Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The jury of Derek Chauvin's trial has gone into deliberation Monday. The judge told instructed them to "reach a just verdict regardless of what the consequence might be."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

What he's saying: Defense attorney Eric Nelson closed by telling jurors that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

  • Nelson focused his remarks on two issues: determining Floyd's exact cause of death and arguing that if Chauvin's actions were an authorized use of force under his department's policy, then he would not have committed a crime. He argued that Floyd was actively resisting arrest, while prosecutors said Floyd was unable to comply.
  • "I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt," Nelson said. "If they are missing any one single element, it is a not guilty verdict."
  • "The standard is not what should the officer have done in these circumstances. It's not what could the officer have done differently in these circumstances. The standard is what were the facts that were known to this officer at the precise moment he used force and considering all of the totality of circumstances and facts known to the officer, would a reasonable police officer — what would a reasonable police officer have done?"
  • Nelson listed several factors as examples of what an officer in Chauvin's position would have been aware of while "assessing the threats" of an arrest, including: "Is this a high-crime location? Is it a low-crime area?" ... "Am I going into a densely populated urban environment, or am I in a secluded backyard?"

"The use of force is an incredibly difficult analysis. You can't limit it to nine minutes and 29 seconds," Nelson said. "It started 17 minutes before that nine minutes and 29 seconds."

  • "In this case the totality of the circumstances ... demonstrates this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be."
  • Nelson closed by arguing that no single factor — Floyd's hypertension, drug use or neck restraint under Chauvin's knee — "played any more role resulting in Mr. Floyd's death."

Catch up quick: Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder for Floyd's death.

  • Per AP, he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years for second-degree murder, 10 years for second-degree manslaughter, and 25 years for third-degree murder.
  • Prosecutors must prove that Chauvin meant to harm Floyd — but not kill him — to reach a verdict of second-degree murder. Finding him guilty of third-degree murder would require proof that Chauvin's actions were "done with indifference to loss of life," AP reports.
  • To prove second-degree manslaughter, jurors would need to find that Floyd died from Chauvin's negligence and "consciously took the chance of causing severe injury or death," per AP.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper: The Derek Chauvin trial heads to the jury.

Go deeper

Updated Apr 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

"Believe your eyes": Prosecutors make closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

Prosecutor on leave for failing to "fully present the facts" after shooting of 13-year-old boy

People march through Larimer Square as they protest the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo on April 17 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Cook County prosecutor James Murphy was placed on administrative leave Friday after he implied in court that 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by a police officer in March, was armed when he was shot, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times report.

Why it matters: Videos of the shooting show that Toledo, who was Latino, dropped what appears to be a weapon and put his hands in the air a moment before before he was fatally shot. A lawyer for the Toledo family said Thursday that if the teen "had a gun, he tossed it."

Apr 19, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver activists float possibility of a "hot" summer of protests

People gather at the state Capitol to protest the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright. Photo: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Multiple demonstrations were held in downtown Denver on Saturday to protest the death of Daunte Wright, an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop.

The state of play: Community activists warned that their taking to the streets only foreshadows more unrest ahead.