Published: Tue, March 30, 2021
Economy | By

Derek Chauvin trial begins as family demands justice — George Floyd

Derek Chauvin trial begins as family demands justice — George Floyd

"That's how long that went on", prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said of the amount of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin spent with his knee on Floyd's neck.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

"He put his knees upon his neck and his back, grinding and crushing him, until the very breath - no, ladies and gentlemen - until the very life was squeezed out of him", the prosecutor said.

Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson countered: "Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career".

Mr Nelson cited the fact that Mr Floyd would not co-operate during his arrest and the heckling Mr Chauvin and the other officers had to contend with from a large, hostile group of onlookers.

What is the George Floyd case?

Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams spoke briefly of his uncle, and condemned the officers who he said were either underqualified to do their job, or had meant to take Floyd's life.

"What you will learn is that when an officer responds to what is sometimes a routine and minimal event, it often evolves into a greater and more serious event", Nelson said. But they said they could set that aside.

"Nine minutes and 29 seconds".

"The evidence will show that Mr. Floyd died of a cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, his coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body - all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart", Nelson said.

Third-degree murder with a maximum 25 years in prison.

Alternates are selected in some cases to take the place of jurors who may become ill or be discharged during the trial.

The first witness was Minneapolis police dispatcher Jena Scurry, who testified that she saw part of Floyd's arrest unfolding via a city surveillance camera and was so disturbed that she called a duty sergeant. There are - there is a growing crowd and what officers perceived to be a threat.

George Floyd: Derek Chauvin trial begins as family demands justice

"The use of force is not attractive but it is a necessary component of policing".

Floyd died while Chauvin was arresting him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

Legal experts have noted that US police officers have nearly never been found criminally liable for killing a citizen.

A demand for renaming military bases named after Confederate generals also sprung from these protests, while on the other hand many American labels such as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Eskimo Pie, and Cream of Wheat pledged to rebrand their symbols that were criticised for having racist undertones.

Floyd's brother Terrence Floyd said that he watched the video of George's death over and over because it's the last time he could hear his voice. Chauvin sat calmly during opening statements and took notes, looking up at the video periodically.

"My stomach hurts", he says. "Everything hurts", Mr Floyd says.

The 46-year-old was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on Mr Floyd's neck as he lay handcuffed on his belly on the pavement.

The jury, including three alternates, is made up of six white women, three white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records.

In the preceding two weeks of jury selection, many jurors told Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill that they recognised the scrutiny their deliberations would come under. "She did her best to intervene".

"This case is about Mr Derek Chauvin", he said. Mr. Chauvin reached for his Mace and pointed it in her direction.

George Floyd family attorney Ben Crump, center, addresses media along with other attorneys and members of George Floyd's family outside the Hennepin County Government Center, March 29, 2021, in Minneapolis where the trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began.

Crump said the trial would be a test of "whether America is going to live up to the Declaration of Independence", and blasted the idea that it would be a tough test for jurors.

Mr Floyd's death ignited a global protest movement over police brutality against black people.

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