Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with the death of George Floyd, which happened in spring 2020. His trial begins today with opening statements.
Derek Chauvin faces up to 40 years and is charged with 2nd degree and 3rd degree murder, along with 2nd degree manslaughter. The trial is expected to last 4 weeks
Floyd died on May 25, 2020 in police custody after Chauvin pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s initial complaint. However, police body camera footage shows it was actually for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
Floyd’s death caused an uproar of protests and calls for action in summer of 2020.
The courthouse is surrounded by concrete barriers and razor wire. Protests outside the court began at 7 am. The Floyd family, their attorneys, and Reverend Al Sharpton spoke outside the court at 8 am. They took a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to show how long George Floyd begged Chauvin to let go, repeatedly stating that he (Floyd) “can’t breathe”.
Opening statements began at 9 am in the courthouse. In the opening statement, Special Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell: “On May 25th of 2020, Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd.
Prosecutors say that when an EMT who was a bystander approached to try & check George Floyd’s pulse & render aid, Chauvin refused her & pointed his mace at her.
The trial is being broadcasted live on almost all news platforms.