Derek Chauvin invokes Fifth Amendment, will not testify at his murder trial

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Derek Chauvin invokes Fifth Amendment, will not testify at his murder trial

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spoke for the first time at his murder trial in the death of George Floyd — to tell th

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Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spoke for the first time at his murder trial in the death of George Floyd — to tell the judge he will not take the stand in his own defense.

In an on-the-record exchange with his lawyer in court Thursday morning, Chauvin, 45, said they had discussed the decision whether to testify “multiple times,” including “a lengthy meeting” on Wednesday night.

“Have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?” defense attorney Eric Nelson asked the ex-cop.

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

He was then questioned by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill.

Derek Chauvin seen on the 14th day of the trial on April 15, 2021.
Derek Chauvin seen on the 14th day of the trial on April 15, 2021.
C-SPAN

“The decision whether or not to testify is entirely yours,” the judge said. “In other words, it is a personal right. Mr. Nelson makes a lot of the decisions in the trial. But one he cannot make for you is whether or not you testify.”

A court room sketch of George Floyd representing his arrest on May 25, 2020.
A courtroom sketch of George Floyd representing his arrest on May 25, 2020.
via REUTERS

“The decision has to ultimately be yours and not his,” Cahill added. “Is this your decision not to testify?”

“It is, your honor,” Chauvin said.

Defendants at trial have the option to testify, but doing so would open them to cross-examination by prosecutors. In Chauvin’s case, he could be grilled about prior use-of-force allegations against him and his service record.

Chauvin is seen on viral video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd was being arrested for passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

This still image taken from a May 25, 2020 shows Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck.
This still image taken from a May 25, 2020, video shows Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.
Facebook/Darnella Frazier/AFP vi

The trial is expected to conclude on Thursday, with closing statements due to be made on Monday, the judge said.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s police-custody death on May 25.

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