Welcome to our ongoing coverage of the Minnesota murder trial of Derek Chauvin over the in-custody death of George Floyd. I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense, providing guest commentary and analysis of this trial for Legal Insurrection.
Anyone interested in a free podcast version of our daily legal commentary and analysis of the Chauvin trial can access the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Podcast, available on most every podcast platform, including Pandora, iHeart, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, simple RSS feed, and more.
Today was a terrible, horrible no good, very bad day for the prosecution, to a degree that I haven’t seen since the trial of George Zimmerman.
If you have no more than an hour to watch the video of today’s proceedings, then I urge you to spend 44 minutes watching the cross-examination of state witness Johnny Mercil, the state’s use-of-force training expert, and 22 minutes watching the cross-examination of Nicole MacKenzie, the state’s medical care training expert. In both instances the result can only be called a train wreck of a disaster for the prosecution.
Indeed, after the judge dismissed Mercil from the witness stand, Prosecutor Schleiter appeared visibly shaken and angry—and he ought to have, given the mauling his case just received. At one point Mercil testified the he himself had personally kept a suspect physically restrained until EMS had arrived on scene, behavior which the state has been arguing for over a week was misconduct on the part of Chauvin.
Even worse, not only did the cross-examination of MacKenzie by the defense also go badly for the prosecution, it went so badly that Nelson informed the court that he intended to re-call MacKenzie as a defense witness when he presented his case in chief.