Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 10:12 PM ET, Mon April 12, 2021
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11:08 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Judge denies motion to sequester jury following last night's police shooting in Minneapolis suburb

Judge Peter Cahill speaks during court proceedings on Monday, April 12.
Judge Peter Cahill speaks during court proceedings on Monday, April 12. Pool

The judge denied a request from defense attorney Eric Nelson to sequester the jury following last night's shooting of a Black man by a police officer in a suburb of Minneapolis. The man died following a traffic stop.

The judge also denied a request by the defense to further voir dire (examine) the jury. The judge said he believed that yesterday's incident was a separate issue.

More on last night's shooting: The shooting happened Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center. The city is about 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the killing of another Black man, George Floyd.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz identified the man killed in Sunday's incident as Daunte Wright.

Protesters gathered Sunday evening and marched toward the police department, leading to what the city's mayor described as "growing civil unrest."

CNN's Keith Allen, Adrienne Broaddus, Hollie Silverman and Joe Sutton contributed reporting to this post.

10:48 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Judge says he expects closings next week

Judge Peter Cahill said he expects closings in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin will begin next week.

In denying a request from the defense to sequester the jury now, Cahill said, "We'll sequester them on Monday when we anticipate doing closings."

The defense team had asked to sequester the jury following last night's shooting of a Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, about 10 miles from where the trial is happening.

Cahill had always planned to sequester the jury once deliberations began.

11:42 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Judge to make decision on Floyd's friend's testimony this afternoon

Judge Peter Cahill listens during court proceedings on Monday, April 12.
Judge Peter Cahill listens during court proceedings on Monday, April 12. Pool

Prior to the start of testimony this morning, Judge Cahill heard from both sides about the prospect of calling Morries Hall as a witness at trial.

Hall was in the car with George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and could be a critical witness.

The defense wants to call him to give "a description of what they did that day." Hall's attorney has told the court he plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment if he is called to the stand.

The prosecution argued that Hall's testimony may not be reliable since they claim "he gave false information at the scene" on the day that Floyd was killed.

The judge said that he would take what each side said "under advisement until after lunch." He said that he will give a ruling on the matter at around 1 p.m. today.

9:50 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Hearing testimony about George Floyd's death can be difficult. Here are some resources that may help.

We're entering Day 11 of witness testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who's been charged in the death of George Floyd. 

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck while he pleaded, "I can't breathe."

Hearing witnesses testify and dissect second-by-second accounts of the circumstances surrounding Floyd's death can be tough.

Here are some resources that may help:

You can contact any of the organizations above to find peer groups and other group counseling services. These organizations often have affiliates in cities that host group meetings. They offer coping mechanisms to deal with stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

It's always important to speak to someone and not feel that you're facing this alone.

You can find more CNN resources that may help here.

8:55 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

The 4 main reasons why Floyd died, according to a pulmonary expert

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

Dr. Martin Tobin testifies on Thursday, April 8. 
Dr. Martin Tobin testifies on Thursday, April 8.  Pool

A renowned pulmonary critical care doctor testified last week that George Floyd died from a "low level of oxygen" when former police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the street and restricted his ability to breathe.

"This caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop," Dr. Martin Tobin of Chicago testified, referring to pulseless electrical activity, a type of cardiac arrest.

"The cause of the low level of oxygen was shallow breathing," he added. "Small breaths. Small tidal volumes. Shallow breaths that weren't able to carry the air through his lungs down to the essential areas of the lungs that get oxygen into the blood and get rid of the carbon dioxide."

He identified four main reasons why Floyd died:

  • The handcuffs and the street acting as a "vise"
  • Chauvin's left knee on his neck
  • Floyd's prone position
  • Chauvin's right knee on Floyd's back, arm and side

Combined, these limited Floyd's ability to expand his lungs and narrowed his hypopharynx, a part of the throat that air passes through.

Floyd's preexisting health conditions and drug use were not relevant to his death, Tobin said.

"A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died," he said.

8:35 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Here's what we know about the jury

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

The jury in Derek Chauvin's trial has heard from multiple witnesses so far, and they've been shown bystander and police footage of George Floyd's final moments. 

If convicted, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. The charges are to be considered separate, so Chauvin could be convicted of all, some or none of them.

While the jurors are unnamed and not seen on camera, we do know basic details about them.

Here's what we know about the jury:

  • Five men and nine women were chosen to serve on the jury during the trial in Minneapolis. 
  • Of the 14 jurors, eight are White, four are Black and two are mixed race, according to how the court says the jurors identified themselves.
  • The jury selection process began March 9 at the Hennepin County Government Center and wrapped up exactly two weeks later. 
  • The panel is made up of 12 jurors and two alternates, Judge Peter Cahill said.
  • The jurors all come from Hennepin County, which is demographically about 74% White and 14% Black, according to census data.
  • The prospective jurors previously completed a 16-page questionnaire that asked for their personal thoughts on Black Lives Matter, policing and other topics.
  • In court, each person was sworn in and then questioned one-by-one in a process known as voir dire. The juror's name, address and other information are kept anonymous.
  • Eric Nelson questioned the prospective jurors for the defense, while Steve Schleicher questioned them for the prosecution.

Read more about about the jury here.

8:42 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

The Chauvin trial resumes this morning. Here's what happened last week in court.

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, right, attends court proceedings on Friday, April 9.
Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, right, attends court proceedings on Friday, April 9. Pool

It is day 11 of testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged in the death of George Floyd.

The prosecution's portion of the trial will continue today with testimony from a physician.

If you're just reading in, here's a recap of what happened last week in court:

  • Monday: Three witnesses took the stand. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck was not a trained tactic and was a violation of the policies around de-escalation, objectively reasonable use of force and requirement to render aid. Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld treated Floyd and said the "more likely possibility" of Floyd's cardiac arrest was hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. Minneapolis Police Inspector Katie Blackwell, who recently served as commander of the department's training division, looked at a photo of Chauvin on Floyd’s neck and told the court that it was not in line with department training. “I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is,” she said. “It’s not what we train.” 
  • Tuesday: Four police officials testified in court. Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger, a use-of-force expert, testified that the force used by Chauvin on Floyd was excessive. Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil, a use-of-force instructor with the department's training unit, said Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck is not a trained neck restraint tactic. Minneapolis Police Officer Nicole Mackenzie, a medical response coordinator, testified that officers are required to render first aid and request emergency services when someone needs medical help. Chauvin took a 40-hour course on crisis intervention training in 2016 in which actors portrayed people in crisis and officers had to de-escalate the situation, said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Ker Yang, the department's crisis intervention training coordinator.
  • Wednesday: Several investigators and forensic scientists testified about what they found at the crime scene, including Floyd's blood stains and a few white pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. A Los Angeles Police Department use-of-force expert hired by the prosecution testified that Chauvin had used excessive and deadly force on Floyd when none was needed. The special agent who led the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation into Floyd's death also struggled to make sense of a short phrase Floyd said last May as Derek Chauvin kneeled on him.
  • Thursday: Prosecutors shifted into the third phase of their case and focused on the medical analysis of Floyd's cause of death. A renowned pulmonary critical care doctor testified Floyd died from a "low level of oxygen" when Chauvin pinned him to the street and restricted his ability to breathe. Also on Thursday, another doctor seconded Tobin's conclusion and a forensic toxicologist discussed the drugs found in Floyd's system.
  • Friday: The medical examiner who performed Floyd's autopsy testified that Floyd's heart disease and use of fentanyl were not the direct cause of his death. Baker ruled Floyd's death last May a homicide and identified the cause as "cardiopulmonary arrest" that occurred during "law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." Forensic pathologist Dr. Lindsey Thomas — who has reviewed various records, including the medical examiner's autopsy — agreed with Baker's finding in the cause of death, adding she believed the "primary mechanism of death is asphyxia or low oxygen."