Derek Chauvin Will Not Take the Stand

Former officer invokes the 5th Amendment in the George Floyd murder trial
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2021 9:35 AM CDT
Chauvin Won't Take Stand as His Defense Rests
Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, listen Wednesday in court.   (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

Jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial won't be hearing from the former officer himself. Chauvin told Judge Peter Cahill on Thursday that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and not testify, reports the Washington Post. "Is this your decision?" the judge asked, per the AP. "It is, your honor," replied Chauvin, a former Minneapolis officer who's charged with murdering George Floyd. The defense team also told the judge it planned to rest its case on Thursday, reports the Star Tribune. The two days of defense testimony stands in contrast to the two weeks used by prosecutors, the AP notes. After some rebuttal testimony on Thursday, closing arguments are expected to begin on Monday.

Chauvin's statements mark the first time he has spoken during the trial, though they came when the jury wasn't present. Previously, jurors heard him tell a bystander in bodycam footage, "We gotta control this guy 'cause he's a sizable guy ... and it looks like he's probably on something." While taking the stand would have allowed Chauvin to give his side of the story in person, he would have been exposed to potentially damaging cross-examination. Whether he and his defense team would take that risk had been one of the biggest unknowns of the trial. After closing arguments, the jury will be sequestered to begin deliberations. (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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