The trial is in recess until Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin said Thursday that he has declined to testify in his own trial for the death of George Floyd, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Chauvin’s defense team announced it rested its case.

After the testimony portion of the trial concluded, Judge Peter Cahill said the jury would enter deliberations following Monday’s closing arguments from both sides.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cahill ruled Thursday that new evidence brought to light by the prosecution on the carbon monoxide levels in Floyd’s blood would not be admissible to the court. Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy, had called them to dispute the testimony of David Fowler, a former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, suggesting Floyd’s possible exposure to carbon monoxide from the exhaust fumes of a police squad car may have contributed to his death.
  • Martin Tobin, an Illinois pulmonologist who was recalled to the stand by the prosecution Thursday, also disputed Fowler’s claim, saying Floyd’s maximum exposure to carbon monoxide would have been 2 percent — a normal, healthy range for people.
  • Fowler, who testified that heart disease and drug use were to blame for Floyd’s death, said during cross-examination Wednesday that the 46-year-old should have received immediate medical attention to reverse his cardiac arrest.
  • Fowler testified to defense attorney Eric J. Nelson that it appeared Chauvin’s knee did not injure Floyd’s neck.
4:17 p.m.
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Jury deliberations to start Monday, judge says

Closing arguments in Chauvin’s trial will come Monday when the jury is set to begin deliberations, the judge said.

Cahill dismissed the jury for a long weekend, eliminating the need for the jurors to be present Friday when attorneys will hold the charge conference to discuss the specific wording of the ultimate instructions the jury will receive.

Chauvin, who is entitled to be present for all aspects of his trial, waived his right to attend the conference.

The start of deliberations Monday also marks the beginning of the jury’s sequestration. Jurors were allowed to go home at the end of each trial day but told not to consume news about the trial or discuss it with anyone.

Cahill tried to advise jurors, who will be sequestered at a hotel, on how much they should pack when they reconvene Monday morning.

“Plan for long, hope for short,” Cahill said.

3:51 p.m.
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Pulmonologist rebukes defense expert’s claim that Floyd’s carbon monoxide could have spiked: ‘It’s simply wrong’

A pulmonologist testifying for the prosecution rebuked the defense medical expert’s claim that carbon monoxide exposure could have factored into Floyd’s death.

Martin Tobin, an Illinois pulmonologist who returned to the stand during rebuttal Thursday, said that since records show Floyd’s body was saturated with 98 percent oxygen, the possible maximum level of carbon monoxide exposure would fall within the normal range.

If the hemoglobin is saturated at 98 percent, [it] tells you all there was for everything else is 2 percent,” Tobin testified. “And so the maximum amount of carbon monoxide would be 2 percent.”

Fowler, the former chief medical examiner from Maryland, had argued Wednesday that the possible levels of exposure were much higher than normal. Tobin was asked about the suggestion by Blackwell.

“In your view, that’s not possible?” Blackwell asked.

Tobin replied, “It’s simply wrong.”

3:13 p.m.
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Defense threatens to move for a mistrial if prosecution is allowed to introduce new evidence on rebuttal

The defense objected Thursday to attempts by the prosecution to present previously unknown test results on carbon monoxide levels in Floyd’s blood.

Nelson, Chauvin’s lawyer, complained that the state “has had ample time” to present this evidence during their portion of the case and threatened to move for a mistrial if the test results were allowed.

“It is incredibly prejudicial to the defense at this point,” Nelson argued.

Prosecutors said Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy, heard the defense’s medical expert on the stand Wednesday mention possible exposure to carbon monoxide as having a role in Floyd’s death, which prompted Baker to alert prosecutors to the existence of test results related to that factor.

“It was discovered yesterday by Dr. Baker,” Blackwell said, “and what precipitated it, your honor, was a piece of new evidence. It was a disclosure that came from the stand during the testimony of Dr. [David] Fowler.”

The defense said that information has existed since last year and that it would be unfair for the state to be allowed to introduce it now simply because they had not sought it out earlier.

Cahill agreed, adding, “this late disclosure is not the way we should be operating here.”

Cahill said Martin Tobin, the Illinois pulmonologist recalled to the stand by the prosecution, would not be allowed to testify to the lab results raised by the prosecution, but could discuss the environmental factors of carbon monoxide and issued a stark warning to the prosecution:

“If [Tobin] even hints that there are results that the jury has not heard about, it’s going to be a mistrial, pure and simple,” Cahill said.

2:56 p.m.
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Coroner who performed Floyd’s autopsy called to dispute defense expert’s carbon monoxide claim, prosecution says

After Chauvin announced he would not testify in his trial Thursday, the prosecution said the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy called them to dispute testimony from the defense’s medical expert who claimed that carbon monoxide exposure might have played a role in Floyd’s death.

Blackwell told Judge Peter Cahill that the prosecution hoped to present new evidence of the carbon monoxide content in Floyd’s blood. When asked by the judge where this came from, Blackwell said it was from Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy.

“It was discovered yesterday by Dr. Baker,” said Blackwell, “and what precipitated it, your honor, was a piece of new evidence. It was a disclosure that came from the stand during the testimony of Dr. [David] Fowler.”

Blackwell emphasized to the judge that they did not seek out Baker’s opinion.

He had heard the testimony and thought that this record might exist because he thought that, well, he was aware that there’s a panel of the tests that are run by the machine and then those that would go to the E.R. physicians would be the ones that they request to see the values,” he said.

Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney who said the defense rested its case Thursday, argued to Cahill that the new evidence should not be presented before the court.

Minutes later, Cahill ruled the evidence would not be admissible during the prosecution’s rebuttal. “The late disclosure has prejudiced the defense,” the judge said. “It’s not going to be allowed.”

2:27 p.m.
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Chauvin declines to testify after invoking Fifth Amendment right

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on April 15 declined to testify in his trial for the death of George Floyd, invoking his Fifth Amendment right. (The Washington Post)

Chauvin said aloud to the court Thursday that he declined to testify in his own trial, invoking his Fifth Amendment right.

The decision came after Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, said the defense would rest its case Thursday.

Given a microphone, Chauvin spoke for the first time, answering questions from Nelson regarding their “lengthy” conversations on whether he should testify.

“Have you made a decision today, whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?” Nelson asked.

“I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today,” Chauvin replied.

Then, Judge Peter Cahill confirmed with Chauvin whether it was his decision not to testify.

“It is, your honor,” Chauvin said.

1:54 p.m.
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Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, says change is needed in policing ‘or else they’re going to sweep it under the rug’

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, said Thursday that she continues to push for change through legislation in hopes of preventing the same fate as her son, George Floyd, Daunte Wright and any other Black person who has been killed by police.

“We have to get change,” Carr told CNN. “We have do it or else they’re going to sweep it under the rug.”

Carr, a police reform activist and a member of Mothers of the Movement, said she was grieving with Katie Wright, the mother of the 20-year-old killed by a Minnesota police officer Sunday as Chauvin’s trial played out in nearby Minneapolis.

She called on Congress to push through legislation focused on more police accountability, pointing to Army officer Caron Nazario, a family member of hers who was held at gunpoint and pepper-sprayed by police during a traffic stop in Virginia in December.

“There’s no accountability,” she said. “Nothing is changing fast enough.”

1:30 p.m.
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A 20-year-old found her voice after George Floyd’s death. Now, she’s protesting again.

MINNEAPOLIS — At the beginning of 2020, Rayveen Koha-Jallah, who is now 20, was studying food science and microbiology at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. One pandemic and a national reckoning over police violence later, she is switching her major to political science, because, as she puts it, she has been called toward the activism happening in the Minneapolis area.

Koha-Jallah lives in a house with other River Falls students about 20 minutes from Brooklyn Center, Minn., where Daunte Wright was fatally shot by a veteran police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday. At the start of the pandemic, she was mostly trying to stave off cabin fever, focusing on online workouts and self-care after classes went virtual. But after George Floyd’s death last May — which occurred just miles away — and now Wright’s, everything has changed.

“I realized I have a voice that people listen to, and that could be impactful for social justice,” she says. “So I might as well use it and get educated about the issues that we’re all going through and how we’re all feeling right now.”

1:00 p.m.
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Chauvin defense expert blames heart disease and drug use for George Floyd’s death

Former Maryland chief medical examiner David Fowler testified on April 14 that he would classify George Floyd's death as "undetermined," rather than "homicide." (The Washington Post)

MINNEAPOLIS — A prominent forensic pathologist testified for Derek Chauvin’s defense Wednesday that George Floyd died of “sudden cardiac arrhythmia” because of existing heart disease and illicit drug use, contradicting prosecution experts who said Floyd succumbed to a lack of oxygen while pinned to the ground under the officer’s knee.

David Fowler, a former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, said he would not have categorized Floyd’s death a homicide, as an autopsy declared, saying there were too many conflicting factors to accurately determine the manner of death.

He also suggested Floyd’s exposure to exhaust from a nearby police squad car may have contributed to his death — though he later admitted during cross-examination from the prosecution that he wasn’t sure the vehicle was running.

12:50 p.m.
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D.C. Guard misused helicopters in low-flying confrontation with Floyd protesters, Army concludes

The D.C. National Guard’s deployment of helicopters to quell racial justice demonstrations in Washington last summer, a chilling scene in which two aircraft hovered extremely low over clusters of protesters, was a misuse of military medical aircraft and resulted in the disciplining of multiple soldiers, the Army said Wednesday.

In an announcement, the Army said one helicopter “hovered under 100 feet” over the heads of people in the nation’s capital on June 1 as D.C. police and federal agencies worked to disperse crowds protesting police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis days earlier.

An Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid, acknowledged that a UH-72 Lakota helicopter at one point hovered a mere 55 feet off the ground. A Washington Post investigation last year estimated the height was 45 feet.

12:40 p.m.
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Minnesota police union head blames Daunte Wright’s death on his ‘non-compliance’

The head of Minnesota’s largest police union heavily criticized the city government officials’ handling of the deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, and blamed the victim’s actions as one of the reasons he was killed.

“This is going to be an unpopular statement,” Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said Wednesday in an interview with WCCO news radio.

“Daunte Wright, if he would have just complied. He was told he was under arrest. They were arresting him on a warrant for weapons. He set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death,” Peters said.

“I’m not excusing it,” Peters continued, “but what we’re seeing in policing these days is that noncompliance by the public.”

12:30 p.m.
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Prosecutor pushes back on factors that medical expert says contributed to Floyd’s death

Blackwell pushed back on factors that medical expert David Fowler had assessed as contributing to Floyd’s death.

Under cross-examination, Fowler affirmed that Floyd did not show signs of overdose such as sleepiness — though Fowler testified this “does not exclude” a potential “depressive” effect from drugs.

The prosecutor also brought up Fowler’s earlier suggestion that a tumor called a paraganglioma could have secreted adrenaline that further compromised Floyd’s heart.

Blackwell asked: “90 percent of paragangliomas do not secrete adrenaline, is that right?”

Fowler said that was probably right.

“Now, you’re not telling the jury, are you, sir, that Mr. Floyd died from a paraganglioma, are you?” Blackwell said, and Fowler answered, “No.”

12:20 p.m.
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Defense medical expert concedes George Floyd should have received medical attention

George Floyd should have received immediate medical attention to reverse his cardiac arrest, conceded David Fowler, the defense medical expert.

During cross-examination, Fowler acknowledged that Floyd might have survived if he got emergency help after Jerry W. Blackwell, the prosecutor, inquired whether Floyd died suddenly. Unlike the prosecutor’s medical expert, Fowler said his death was not immediate, opening the door to a question from the prosecutor about whether it could have been prevented.

“Are you critical of the fact that he wasn’t given immediate emergency care when he went into cardiac arrest?” Blackwell asked.

“As a physician, I would agree,” Fowler responded.

The admission follows testimony from the prosecution’s witnesses that Chauvin did not respond to Floyd’s call that he could not breathe by halting his restraint and offering medical help.

One witness, Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty firefighter, testified in tears that she “pleaded” to be allowed to give Floyd medical aid.

“I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities,” Hansen told the court during the first week of the trial. “And this human was denied that right.”

Paulina Villegas contributed to this report.

12:10 p.m.
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Prosecutor and medical expert for defense engage in tense exchange about substance in Floyd’s mouth

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell engaged Fowler, a medical expert for the defense, in a testy back-and-forth about the witness’s earlier description of an object inside Floyd’s mouth while Floyd was in Cup Foods.

During cross-examination, Blackwell showed photographs of Floyd in the store with something white in his mouth. Then Blackwell referred to Fowler’s earlier mention of Floyd having a white object in his mouth when police approached him.

“So would it be fair to say, in order to say that the white substance in Mr. Floyd’s mouth was a pill, in light of what you’ve seen, that would be jumping to a conclusion, wouldn’t it?” the prosecutor asked.

Fowler paused.

“Specifically, when I testified, I said there was a white object in his mouth,” Fowler replied. “That’s all I could discern from that. And I remember saying that under direct.”

“So you were not, then, either telling or suggesting to the jury that the white substance was a pill, are you?” Blackwell asked.

“I never said it was a pill,” Fowler replied. “I carefully said that I could see a white structure in his mouth. I did not want to classify it, and I didn’t.”

The question of what was in Floyd’s mouth is relevant to the defense’s argument that Floyd’s death was caused in part by the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.

Blackwell also challenged Fowler’s earlier characterization of a medical expert who had been critical of holding people in a prone position. The prosecutor reminded Fowler that he had said the expert had withdrawn his criticism. Then Blackwell showed a document in which the expert wrote that he had not changed his position.

12:00 p.m.
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Prosecution presses defense expert’s claim that Floyd was potentially exposed to carbon monoxide

Coming out of the lunch recess Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors pressed the defense’s medical expert witness on his claim that Floyd’s potential exposure to carbon monoxide played a role in his death.

Prosecutor Jerry W. Blackwell took issue with the defense’s argument in the morning that several factors contributed to Floyd’s death, including the man’s heart condition and history of drug use. But the prosecution focused on the suggestion from Fowler, the former Maryland chief medical examiner, that Floyd’s potential exposure to the exhaust fumes from the police car had a hand in him dying.

In questioning Fowler during cross-examination, Blackwell, who said he was “going right to the punch line on carbon monoxide,” referenced the autopsy report from Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner.

“Do you agree with me that there was no finding of carbon monoxide poisoning from Dr. Baker’s autopsy review?” Blackwell asked.

“I do,” Fowler replied.

The questions around carbon monoxide are the first to be brought up during testimony, and the term was mentioned dozens of times by the witness and Nelson.

When Blackwell asked him how he knew the police car outside Cup Foods was even on, Fowler said he “made an observation of water dripping from what appears to be a tailpipe.”

“And you just simply assumed by seeing something dripping from a tailpipe that the car had to have been on?” Blackwell asked.

“It’s not an assumption,” Fowler replied. “It’s an evaluation, which in my mind indicates that the vehicle was running.”