FORMER Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will not testify to the jury at his murder trial for the deadly arrest of George Floyd, he told the court on Thursday.
The 45-year-old has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
Floyd died last May following an arrest during which Chauvin placed a knee on his neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”
Caught on video, those tragic final moments led to widespread protests and riots across the US against police brutality and racism.
Chauvin, along with three other police officers present during the fatal arrest, was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the day after the death.
Almost 40 witnesses have been called to the stand in recent weeks, including the Minneapolis police chief and other officers who have openly condemned Chauvin’s actions.
But speaking in court for the first time since his trial began, Chauvin told Judge Peter Cahill on Thursday that he has decided not to testify in his own defense.
"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today," Chauvin said after briefly removing his mask, referring to the constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Judge Peter Cahill questioned Chauvin about his decision, asking if he was pressured in any way in making it.
"No promises or threats, your honor," Chauvin said.
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