After a complex jury selection, the stage is set for jurors to hear opening statements later.
George Floyd Killing: The Trial – Starting today at 3pm, we’ll bring you continuous live coverage of the legal proceedings in the Derek Chauvin trial on our website, app, YouTube and Sky Pop Up Channel on 524
The prosecution will present their case first – and it is quite likely that the biggest evidence will be the video of Chauvin with his knee on Monsieur Floydneck for nearly nine minutes when he was arrested in May last year.
The cell phone images have been shared online, viewed tens of millions of times, and sparked months of global protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
The court will hear accounts of the events that unfolded on May 25 of last year when police responded to a call from a convenience store where Mr. Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $ 20 bill.
Chauvin was one of the officers who witnessed the scene, but what the jury will have to decide is whether Mr. Floyd’s restraint was the cause of his death.
Chauvin pleaded not guilty to all three counts against him – second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
The second degree murder charge is the most serious, with a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
In order for him to be found guilty of this charge, prosecutors must prove that he intentionally assaulted Mr. Floyd, which led to his death, even though his actions were not premeditated.
The defense will argue that Chauvin did not cause Mr. Floyd’s death.
Chauvin’s defense team are expected to present evidence showing that Mr. Floyd may have died from other factors and that Chauvin had no intention of harming him.
Minneapolis was calm before the trial, but emotions run high. The courthouse has been surrounded by increased security in recent weeks and a steel ring now exists in downtown Minneapolis that could be used to isolate a large area of downtown in the event of unrest.
There’s no way to predict what a jury will ultimately decide, but many believe the verdict will be a tipping point – a decision on the country’s position on race relations – and how it reacts.
The outcome is uncertain and the stakes are high.