Katie S. Phang Profile picture
@NBC & @MSNBC Legal Contributor | Trial Lawyer at ✨ Katie S. Phang, P.A. | WEAR A MASK 😷 | Stop AAPI Hate 🇰🇷 | RTs and ❤️ ≠ endorsements
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19 Apr
The Defense has begun its Closing Arguments to the jury.
With Chauvin removing his face mask in, IMO, an attempt to humanize himself before the jury and the jury can see him as a man looking at prison.
Defense counsel has been spending a lot of time thus far going through the different burdens of proof.
Read 8 tweets
19 Apr
"We trust the police. We believe the police. We believe they are going to help us." It is difficult to think otherwise.
"This case is not called: 'the State of Minnesota v. The Police.' It is 'the State of Minnesota v. Derek Chauvin.'"

"There's nothing worse for the good police than bad police."
"The Defendant is on trial for what he did, not for who he was. For what he did on that day for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He didn't follow his hundreds of hours of training; he didn't follow his dept rules; he didn't give CPR; he just didn't do better."
Read 4 tweets
19 Apr
State: "There was no 'superhuman strength' that day. Just a man, crying out for his mom. A human being."
"His last words: 'please, I can't breathe' and he asked for help from 'Mr. Officer.'

But Mr. Officer did not help him."
"No compassion was shown on that day."

"George Floyd needed oxygen that day more than he needed compassion."
Read 6 tweets
19 Apr
Welcome to the #DerekChauvinTrial.

Right now, Judge Cahill is reading the jury instructions to the jury. After he reads the instructions, the attorneys will deliver their Closing Arguments.
The State is now beginning its Closing Arguments.
Steve Schleicher is doing the Closing Arguments on behalf of the State.
Read 5 tweets
17 Apr
“The former girlfriend first met Gaetz while she attended college in the Orlando area in 2017. Greenberg, who established contact with her on SeekingArrangement — a dating website that connects women with so-called sugar daddies — made the connection.” politico.com/states/florida…
“Soon after, she began dating Gaetz, although the relationship was not exclusive, friends said.
Gaetz later got her a job interning in the office of another Republican member of Congress.”
“Gaetz and the ex-girlfriend continued to date until well after the Bahamas trip in 2018. Friends said the two remained on good terms, although she was a source of friction between the lawmaker and Beshears. Beshears had apparently been taking her out on dates in Tallahassee.”
Read 6 tweets
15 Apr
It sounds like the Defense will rest its case this morning and the State will present a Rebuttal case.
The Court addresses some "newly discovered evidence" so let's see what this is about.
State's counsel, Mr. Blackwell, is addressing the Court about the new "evidence" from Dr. Fowler regarding the carbon monoxide claim. The State intends to re-call Dr. Tobin to rebut these claims.
Read 13 tweets
9 Apr
An issue this morning re. a juror, per pool reporters inside the courtroom (& these are not exact quotes):

Judge Cahill: “We’ve had some concerns expressed. I want to go over and see what the story is. Have you had any outside information about what’s going on in the trial?"
Judge: "Like other attorneys that have not appeared on TV, have you seen anyone?”

Juror (a white woman per pool rptr): “I did turn on the TV and saw a lawyer. I didn’t know who she was. I turned it off."

Judge: “Do you know what channel it was on?”
Juror: “No, I turned the TV on to watch a show I record. I noticed the courtroom, saw the lawyer, and turned it off."

Judge: “Do you have indication from family members about what’s going on in the trial?”

Juror: “No.”

Judge: “Anything from your mother-in-law texting?”
Read 5 tweets
9 Apr
Dr. Thomas: "There’s no evidence to suggest [George Floyd] would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement."
Although Floyd’s death certificate mentions “other contributing conditions” including heart disease and the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine, Dr. Thomas testified that these were not the cause of death in Floyd’s case.
Dr. Thomas: George Floyd underwent “physiological stress” as in he feared for his life for more than nine minutes. This physiological stress increased the demand on Floyd’s heart, lungs and muscles, which were already stressed by his restraint.
Read 4 tweets
9 Apr
Dr. Thomas: "unique" is the "volume of materials to review" regarding the terminal event.

She has never had a case before that was this "thorough" due to the use of videos.
Dr. Thomas: I agree with Dr. Baker regarding the cause of death on the death certificate.

Her opinion is the primary mechanism of death was asphyxia or low oxygen.
"Cardiopulmonary arrest" to differentiate from sudden cardiac arrest. "Cardiopulmonary arrest" does not mean heart attack. It just means the heart stopped.
Read 4 tweets
9 Apr
It's Day 10 in the #DerekChauvinTrial and the State begins with its first witness of the day: Dr. Lindsey Thomas, who is a forensic pathologist and is being called as an expert witness.
She previously worked as an Assistant Medical Examiner at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.
A "death investigation" means after someone is found deceased, they will try to find out everything about the decedent and then try to find out everything about the terminal event.
Read 9 tweets
8 Apr
Cross-examination of Dr. Tobin: Chauvin's counsel had Dr. Tobin confirm that he was not paid by the State for his testimony.
Chauvin's defense counsel also tried to get Dr. Tobin to agree that fentanyl could have caused respiratory depression within the same timeframe as restraint-caused respiratory depression.
On re-direct, Dr. Tobin is asked about drugs and Floyd's pre-existing conditions and their possible roles in Floyd’s death.

Dr. Tobin denied that pre-existing conditions caused Floyd’s death.

Q: “Any evidence that he died from methamphetamine?”

A: “No, none.”
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
Dr. Tobin: the toe of Chauvin's boot is lifted off of the ground so that means that half of Chauvin's body weight plus half of his gear weight - for a total of 91.5 pounds - is coming down directly onto George Floyd's neck.
This is being depicted in Exhibit 943 and it is a compelling exhibit.
Dr. Tobin: the first 5 minutes and 3 seconds of Floyd on the ground: his oxygen levels were enough to keep his brain alive b/c he continued to speak and he was able to verbalize words.

Chauvin's counsel objected & asked for a sidebar after this testimony.
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
Critical testimony from Dr. Tobin: “Mr Floyd died from a low-level of oxygen and this caused damage to his brain...and it also caused a [pulseless electrical activity] arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop.”
“The cause of the low-level of oxygen was shallow breathing, small breaths...shallow breaths that weren’t able to carry the air through his lungs down to the essential areas [in] his lungs.”
“There are a number of forces that led to the size of his breath becoming so small.”

“He’s turned prone on the street, that he has the handcuffs in place combined with the street, and then that he has a knee on his neck, and that he has a knee on his back."
Read 4 tweets
7 Apr
The State's next witness today is Senior Special Agent James D. Reyerson, of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He led his office's investigation into Floyd's death and conducted several interviews.
The Court has recessed for lunch.
Senior Special Agent Reyerson testifies that two cars in the Floyd case were searched twice & processed twice by crime scene investigators. 6 months after Floyd died, they found half-chewed pills that had Floyd’s DNA on them.
Read 5 tweets
7 Apr
Good morning and it's Day 8 of the #DerekChauvinTrial.

Sgt. Stiger, (LAPD) and use of force expert, has resumed his place on the witness stand and the prosecution is still doing its Direct Examination of him.
Stiger is testifying using a photograph showing Chauvin's left knee on Floyd's neck and his right knee on Floyd's back.
This position was "for the entirety of the restraint period."
Read 10 tweets
6 Apr
The State's next witness is Sgt. Jody Stiger of the LAPD. He has been an officer there since 1993 and "currently serves as an aide to the office of the Inspector General."
The Office of the Inspector General "oversees the police department and conducts performance audits, reviews use-of-force incidents and handles complaints of officer misconduct."
Sgt. Stiger has trained almost 3,000 police officers in use-of-force tactics.

Stiger testified that after a close review of Chauvin's actions with the arrest of George Floyd, it is his expert opinion that "excessive force" was used.
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
The State's first post-lunch witness is Officer Nicole Mackenzie, who does presentations every year to officers regarding medical treatment to individuals in crisis.
Officer Mackenzie testifies that just because an arrestee can speak does NOT mean that he/she is able to breathe "adequately."
Now on cross, Officer Mackenzie is being asked about fentanyl and the use of Narcan by officers when there is a suspected drug overdose from opioids.
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
The State's next witness is Lt. Johnny Mercil, who trains police officers on use of force. He testified that he trains officers on Brazilian jiu jitsu and other hands-on tactics.
Lt. Mercil is shown a picture of Chauvin using his knee on Floyd and is asked, "Is this an M.P.D.-trained neck restraint?”

Answer: “No, sir.”
On cross-examination, Chauvin's counsel is asking if Lt. Mercil agrees that an arresting situation is fluid and officers have to pay attention to everything going on around them.
Read 7 tweets
6 Apr
It's Day 7 in the #DerekChauvinTrial and the State's first witness is Sgt. Ker Yang, who has been a Minneapolis PD officer for 24 years and is the Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator.
He testified that when it is safe and feasible, that an officer should de-escalate a crisis situation. Officers are trained to detect signs of crisis and that MPD officers undergo specific training in this area.
On cross-examination, Chauvin's counsel is attempting to get Yang to agree that an intensifying crowd situation is part of an officer's assessment of arrest conditions.
Read 5 tweets
5 Apr
Chief Arradondo: passing a counterfeit $20 bill does not rise to the level of a "severe" crime.

Typically, the person isn't taken into custody b/c it isn't a violent felony.
MPD officers are trained in the use of force. They are taught the need to reassess and reevaluate conditions and circumstances while out in the field.
"Voice, neutrality, respect and trust" are critical to the MPD Critical Decision Making Model.
Read 4 tweets
5 Apr
The State's next witness, who is still on the stand testifying, is Minneapolis PD Chief, Medaria Arradondo. His tone is calm and clear.
Chief Arrandondo has been testifying for a while now, deliberating and explaining in great detail the training that police officers undergo to be able to be sworn officers of the Minneapolis PD.
Chief Arrandondo started his career as a patrol officer on the streets and eventually rose through the ranks to become the first African-American police chief in Minneapolis.
Read 5 tweets