Defense attorney Nelson told the court that the state’s cornerstone for prosecuting Chauvin — the amount of time he knelt of Floyd’s neck — does not address how reasonable police officers should respond.
“Throughout the course of this trial, the state has focused your attention on 9 minutes and 29 seconds,” he said. “The proper analysis is to take those 9 minutes and 29 seconds and put it into the context of the totality of the circumstances that a reasonable police officer would know.”
Nelson argued that the time prior is relevant.
“It’s not the proper analysis because the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds,” he said later. “It completely disregards it. It says in that moment, at that point nothing else that happened before should be taken into consideration by a reasonable police.”
Nelson also said the jury must consider the neighborhood knowledge that an officer would have when responding to a scene, the suspect and dispatcher Jena Scurry, who testified earlier in the trial.
“Of what a reasonable police officer would know, in this circumstance is that a business is requesting [service], it’s how the suspect is still there,” Nelson said. “He’s large, and he’s possibly under the influence of alcohol or something else.”
Nelson reminded the jury that Scurry said her training had convinced her there were sounds of struggles on the call for which multiple officers were sent in response.
Floyd’s statements about being claustrophobic as officers tried to put him in the police car were interpreted as resistance by a trained, reasonable officer, Nelson argued.
“Controlled takedowns, conscious neck restraints, these are options available to Mr. Chauvin at this point,” Nelson said. “He has, per his training, these techniques at his disposal. A reasonable police officer would be making these observations.”