has to be reasonable when it starts, it has to be reasonable when with it ends and what is happening?
s if you look at the bottom, george floyd is handcuffed and on the ground, what is he saying? he's saying, i can't breathe, 27 times within the first four minutes and 45 seconds of this encounter. he's saying that. and the defendant continues to kneel on his back and neck, continue the dangerous restraint. george floyd says, into the restraint at 8:22.24 my stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts. the defendant heard that. he heard those words. was george floyd resisting when he was trying to breathe? no. no. and the defendant heard it and he acknowledged it and all he did was mock him. uh-huh. it takes a lot of oxygen to complain. that's what he said. it takes a lot of oxygen to say that. when george floyd gave his final
words to the defendant, please, i can't breathe, i can't breathe, crying out for help by the man -- to the man in uniform, the defendant stayed right on top of him and ignored it and continuing doing what he was doing, facing the crowd, grinding his knee, twisting his hand. i think he's passing out, officer lane says. officer kueng can't find a pulse. the greatest skeptic of this case among you, how can you justify the continued force on this man when he has no pulse? no pulse. continued the restraint. continued grinding and twisting and pushing him down and crushing the very life out of him. it wasn't too late. he could have rolled him over
and performed cpr. no, he continued. past the point of finding a pulse. past the point where the ambulance arrives, past the point where the emts get out of the ambulance. what's the goal? what's the plan here? what are we trying to accomplish? this was a counterfeit $20 bill. allegedly. what is going on? why? why hold him that long past that point, past that line that was crossed? unreasonable force. unreasonable. not proportional. excessive. it violated policy, it violated the law, it violated everything that the minneapolis police department stood for. it's not lawful. use that phrase, awful but
lawful. the force that is not lawful. it's just awful. so the defendant is guilty of second-degree murder, he's guilty of third-degree murder, he's guilty of second-degree manslaughter, all of them, because this was not a justified use of force. you cannot justify this use of force. it's impossible. not if you apply the rules, not if you apply the standards that a sworn officer to protect and serve, a sworn officer that oath that they take. you know, at the beginning of my comments i talked about george floyd's life, how he was surrounded by people who cared about him, surrounded by familiar faces, people he could look out to in the crowd, but at his death he was surrounded by
strangers. they were strangers but you can't say they didn't care. you can't say that. these people were randomly chosen from the community, people from the community, randomly chosen by fate, and they were coming from different places and they were going to different places and they had different purposes all of them. random members of the community. all converged by fate at one single moment in time to witness something, to witness 9 minutes and 29 seconds of shocking abuse of authority, to watch a man die. and there was nothing they could do about it because they were powerless. they were utterly powerless
because even they respected the badge, even seeing this happening, they tried, they cried out at first, pointed out, hey, you can get up off him. they became more desperate as they watched this go on and on and there was nothing, there was nothing they could do. all they could do, all they could do was watch and gather what they could. gather their memories. gather their thoughts and impressions, gather those precious recordings, and they gathered those up and they brought them here and they brought them here and they got up on the stand and they testified and they bore witness to what they saw. they bore witness to this outrageous act and they told you about it and they gave you what they had, their thoughts, their impressions, their memories, those precious recordings so you can see this, you can see this from every single angle. they gave that to you.
they were powerless to do anything but that. they gave it to you. randomly selected people from the community. you got a summons in the mail. and here you are. all converged on one spot. now, our system, we have power, the power actually belongs to us, the people. and we give it to the government in trust for us to hold and to use appropriately, but sometimes, we take it back. sometimes when something is really important, we reserve those decisions for ourselves. the state, we have power. we cannot convict the defendant. the judge has power.
but he cannot convict the defendant. that pour belongs to you. you have that power and only you have the power to convict the defendant of these crimes and in so doing, and in so doing, declare that this use of force was unreasonable, it was excessive, it was grossly disproportionate, it is not an excuse for the shocking abuse that you saw with your own eyes. you can believe your own eyes. this case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first when you saw that video. it is exactly that. you can believe your eyes. it's exactly what you believed. it's exactly what you saw with your eyes and exactly what you knew. it's what you felt in your gut.
it's what you now know in your heart. this wasn't policing. this was murder. the defendant is guilty of all three counts. all of them. and there's no excuse. thank you. members of the jury we're going to take a 20 minute break. for your information we'll also take a 20 minute break after the defense argument before the state's rebuttal and the final instructions. >> a 20 minute break now in the trial of derek chauvin, a very important moment in the trial. he betrayed the badge and everything it stands for. that and one of the many powerful lines presented by one of the prosecutors.
let's get to our panel, cnn legal analysts and former federal prosecutor laura coates, law enforcement analyst charles ramsey, police chief here in d.c., laura coates is a former prosecutor about 103 minutes spoke in an approachable language to the jury. >> he's doing an excellent job. he began by talking about saying george floyd's name. announcing his full name, telling about his parents, the day he was born and going through to the last moments of his life, having moments that evoked sentiment, the idea of a crowd of strangers watching no one he recognized but by the uniform and badge he implored, quote, mr. officer. talking about the duty of care that was owed to a human being, not a super human, but a human being, all it took was compassion and oxygen. all of this threading a theme throughout the entire closing argument and that ending there when he said, this case was exactly what you thought it was.
that completely in my mind, which is a wonderful way to close it, by saying essentially to the jury, look, the defense did not change your mind. this case gab with the horror you that you, the bystanders were powerless and what did they do? they respected the badge just like george floyd. and they gave those precious videos over to you who does have the power to do something. there was a portion of it, john, of course, oh, it's a little bit long and long winded and boring about going through the elements, that's where cases are won. that's where trials actually lead to convictions because if you don't lead that jury to water and make them drink and walk they through piece by piece how the witness and scertain evidence ties together the jury will go back to deliberate and say how did they prove that element. what did a depraved heart mean, what did mr. tobin testify to.
they have to have the notes checking off element by element how the prosecution proved their case. >> chief, i think what was striking to laura's point mr. slisher started with the personal, mentioning george floyd, showing his mother holding him as a young man and then he did take time to go through the technical aspects of the law, sometimes very complicated medical testimony but back to the personal at the end saying as he yielded the floor, you can believe your eyes. he kept using the term common sense, not nonsense. >> yeah. i really did like the way he put that common sense, not nonsense, as he went through the defense and their arguments. i think he did a very good job of raising each and every one of them and shooting them down. and a very, very good use of graphics and the video. he didn't just show an entire 9 minutes and 29 seconds. he selected those key areas to prove his point. and i think that was very
powerful in and of itself. you know, one graphic, you know, being a police officer, of course, it caught my attention, but toward the end where he showed all the different members of the police department, including the police chief and what they said about that use of force. all of them from his own department. i thought that was pretty powerful because again, you know, well, you know, he's trained or policy or whatever, and that's just nonsense. as the prosecution said. it's just not true. you know, one thing that really struck me that they keep showing the photo of him with his knee on floyd's neck and he's got his hand resting on his hip very nonchalant and if you look at that picture and you see his shirt, his badge is actually twisted. just as twisted as he was when he did that. i thought that was ironic.
the first thing i saw when i looked at that picture. >> laura, this is in some ways the trial of one former police officer about the death of one man in one county in america, hennepin county, but a national moment and a global moment of reckoning. we remember the death of george floyd and what it did to this country as this jury begins to alert. we may break from this conversation to go to a prayer service the family of george floyd joining the family of daunte wright a man in a minneapolis suburb shot and killed by a police officer just last week. we all know the history here. the evidence in this case is fairly overwhelming. 9 minutes and 29 seconds alone, that video fairly overwhelming. the prosecutor understand the history as well which is why listen here, he was talking to the jury and this is not an anti-police case. this is a pro-police case. listen. >> what the defendant did was a felony assault. it was not policing.
it was unnecessary. it was gratuitous, it was disproportionate and he did it on person. no question. this was not an accident. he did not trip and fall and find himself upon george floyd's knee and neck. he did what he did on purpose. and it killed george floyd. that force for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, that killed george floyd. he betrayed the badge and everything it stood for. it's not how they're trained. it's not followings the rules. this is not an anti-police prosecution. it's a pro-police prosecution. >> laura, walk through the strategy as a prosecutor trying to win over, all the defense needs is one, trying to win them over? >> it's for the very reason that end of voir dire, they ask them about their views on black lives matter, blue lives matter, because they are aware of the
psychology in the united states of america, that gives and extends of a benefit of doubt to police officers. nobody wants to believe that the police officer gets up and puts on his or her uniform and badge and intends to kill someone via torture as described by dr. tobin in this case. you're not going against all police officers here. it's not the state of minnesota versus police. it's the state of minnesota versus derek chauvin. it is a noble profession to be a police officer. this was not one of those noble police officers. it reiterates how they -- the ten foot pole from the police chief, from the use of force expert, other law enforcement who said he is not one of us. he did not perform as he was supposed to do. he did not extend the duty of care, he withheld it and why, because he could. because he had the badge. because he was overwhelmingly and in a sinister way arrogant. the phrases that the prosecutor
was using here to make the comfort level of jurors rise to say look, you are not prosecuting all officers. you're prosecuting somebody who was an officer in name only that day and threw away the badge and all of it stood for, why, because he would not tolerate the audacity of a concerned crowd who thought that they could actually compel him to do his job. you know what's different here. because derek chauvin did not take the stand, john, who is there to combat or undermine the sinister arrogance that they have talked about. who was there to defend him or explain away? no one. all you have is the prosecution played, uh-huh, takes a lot of ox again to speak, that dismissive kunds sen shun what the jurors will remember. >> it will be left to eric nelson when we come back. we'll be back in a moment for that as it plays out to count ir
that. very persuasive, 103 minutes long from the prosecutor, mr. schleicher has listened and talked about the back and forth and he knows what's coming so he addressed it in his closing argument to the jury that they're going to tell you mr. floyd was a bad guy, a struggle initially, they're going to tell you he was on drugs, this that, but we talked about this earlier, hear it in his words, asking the jury, they're going to say there's reasonable doubt i'm going to ask you to use your common sense. >> proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard, it's a standard that the state has met here. the state does not need to prove its case beyond all doubt, it does not need to prove its case beyond what i'll call an unreasonable doubt. not required to prove beyond unreasonable doubt, a doubt not based on common sense but
nonsense. you're not required to accept nonsense. >> ginteresting sort of prebuttal. you're going to hear a bunch of excuses don't buy them. >> police aren't judge and jury. your job, if a person commits or is suspected of committing a violation of the law, take them into custody and bring them before the appropriate authorities. that ultimately will make that judgment. you see it right now. it's not to be done on the street. there is no street justice that should be applied in any instance at all. if i can real quickly go back to something he made -- the prosecutor made as an important point, this is a pro-police trial a trial for every decent member of law enforcement in the country. they get out there every day and do their jobs and do it properly
and that right now is very embarrassed and disgusted with what they've seen in this derek chauvin trial. it is pro police. even though we're in a dark place right now, if we can get past the short attention spans we all tend to have and stay focused on this, there is light that's there. we can rebuild, we can reform, we can do all the things that are needed to do to get on track. i think this is an opportunity for that to take place. i really do. i just hope that people see this as not a reflection of all police, but certainly one derek chauvin is one too many. >> excellent point, chief ramsey. we're going to stand by with us, quick break on the trial of derek chauvin. the prosecution finished the closing argument. the defense closing argument moments away. stay with us. [sfx: psst psst]
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any moment we'll be going back to the courtroom and the defense will be presenting its argument for derek chauvin. minneapolis and cities across the country right now bracing for the chauvin verdict and any potential protests that verdict could bring. from los angeles to atlanta, san francisco to philadelphia, city officials are prepping including having additional officers and personnel available and canceling discretionary days off for officers coast to coast. let's go live now cnn adrian broadist in minneapolis where minneapolis outside that key spot they're preparing. adrien? >> yeah. as they prepare for what will happen once the closing arguments are done on both sides, they're worried about the defense or excuse me they're worried about the verdict. many in the community that i've talked to, they tell me anxiety is building and the anxiety is heightened when they drive around downtown and see images like what you see behind me. members of the national guard on
every other corner throughout downtown providing security. later this week wednesday minneapolis public schools will return to remote learning, just after reopening. keep in mind the schools had been closed because of the pandemic. but there's one thing some folks have text me during the closing arguments there saying the message was not only a message to the jury on why they should convict chauvin but that message they heard, the closing argument was part of healing. listen in to what st. paul's mayor had to say, mayor carter. >> at some point this trial also becomes a trial of our criminal justice system and court system. if this system is capable yet of vulg black and brown lives, we're going to see that and we fully expect if the answer again is no, that people will be very
frustrated. our goal is to channel that frustration and anger and energy into ways that are constructive to help us build a better future for our children and not in ways that are destructive. >> reporter: community leaders are already trying to channel that energy instead of yelling and protesting in the streets they've been working behind doors talking about how they can solve the problem moving forward. john? >> adrien broadeus, thank you very much. let's walk through as we wait for the closing arguments resume, mr. nelson, the defense attorney will speak when court resumes and walk through what we learned so far and what the jury has heard as we're at this key juncture. the prosecution called 38 witnesses including eyewitnesses like mr. mcmallen.
trying to justify the use of force or trying to raise the idea that george floyd had trouble with the law before, part of the defense case. two key people who did not testify, former officer chauvin and maurice hall, with mr. floyd in the car the other passenger, he did not want to tessfy about the events of those days. the prosecution case officer chauvin exceeded use of force standards. floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to that restraint, specifically the knee on the neck. they noted no medical aid was given to mr. floyd even though he said he could not breathe and he was in distress. some of the prosecution highlights. >> i believe i witnessed a murder. >> so you felt the need to call the police. >> i felt the need to call the police on the police. >> was this a trained minneapolis police department defensive tactics technique? >> it is not. mr. floyd died from a low level of oxygen.
the main forces that are going to lead to the shallow breath are going to be that he's turn prone on the street, that he has the handcuffs in place combined with the street and then that he has a knee on his neck and that he has a knee on his back down his side. >> now let's walk through some of the defense case. defense trying to make the case the crowd impacted, had him nervous, there could be unrest at the scene. the defense raised the possibility that floyd died from previous health conditions, possible drug use and that the use of force was not attractive for the public to watch but reasonable. that part of the case for mr. nelson. >> you have to make sure your scene is safe before you're able to render aid. >> they were very aggressive towards the officers, yesterday. i was concerned for the officer's safety too so i kept an eye on the officers and the car and the individuals. >> is it your opinion that mr.
chauvin's knee in any way impacted the structures of mr. floyd's neck? >> no, it did not. in my opinion mr. floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia due to his asthrow sclerotic and hyper tensive heart disease. >> when we come back hear the closing argument from the defense and an opportunity for the prosecution and then the deliberations to begin. judge cahill. >> it's up to the jury to clib brate and how long you need to come to a unanimous decision. because that's up to you, whether an hour or a week, it's within your province. >> as we watch all that play out remind ourselves here officer chauvin, former officer chauvin, second-degree murder, unintentional murder 40-year prison, third-degree 20 years, second degree manslaughter 20
years. as we wait for the trial to resume bring back into the conversation our analysts here laura and chief charles ramsey. laura, we're going through the highlights of the case here which in a matter of an hour or so be will the jury's. >> we're going to have to hear from the defense first and the defense has a big opportunity here. they're going to try to beau tress all the things they could not do in their case. what's going to linger over their minds as one of the last questions that prosecution asked which was, what was the goal here and reminding everyone, this began with an alleged counterfeit $20 bill. we heard from the chief saying that a use of force of any kind really would not be warpted in those instances and we know he complied, that he actually was unconscious and did not have a pulse and what was the goal there? what was the goal of this particular former officer. the defense has some is heavy lifting to do because they don't have the body of exhibits that the prosecution has. they're not going to have all of
the key poignant testimony of bystanders and law enforcement officials saying this was a reasonable use of force. they have an expert saying he could have used more force against george floyd. not sure how much more than deadly force somebody could use. we're waiting for the defense to come up with a way, shape, or form to have that word before the jury -- the jury to have a moment to say look, this is a way for you to find reasonable doubt. i don't see where they planted any seeds that will germinate at this point. >> chief, laura makes a key point in the sense that officer chauvin was not alone, three other officers there throughout the testimony and all the other minneapolis police trainers, chief included saying once he was on the ground, there was no reason to continue a restraint, so the defense will speak next just trying to raise doubt that it's a tough job. let's go back into the courtroom. i'm sorry. >> may it please the court.
counsel, mr. chauvin, members of the jury. we want to take this opportunity first to thank each and every one of you for your service, your diligence, and your attention to this matter. we all recognize the disruption that jury service places on your personal and professional lives, especially in the case of this magnitude and duration. on behalf of mr. chauvin i want to thank each and every one of you for your attention and service to this jury. i'm going to apologize if i get a little long winded. because i get one bite at the apple here. the state has an opportunity to rebut my statement after this. there's so very much we need to cover and so very much we need to talk about and it is all important. before i begin my review of the evidence in this case, i would like to address two very crucial
points of law and they were touched on by the state. the presumption of innocence and what proof beyond a reasonable doubt means. the presumption of innocence the defendant presumed innocent. that's the starting point. he's presumed innocent of these charges and this presumption remains with him throughout the course of the trial, the presentation of the evidence, throughout the course of your deliberations, until and unless the state has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. the defendant does not have to prove his innocence. we talked about this in jury selection. we talked about the starting point. the defendant doesn't have to try to catch up. he starts at the presumption of
innocence. proof beyond a reasonable doubt. here's the definition the judge read you. proof beyond a reasonable doubt is such proof as ordinary prudent men and women would act upon in their most important affairs. a reasonable doubt is a doubt that is based upon reason and common sense. it does not mean a fanciful or capricious doubt nor does it mean beyond all possibility of doubt. the law recognizes three standards of proof. the preponderance of the evidence is the first and lowest standard. clear and convincing evidence is the next standard. the third standard proof beyond a reasonable doubt. the way we lawyers sometimes illustrate what these three standards mean is through the
scales of justice, right. the scales of justice equally balanced. when you apply the standard of the preponderance of the evidence it's also called the scintilla of the evidence, a single grain of sand tips the scales in the favor of one party or the other. this burden of proof is used in many civil cases. if the state wants to take away your driver's license for an example, that is the burden of proof the state has. they have to ever so slightly convince the finder of fact that their evidence supports their action. the next standard is clear and convincing evidence. that's pretty self-explanatory.
it is clear evidence and convinces you, the finder of fact, that the action is correct. this is the standard of proof that is used if the state wants to take away your children. clear and convincing evidence. it tip the scales more in one -- the favor of one party over the other. the highest standard in this country is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. proof beyond a reasonable doubt, essentially the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt. capricious, fanciful, capricious
doubt, capricious means unpredictable. fanciful. space aliens flew in inhabited the body of derek chauvin and caused this death. that's fanciful. beyond a reasonable doubt, it is the highest standard. in the law. doesn't mean beyond all possibility of doubt. i suppose space aliens may have been inhabiting his body but that's obviously fanciful and capricious. so this, these two standards, preshunl of innocence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt work in concert with each other. you start with the proposition that mr. chauvin is innocent of these charges. the state has to advance substantial evidence to convince
you that the only doubts that are remaining are unreasonable doubts. as you analyze the evidence in this case, you would simply have to find that any defense that has been advanced is unreasonable. that's what the standard is all about. i want to take this opportunity also to talk to you about the por importance of reading the entire instruction. because i've seen, you know, and lawyers and i'm going to do it too, right, we pick and choose those things that help us make our case and help us argue our case. that's our job as lawyers, is to point out words and phrases within the instructions that
make the difference in the case and to take that evidence and present it to you in such a way that it supports our proposition. that's what we do and that's why you are instructed that if your memories of the evidence is different, that if your -- the judge's law is what applies, but take the time to carefully read the entire instructions. throughout the course of this trial you've seen us do this, right. little snippets, a second here, a second there, a screen shts h -- screenshot here a screen shot there. you need to review the entirety of the evidence in this case during the course of your deliberations as well. i can tell you that some of the videos we've seen they're much
longer than what was presented in court. there's additional information and you're going to see some of that as we go through this case today. so take the time and conduct an honest assessment of the facts of this case, compare it to the law as the judge instructs you and the entirety of the law. that's why the instructions tell you consider the instructions as a whole. i've told you that lawyers like to present evidence that favors them, right. but we have to be intellectually honest about the evidence. we have to present it in an honest and intellectually cohesive and coherent manner. and i have to address something that i think is important and i think it is a prime example of
what i am asking you and what is you yo you're obviously -- obligation to do, to look at the evidence in light of all the pieces of evidence. you heard during the testimony of dr. fowler that one of the things he considered is the possibility that carbon monoxide was present and could have contributed to an environment that created an oxygen deprivation. you heard that testimony. in rebuttal to that testimony, the state brought doctor tobin back in and he told you, we can completely disregard that. we know as a fact, we know conclusively that mr. floyd did not have carbon monoxide because his oxygen was saturated to 98%. you heard the state say just like i am right here, right.
so it stands to reason, i could get up in front of you and argue to you, we know this wasn't asphyxiation because george floyd had a 98% oxygen level. how could he have been asphyxiated at the hospital with a 98% oxygen level? but that's not intellectually honest. it doesn't stack up against the rest of the evidence. because of what we know. right. we heard the testimony of seth bravinder and derrick smith, the paramedics. we heard the testimony of dr. langenfeld. they came in and they said, they began resuscitative efforts, they introduced oxygen, an oxygen supply, they're manually breathing for him, they're r
reoxygenating his blood. so when you look at that piece of evidence, when you look at a piece of evidence like that, you have to compare it against all of the other evidence because you can't come in and say, george floyd, on one hand, george floyd died of asphyxiation but he has a 98% oxygen level. his blood is oxygenated. then it is -- stands to reason the opposite is true as well. you can't come in and say, i can conclusively prove that mr. floyd didn't have carbon monoxided in his blood because he had this high oxygen saturation. you test one statement against the evidence of other people and you compare it. that is what you as jurors are obligated to do and i am asking you to do. compare the evidence against itself. test it. challenge it. compare it to the law. read the instructions in their
entirety. start from a point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. i submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. mr. chauvin has been charged as the state indicated with these three charges, and the judge has instructed you. count one is second-degree murder while committing a felony. it's also called the felony murder rule in minnesota. it's kind of the textbook example is i run into a liquor store, i pull a gun, i'm intending to rob the liquor store, my gun goes off, i shoot and kill the teller, i didn't
intend to go in and murtha pe -- murder that person but the death of the teller, that's the murder rule. he's been charged of murder in the third-degree for performing an intentional act that was imnately dangerous. you've seen and heard the instructions. and manslaughter in the second degree. the law has all of the words that defiancnes the words you n and the instructions should be considered in their entirety. whenever i meet with a client, i try to explain what the elements are and this is the analogy that i use. i say that a criminal case is kind of like baking chocolate chip cookies. you have to have the necessary ingredients. you got to have flour and sugar and butter and chocolate chips, and whatever else goes into
those chocolate chip cookies. if you have all of the ingredients, you can make chocolate chip cookies. but if you're missing any one single ingredient, you can't make chocolate chip cookies. it's a simple kind of analogy. but the criminal law works the same way. we say, the -- we call the ingredients the elements. the state has the burden of proving each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. not just some global proposition that they've proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt, they have to prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. and if you determine that they have done so, you convict. but if they are missing any one single element, any one single element, it is a not guilty verdict. and you saw the spread sheet that the state put up, right.
the elements are a little different in each of these cases. and some of these elements will take less of your consideration. you will have to look at the evidence and you will have to, for example, determine is cup foods in the city of minneapolis, is minneapolis in the county of hennepin, is hennepin county in the state of minnesota, did this happen on may 25th, 2020. right. it's going to take less of your consideration but nevertheless you have to do that to go through that process. two of the elements that i want to focus on during the course of my discussion here today, two of these elements are common throughout or two of these issues are common and applied to all three counts. and so i want to focus my remarks today on those two issues. the first, were mr. chauvin's actions an authorized use of force by a peace officer?
right. because in the instructions, it specifically tells you, no crime is committed if it was an authorized use of force, period, end of discussion. the second is an element that is and does appear in all three counts. that is, the cause of death. what caused mr. floyd's death. we're going to talk about that second. so let's start with the concept of reasonable force. as the instructions read in their entirety, no crime is committed if a police officer's actions were justified by the police officer's use of reasonable force in the line of duty and affecting a lawful arrest or preventing an escape from custody. the kind and degree of force a
police officer may lawfully use in executing his duties is limited by what a reasonable police officer in the same situation would believe to be necessary. any use of force beyond that is not reasonable. to determine if the actions of the police officer were reasonable, you must look at those facts which a reasonable officer in the same situation would have known at the precise moment the officer acted with force. you must decide whether the officer's actions were objectively reasonable in light of the totality of the facts and circumstances confronting the officer and without regard to the officer's own subjective state of mind, intention or motivations. the defendant is not guilty of a crime if he used force as
authorized by law and to prove guilt, the state must further prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's use of force was not authorized by law. so if you remember from my opening statements and how i talked about reason and common sense. right. the reasonable police officer standard. i want to just briefly add one thing here, is the standard is not what should the officer have done in these circumstances. it's not what could the officer have done differently in these circumstances. the standard is what weres the facts that were known to this officer at the precise moment he used force and considering all of the totality of circumstances
and facts known to the officer, would a reasonable police officer, what would a reasonable police officer have done. you have heard from numerous experts, police use of force experts, the training department from the minneapolis police department. you've heard from police officers, street police officers, sergeant edwards, sergeant pleoger, right. you've heard from these people and they have given you their opinions at various stages as to the reasonableness of the use of force. but one of the things that the state or excuse me, one of the things that all of these police officers effectively agreed to is that when you look at the question of what would a reasonable police officer do knowing the facts of the case, there are things that a police officer is entitled to take into
consideration above and beyond the facts, right. their training, the training that they receive, their experience as a police officer, the department's policies on the use of force, and all of these things kind of lead into the question of most critically, what are the facts that were known to the police officer, the reasonable police officer, at the precise moment the force was used. so you can start at a very high level, right. what were the reasonable police officer's knowledge of the area. is this a high crime location? is it a low crime area? those are things, those are facts that a police officer would know. what are the specifics of the location of arrest. am i going into a densely populated urban environment or am i in a kind of secluded
backyard, right. officer is calculating these pieces of information and assessing the risk. assessing the threats. officers are entitled to kind of take into consideration things you and i don't think about, their tactical advantages, tactical disadvantages. they can take into consideration the scene security, keeping the scene secure, and security of the scene. those are two different concepts. >> focusing back in to what facts were known at the precise moment force was used, you can then take into consideration kind of this mid-range level of information. a reasonable officer wants to keep his fellow officers safe. a reasonable police officer takes into consideration the safety of civilians.
a reasonable police officer takes in to account the safety of the person that they are arresting. they take into account what resources do i have based upon how close am i to a hospital, what's the expected time if i call ems, because a reasonable police officer at times they got to put the person in their squad car sometimes and take them because they're farther away calling for help, bringing help in, would take longer than it would simply to take the person directly. then you look at the direct knowledge that a reasonable police officer would have at the precise moment force was used. that includes information that they gather from dispatch, their direct observations of the scene, the subjects, and the current surroundings.
they have to take into consideration whether they suspect -- the suspect was under the influence of a controlled substance. they can take into consideration because again, this is a dynamic and ever-changing, just like life, things change, it's a dynamic situation, it's fluid, they take into account their experience with the subject at the beginning, the middle, the end. they try to -- a reasonable police officer tries to predict or is at least cognizant and concerned about future behavior based upon past behavior. the unpredictability of humans factors into the reasonable police officer's analysis too. because sometimes people take -- reasonable police officers take someone into custody with no problem and suddenly they became