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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6:23 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Here's what happened today in the Derek Chauvin trial

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper


George Floyd's brother, a use-of-force expert and a cardiologist testified today in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.

Judge Peter Cahill also told jurors he expects closing arguments to start Monday. At which point, he said, the jury would be sequestered.

Here's what else happened in court today:

George Floyd's brother testifies: Philonise Floyd offered a heartfelt testimony as prosecutors sought to humanize Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man who died last May after Chauvin kneeled on his neck and back for more than 9 minutes. He told the court that his elder brother George Floyd was a mama's boy and a loving person when they were growing up in Houston. During his testimony, prosecutors showed several photos of a smiling George Floyd with his mother, his basketball teammates and his young daughter. Philonise Floyd described his brother as an athlete and dedicated student of both basketball and football. "He was so much of a leader to us in the household, he would always make sure we had our clothes for school, make sure we would get to school on time," Philonise Floyd said. "He just was like a person that everybody loved around the community. He just knew how to make people feel better."

Cardiologist says Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest: Dr. Jonathan Rich, a cardiologist based in Chicago, testified that Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest caused by low oxygen levels brought on by prone restraint and positional asphyxia — making him the fifth doctor to say as much in Chauvin's trial.

Use-of-force expert says Chauvin's actions were unreasonable: Seth Stoughton, a use-of-force expert, former police officer and associate professor of law at University of South Carolina, said Chauvin's actions represented deadly force and were unreasonable. "Both the knee across Mr. Floyd's neck and prone restraint were unreasonable, excessive and contrary to acceptable police practices," Stoughton said. He added: "No reasonable officer would have believed that was an appropriate or acceptable use of force."

Defense to present their case tomorrow: The defense is expected to begin presenting their case Tuesday, Cahill told the jury. He said he expects the presentation of evidence in the trial will be done "by the end of the week."

Judge expects closing arguments to start Monday: Cahill indicated that there may not be court Friday if there are no additional witnesses. The judge told the jurors he did not want to isolate them in a hotel over the weekend. "My preference is to give the attorneys more time to prepare their closing arguments and have the closing arguments, we predict, on Monday," he said. Cahill then told jurors: "Expect that when you report for duty on Monday that it be followed by sequestration. So, pack a bag."

6:02 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Court has adjourned for the day

Court is adjourned until Tuesday morning when testimony is expected to resume in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.

5:56 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Judge expects jury to be sequestered next week


Before court adjourned for the day, Judge Peter Cahill gave the jury a timeframe of how he expects the trial to go.

"Now that we're getting closer to the end, we expect that we will be moving to the defense case tomorrow. And accordingly, we expect that we will finish all the evidence in this case by the end of the week. Possibly with even Friday off. My preference is not to make the attorneys close on Friday, because when they close, this case will be submitted for deliberation. Which means at that time, as we warned you long ago in jury selection, you will be sequestered," he said.

Cahill explained that if he were to have closing arguments on Friday, that means the jury would be sequestered over the weekend.

"My preference is, to give the attorneys more time to prepare their closing arguments, and have the closing arguments, we predict on Monday. At that point, you will be sequestered. So you will get some more information from the sheriff's deputies regarding that. But expect that you when you report for duty on Monday, that it will be followed by sequestration. So pack a bag," he continued.


5:39 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Security presence around Chauvin trial ramps up after Daunte Wright shooting

From CNN’s Keith Allen and Omar Jimenez

 Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo WCCO

The collaboration of local, county, state and federal law enforcement working around the Derek Chauvin trial known as "Operation Safety Net" has moved into phase three of their security presence earlier than anticipated after Sunday’s police shooting of Daunte Wright in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday afternoon.

“We have been preparing to ramp up for the close of the Chauvin trial, and we are prepared to ramp up law enforcement presence across St. Paul and across the Twin Cities,” Arrandondo said.

“It's necessary for the peace of our city and we also want to make sure that we are protecting First Amendment rights as much as possible,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey added. “We're collectively resolved to doing better.” 

Col. Matt Langer, chief of Minnesota State Patrol, also said that Sunday’s police shooting necessitated the early designation.

“Our plan was to get to phase three of the Operation Safety Net plan about the time of closing arguments, and yesterday's incident in Brooklyn center triggered the need to move faster into phase three,” Langer said. “Yesterday, we fortunately had about 80 state troopers from across Minnesota already in town, we kept them in town after learning of the incident ... and thankfully we did because they were easily deployed immediately upon when the need came in yesterday evening. We also deployed all of the phase three resources of the Minnesota State Patrol, and the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers.”

Minnesota National Guard Gen. Shawn Manke also said there are approximately 500 members on the streets of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Brooklyn Center, and that number could grow to 1,000 by the end of the day Monday.

“There have been rumors that the Minnesota National Guard has used non-lethal munitions in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul, I want to tell you that that is simply not true,” Manke said. “We have not used those we don't anticipate using those and we did not use those in any of the civil unrest support that we've provided over the last year.”

Manke said approximately 100 Minnesota National Guard members helped to secure the Brooklyn Center Police headquarters during protests Sunday night.

3:48 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Use-of-force expert: It was "not appropriate" to put Floyd in the prone position once he was handcuffed

Law professor Seth Stoughton, a police use-of-force expert, testified that it was not necessary to place George Floyd in the prone position once he was taken out of the back of the police car by the officers.

Stougton said, "it's clear from the number of officers and Mr. Floyd's position and the fact that he's handcuffed and has been searched, he doesn't present a threat of harm." 

He continued:

"His actions don't indicate that he presents any threat of escape. And as he's saying "thank you" for being taken out of the backseat of the car, it would certainly suggest that the point of conflict that had provoked his resistance in the first place is over and suggests a lack of intention. Given the range of other alternatives available to the officers, it's just not appropriate to prone someone who is at that point cooperative." 

Stoughton, who reviewed the evidence in the case and is being paid to testify as an expert witness, said that the prone position can be "useful" for officers trying to handcuff a suspect.

"The prone position is a very useful position in policing for getting control of someone for purposes of handcuffing them. Again, the prone position is just basically face down. Their chest, front of the hips on the ground. When officers are struggling with someone or when they're handcuffing someone they anticipate struggling with, you will often see officers put someone into is that prone position for purposes of handcuffing because it's very difficult for someone to fight or to resist as they're face down on the ground, especially once their arms are out at their sides." 

He added, however, that placing someone in the prone position "is supposed to be transitory" and used for handcuffing. He said that "as soon as someone has been handcuffed, you take them out of that position."

Stoughton's testimony is ongoing.

3:05 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

A criminal and police law professor is now testifying 


Seth Stoughton, associate professor from the University of South Carolina school of law, who is also an affiliate professor in the university's department of criminology and criminal justice, is now testifying.

The witness said he studies the regulation of policing.

George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, just wrapped his testimony.

3:01 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

George Floyd was a "big mama's boy," his brother says

A photo of Floyd and his mother entered into evidence.
A photo of Floyd and his mother entered into evidence. Pool

George Floyd was a "big mama's boy" who taught his family how to treat their mother with respect, his brother Philonise Floyd testified today.

"He was a big mama's boy," he said. "And being around him, he showed us, like, how to treat our mom, and how to respect our mom. He just — he loved her so dearly."

Philonise Floyd said his mother and brother shared a special bond.

"Every mother loves all her kids. But it was so unique how they were with each other," she said.

He then described the day George Floyd learned their mother had died. He said his brother was talking to their dying mother on the phone, but she passed before he could get to her.

"And when we went to the funeral, it's just — George just sat there at the casket over and over again, he would just say 'mama, mama,' over and over again. And I didn't know what to tell him, because I was in pain, too. We all were hurting. And he was just kissing her, and just kissing her. He didn't want to leave the casket," he told the jury.

Watch here:

3:01 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Philonise Floyd remembers his brother: "He just knew how to make people feel better"

Philonise Floyd described his brother George Floyd's life and what it was like growing up with him during his testimony today.

He recalled that George Floyd was loved by his family and his community.

"He was so much of a leader to us in the household. He would always make sure that we had our clothes for school," Philonise said. "He made sure that we all were going to be to school on time. And like I told you, George couldn't cook. But he will make sure you have a snack or something to get in the morning. But he — he was one of those people in the community that when they had church outside, people would attend church just because he was there. Nobody would go out there until they seen him. And he just was like a person that everybody loved around the community. He — he just knew how to make people feel better."

At one point, Philonise Floyd wiped tears from his face after he was shown a photograph of his brother and his late mother.

"That's my mother. She is no longer with us right now. But that's my oldest brother George. I miss both of them," he said. "...I was married on May 24th I got married. And my brother was killed May 25th. And my mom died on May 30th. So it's like a bittersweet one, because I was supposed to be happen when that month comes."

Watch here:

2:30 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, is now testifying


George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, has now taken the stand in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.

Minnesota allows prosecutors to invoke the "spark of life" doctrine to call witnesses to testify about a victim's life.