Day 6: Derek Chauvin Defense Team Shows Clip Suggesting Officer’s Knee Was On George Floyd’s Shoulder, Not His Neck


With limited evidence put forward so far to bolster his case, Derek Chauvin’s lead defense attorney Eric Nelson on Monday sought to cast doubt for jurors over one of the most prominent details of George Floyd’s death: the length of time the officer had his knee on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck.


The nine-plus minutes Chauvin spent kneeling on Floyd’s neck has gone largely unquestioned until this point because of the ample video footage—both from bystanders and police body cameras—showing the sustained restraint.

“The most important numbers you will hear in this trial are nine, two nine,” Jerry W. Blackwell, one of the state’s prosecutors, said during opening arguments last week, highlighting the nine minutes and 29 seconds Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd’s neck.

However, Nelson on Monday during his cross-examination of Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo opened a line of questioning over the timeframe of the restraint, suggesting, at least at one point, Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s shoulder blade as opposed to his neck.

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