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Derek Chauvin's defense team rested its case Thursday after the former Minneapolis police officer said that he would not testify at his murder trial, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Why it matters: The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, is reverberating across the country. Closing arguments are expected by April 19.

Between the lines: Taking the stand could have opened Chauvin to "devastating cross-examination, with prosecutors replaying the video of the arrest and forcing Chauvin to explain, one frame at a time, why he kept pressing down on Floyd," AP reports.

  • Testifying would have also given Chauvin the opportunity to publicly defend himself.
  • The only time he had been heard defending himself during the trial was when the jury listened to body-camera footage from the scene, when Chauvin told a bystander: “We gotta control this guy ’cause he’s a sizable guy ... and it looks like he’s probably on something.”

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

Chauvin defense calls first witnesses as prosecution rests case

Protesters demand justice for George Floyd on April 9. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's lawyers called their first witnesses on Tuesday, as the prosecution rested its case in a murder trial expected to hold closing arguments as early next week.

The state of play: The prosecution called dozens of witnesses in the trial's first 11 days to testify that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to police restraint, and not from the use of drugs or a pre-existing heart condition. On Tuesday morning, the defense sought to make a case for the latter.

Defense use-of-force expert says Chauvin's actions were "justified"

A use-of-force expert called by Derek Chavin's defense team on Tuesday said the former Minneapolis police officer was "justified" in his actions when he knelt on George Floyd's neck last May.

The big picture: The testimony of Barry Brodd, a former police officer, comes after witnesses called by the prosecution argued the opposite.

Updated Apr 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Police chief and officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright resign

Protesters in front of the Brooklyn Center police station on April 13. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kim Potter, identified as the officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a weekend traffic stop near Minneapolis, resigned from her position "effectively immediately," Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said in a statement Tuesday.

What's new: Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon also submitted his resignation letter on Tuesday, Elliott said at a press conference. Elliot also called on Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to turn the case over to Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is currently prosecuting former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

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