Derek Chauvin trial is 'simpler' than most 'split-second' police deadly force cases, Duke law professor says

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Chauvin trial 'simpler' than most 'split-second' police deadly force cases, Duke professor says
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One Duke professor says the lack of a shooting makes the Chauvin trial a "much simpler case" than other deadly force cases involving "split-second" decisions.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Duke University law professor Brandon Garrett has been closely following the Derek Chauvin trial since the charges were first introduced.

"This is a much simpler case than many police deadly force cases," Garrett said.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is facing several charges in connection with the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

"There was no gun involved," said Garrett. "George Floyd wasn't shot and all thought he had a gun. That makes this all really different than the kind of split-second cases where you'd have the defense lawyer saying you know, 'Give my client the benefit of doubt.'"

According to Duke University, Garrett is a "leading scholar of criminal justice outcomes, evidence, and constitutional rights. He is the author of numerous books including "Autopsy of a Crime Lab: Exposing the Flaws in Forensics."

The professor is also an expert on policing practices, qualified immunity, the use of force laws in various states and many other topics, including eyewitness testimony at trial.

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"It's changed everything that we have video so often of police uses of force. If there hadn't been so many people watching it and if there hadn't been video, would we be talking about the Floyd case," Garrett asked.

With Floyd family attorney, Benjamin Crump, front and center early on; Garrett said it's a fight to change the country's narrative that they are willing to fight.

"If the family's hope was that something that happened to Mr. Floyd, his tragic killing would do something to change policing in this country, that's going to be a longer battle," said Garrett. "And it does sound like they are willing to keep speaking out and want to help to fight that out."

The judge in the case said the jury will begin their deliberations at 10 a.m. and go as late until 8:30 p.m. EST.

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