'If Derek Chauvin is not held accountable,' we could see frustration: Chief Armstrong

Dan Abrams, Channa Lloyd and Ferguson Police Chief Jason Armstrong weigh on the Derek Chauvin trial and recent police shootings in America on "This Week."
6:17 | 04/18/21

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Transcript for 'If Derek Chauvin is not held accountable,' we could see frustration: Chief Armstrong
of this, let's bring in ABC news chief legal analyst Dan Abrams, channa Lloyd, a civil rights attorney with the Cochran firm and Ferguson police chief Jason Armstrong. Good morning to you all, and, chief, I want to start with you. You were not the chief in Ferguson when Michael Brown was killed, but you have dealt with the aftermath, both in the community and the police department. What is your takeaway from the death of George Floyd after watching all that video, and how should the city prepare for what might be coming with the verdict? My takeaway is it was tragic. It was something that should not have happened, and we all sympathize with the family of Mr. Floyd and his friends and loved ones for what happened to him. And it's a difficult situation for us to deal with, and we're all watching the trial to see, you know, how things unfold with it and with the understanding that if Derek chauvin is not held accountable, that we probably will see, you know, our outpouring of frustration from that verdict if it does go that way, so it's just about planning and communicating with people in the public and, you know, we respect and we honor everybody's right to peacefully protest and our hope is if people do come out, it will be peaceful, but we also understand that sometimes, you know, those events do unfold and it's not as peaceful as we would like and we would have to be ready to deal with that if it comes. Dan, what do you expect in these closing arguments? We know the defense is trying to say chauvin did not cause George Floyd's death. Can they convince a jury of that given what the prosecutors have laid out and, again, that video we have all seen? Look, it's not going to be easy, but remember that all the defense has to present is reasonable doubt. They don't have to prove that it occurred a certain way, in fact, their own expert in this case says it's uncertain as to what the cause of death is. So if those jurors are unsure, if they think it's likely it occurred one way but they can't say beyond a reasonable doubt that could be an acquittal. With all that said I think it is highly unlikely you're going to see an acquittal here. It is possible always. You have a hung jury, it is possible that there are disputes or debates about what charge, but I think those of us who have been watching this case closely who have been watching all the expert testimony, watched the video, watched the opening statements, et cetera, would be stunned if there was an all out acquittal where you find 12 jurors who say that he was not guilty, and I think the closing arguments are going to be very important. And, hanna, we talked about cases in the past where people have been acquitted. How do you view this, and are you as certain as Dan? I absolutely agree with Dan. I think in this case the prosecution has set out a very tight case, they have covered a lot of the bases, they were very thorough. I don't feel the defense brought up experts that were able to combat the information that was given by the state's experts, and in this case I do not feel we're going to see an acquittal. And, chief Armstrong, not far from the chauvin trial as we know the officer involved in the death of daunte Wright, Kim potter, has been charged with second degree manslaughter and she claimed, as we've said, she mistakenly reached for her gun instead of her taser. How could something like that happen given the taser was on her nondominant side, it's yellow, weighs much less than a gun. How does that happen? One of the things that I think contributed to that, I saw a photo of officer potter and how her duty belt was set up. And her taser, although it was on her nondominant side, it was still -- it was set up for her to draw with her nondominant hand. It wasn't -- it wasn't turned reverse for her to have to reach across her body and draw with her right hand. Her taser was set up for her to pull it with her left hand and so the motion is the exact same of her right hand pulling her weapon, her firearm, as would be for her left hand drawing her taser, and so that was one of the things I think contributed to that which is how she had it set up where the intent typically is for you to have to reach across your body and build that muscle memory up for the draw. Her belt wasn't set up that way. Clearly shouldn't have happened, though, correct? Correct, 1,000%, yes, it should not have happened. And, hanna, in Chicago we saw the body cam footage of the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. A lawyer for the officer accused in the shooting said his actions were justified because of that split-second decision. Is that enough? It's going to be a tough decision to make on that, but officers have a tough job to do with these split-second decisions. He was running. He came upon him. He saw him with a weapon and saw him reach behind the fence and turn around. You know, I think we're going to be looking at very nuanced videos. I think we'll look at the time frame because apparently there's 19 seconds between when he exited the vehicle and when he got to the young man, but the critical moment is going to be when he actually issued that order, did he wait long enough to see what this young man was doing? And, Dan, just briefly, we also have been watching these terrible mass shootings across the country. You had one in Indianapolis. The family of the shooter had alerted police, the FBI was involved that he might try suicide by cop. They took his rifle away and yet he was able to legally purchase months later two assault rifles. It makes you think what can possibly be done especially in these cases where mental illness is a factor. Yeah, it's incredibly frustrating because the family did the right thing. The authorities did the right thing in taking his weapon away at that time and the question is, sort of how did this fall between the cracks? Because there are laws that are supposed to prevent someone with a history of mental illness from being able to acquire particular types of weapons, so that's the big question here is going to be how did this happen despite the fact that a lot of people here did the right thing? Thanks so much, Dan. Thanks to you all for joining us this morning. And a programming note, ABC news will have the first and exclusive interview with attorney general Merrick Garland. Our Pierre Thomas asking the ag about policing in America and so much more. That breaks tomorrow right here on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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