On Monday, April 19th 2021, the world watched as the defence and prosecution in the trial against Derek Chauvin gave their closing arguments.
The 12-person jury came to a conclusion the following day, on Tuesday, April 20th. They found Chauvin guilty on three counts: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
In the defence’s closing statement, Eric Nelson made a comment about Derek Chauvin which has left many perplexed. Despite the sombre context, this moment has been mocked online through the use of memes.
Derek Chauvin’s defence talks “space aliens”
In the case against Derek Chauvin, the defence tried to paint Chauvin as a “reasonable officer,” and requested a holistic view of Chauvin’s life in the force.
It was Eric Nelson’s closing statement, however, which has really stuck in the public mind.
In this closing statement, Nelson said: “space aliens flew in, inhabited the body of Derek Chauvin and caused this death.”
“Space aliens” defence memes
As the trial was live-streamed, there was a large international audience for Monday’s (April 19th) closing statements.
Eric Nelson’s comments immediately caught the attention of viewers.
One Twitter user wrote: “MY GUY WHAT?!!! SPACE ALIENS?!? THIS was Derek Chauvin’s attorney?! @KamalaHarris, lock him up, ASAP!”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Derek Chauvin Trial Closing Arguments: Prosecution: Here’s the facts. Defense: Space Aliens and Baking Cookies.”
They continued: “If you’re anyone on trail and this is your Defense lawyer, you ask for a new Defense lawyer (sic).”