Derek Chauvin announced he will not be testifying in court on Thursday, temporarily suspending the trial until closing remarks on Monday.
Derek Chauvin decided not to testify, as is his protected right under the Fifth Amendment, in the final phase of the trial resulting from George Floyd’s death. The defense rested its case on Thursday, and closing arguments are set to be given Monday, after which the jury will deliberate privately.
According to Chauvin, he made the decision not to testify completely on his own, which he announced in court before the jury was present. After questioning from his attorney Eric Nelson, it suggested there was some sort of debate regarding the issue.
Nelson asked, “I have advised you, and (to say that) we have gone back and forth on the matter would be kind of an understatement, wouldn’t it?” Chauvin responded, “Yes it is,” agreeing with Nelson’s claim.
Because Chauvin chose to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, prosecutors will not be able to cross-examine him.
The prosecution called 38 witnesses over the course of 11 days, and rested its case on Tuesday morning. Their main goal was to prove that Chauvin used excessive and unreasonable force when kneeling on Floyd’s back and neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May. The team relied on video’s of Chauvin’s actions, experts in law enforcement criticizing Chauvin’s actions, and testimony from medical officials confirming Floyd died due to the excessive restraint.
The former police officer has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.