Defense takes over as state rests case in Chauvin trial


The court has gone into a lunch break recess. Cahill says they will reconvene at 1:15 p.m.

11:45 a.m.

The defense recalls Minneapolis Police Officer Nicole MacKenzie. She previously testified for the state.

She works as the medical support coordinator for the department. Nelson asks MacKenzie about excited delirium.

MacKenzie testifies that cadets are trained on asking for more resources and calling for EMS if they suspect someone is experiencing excited delirium. However, veteran officers did not go through this training. She testifies that it is discussed with more senior officers during in-service training, such as use of force.

10:40 a.m.

The defense calls Peter Chang to the witness stand. He is employed by the Minneapolis Park Police.

He responded to the scene at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis last May. Chang says it’s common for park police to assist on calls with the Minneapolis Police Department. He self-assigned after hearing dispatchers call for backup.

Once on scene, he described seeing J Alexander Kueng with Floyd, who was handcuffed on the ground. He was monitoring what the two passengers — Hill and Hall — were doing at the time. He was told by former officers Kueng and Thomas Lane to do so.

He noted the bystanders to be "loud and aggressive." He said it caused concern for officer safety.

The court plays Chang’s body camera footage.

Morries Hall is heard telling Chang his name as "Ricardo." He tells Chang he was also handed fake bills, but he tore his up and points to what looks like paper on the ground.

The video shows Genevieve Hansen, the off-duty Minneapolis firefighter, walk by Chang. They did not interact with each other.

Chang tells Hill and Hall, "they’re calling an ambulance for him … he might have hurt himself."

Charles McMillian can be seen in the video telling Hill they might want to call Floyd’s family. He explained what happened to her. At the end of the video, McMillian can be seen talking to Chauvin.

The state now cross-examines.

The witness is eventually excused from the stand. The judge has put the court on a 10-minute break.

10:25 a.m.

The court has reconvened without the jury. A woman is being addressed by Cahill before being formally sworn in. After a brief discussion, the jury reenters.

The woman says she was with Floyd on May 25, 2020, the day he died. She has been identified as Shawanda Hill. She was seen in the SUV with Floyd and Morries Hall last May near Cup Foods.

She tells Nelson Floyd was "happy, normal, talking, alert" while in the grocery store. He offered to give her a ride. She says they were talking for the first 8-10 minutes she was in the car but then she took a phone call, and while she did, she claims Floyd fell asleep during that time.

Hill said Floyd was also tired because he had been working a lot lately.

She said the police woke up Floyd when he was in the SUV.

After a few follow-up questions by the state and a redirect by the defense, the witness is excused.

9:54 a.m.

The next witness is called to the stand by the defense. Michelle Moseng takes the stand. She is now retired, but before she was a paramedic with Hennepin County for 34 years.

She is talking about a May 6, 2019 incident involving Floyd. She says it was "quite hard to assess him" that day.

Moseng said Floyd told her about taking an opiate. She started to say he was agitated, but Cahill had the answer stricken. He told her to wait for the question.

She stated Floyd told her that he had been taking "multiple, like every 20 minutes." She explained he said he was taking "7 to 9" opiates during the time. Moseng said Floyd’s blood pressure was 216 over 160. She had made recommendations for Floyd to go to the hospital.

"Initially he denied medical issues, but then when I discovered his blood pressure I specifically asked again. He said yes, he had a history of hypertension and had not been taking his medication," Moseng said.

He indicated to the former paramedic that he had been addicted to opioids.

After a few follow-up questions around the same framework used on Creighton, Moseng steps down from the witness stand. Cahill calls a 5 to 10-minute break.

9:30 a.m.

The state prosecution team has rested its case. The defense now takes over, calling their first witness to the stand.

This witness will talk about an occurrence with George Floyd in May 2019 during a traffic stop. The witness is identified as Scott Creighton, a retired Minneapolis Police officer. He served over 20 years for the department. Cahill warned the jury he will testify about "what ingestion of opioids may or may not have had on the physical well-being of Floyd," not his character.

Creighton talked about the traffic stop involving Floyd.

They are playing body camera footage of the incident in court. The officer is heard repeatedly telling Floyd to put his hands on the dashboard. He had his gun extended during the interaction. Creighton described the traffic stop with Floyd, saying he was "unresponsive and non-compliant" during the interaction.

After the defense gets confirmation from Creighton that the man in the video is Floyd, state prosecutor Erin Eldridge takes over cross-examination.

Creighton tells Eldrige that Floyd was awake, conscious, but Creighton says he was "incoherent" during the interaction. She is pointing out the escalation in the video by police while interacting with Floyd.

Floyd is heard saying "don’t beat me up" in the video, to which Creighton confirms.

"And Mr. Floyd didn’t drop dead while you were interacting with him?" Eldridge asked.

"No," Creighton replied. He was then excused from the witness stand.

9 a.m.

The state and defense are sorting through motions to begin Tuesday’s court session.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank objected to the defense using park police body camera video. They want personal information to be redacted in one frame of the video and say other sections of the video are "hearsay." Defense attorney Eric Nelson says he would break up Officer Chang’s video into three sections: the first five minutes, a portion of interacting with passengers in Floyd’s car, and when paramedics arrive.

Nelson says the officer’s video would show him "pacing kind of back and forth trying to split his attention between the passengers and also observing what’s happening across the street."

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill says he has reviewed the video and says it’s relevant and cumulative "to a certain point." He ordered the defense to redact the portion when you can see personal information on the officer’s computer. He also said the video is admissable "up through the time the fire engine leaves is appropriate."

Jurors will arrive in the courtroom at 9:30 a.m.

The defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death is set to start presenting its case.

It follows 11 days of a prosecution narrative that combined wrenching video with clinical analysis by medical and use-of-force experts to condemn Derek Chauvin’s actions.

Prosecutors called their final witnesses Monday, leaving only some administrative matters before they were expected to rest Tuesday.

Once the defense takes over, Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd’s drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin’s actions, that killed him.

Prosecutors effectively wrapped up their case Monday with tender memories from George Floyd’s younger brother and testimony from a police use-of-force expert.

KSTP’s complete trial coverage