Prosecutors accused [Chauvin] of killing a defenceless George Floyd by ‘grinding and crushing him until the very breath, the very life, was squeezed out of him’, at the opening on Monday of a murder trial regarded by millions as a litmus test of US police accountability.

The prosecutor, Jerry Blackwell, told the jury that the death of Floyd last May, which reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and set off months of protests across America and around the world, was caused by Chauvin keeping his knee on the neck of the dying man for more than nine minutes even after he stopped breathing.

‘What Mr Chauvin was doing, he was doing deliberately,’ Blackwell said as he outlined his case to the jury in the court room in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd was killed. …

Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, told the jury in his opening statement that the evidence will show that Floyd was under the influence of drugs and that the force used against him was reasonable because of his behaviour.



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