Less than a year after the death of George Floyd in police custody, a jury found former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Anger from the tragic death in police custody on May 25, 2020, was fueled by a bystander filming part of the arrest, showing Floyd pinned under Chauvin’s knee for 9 minutes and 45 seconds, while he pleaded “I can’t breathe.” Floyd was declared dead later that day.
The video caused protests worldwide and pushed discussion of police accountability and proper levels of force for minor crimes, as Floyd was arrested for allegedly attempting to spend a fake $20 bill.
The trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin focused Wednesday on a statement made by George Floyd during his arrest, which sparked disagreement between state prosecutors and Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney.
“Did you hear Mr. Floyd say, ‘I ate too many drugs,’” Nelson asked Special Agent James Reyerson, who was called as a witness by the prosecution.
Opening arguments are set to begin Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officers Derek Chauvin, accused of killing George Floyd, after weeks of jury selection.
The jury selection process in the high-profile trail was marred with controversy after the city of Minneapolis awarded Floyd’s family $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit during the criminal proceedings.
Despite a $27 million civil settlement between the city of Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd, the judge in the high-profile trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will continue as scheduled.
“Unfortunately, the pretrial publicity will continue no matter how long we continue [the trial],” Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said Friday.
Earlier this week, the attorney for Derek Chauvin requested that the ex-Minneapolis Police officer’s trial be moved from Hennepin County due to the risk of a prejudiced jury.
“You have elected officials — the governor, the mayor — making incredibly prejudicial statements about my client, this case,” Eric Nelson told Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill. “You have the city settling a civil lawsuit for a record amount of money. And the pre-trial publicity is just so concerning.”
After the family of George Floyd received a $27 million settlement Friday from the city of Minneapolis stemming from his death in police custody, the attorney for the police officer charged in Floyd’s death is asking for a continuance in the jury selection process.
“Defense attorney Eric Nelson expressed deep concern that jurors already chosen and those yet to be chosen will be prejudiced should they learn of the settlement, thereby denying his client his right to a fair trial,” The Star Tribune reported.
Ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s second-degree murder trial, hundreds have gathered in the heavily-fortified streets of Minneapolis to protest.
“Hundreds of people demanding justice for George Floyd and others killed by police as the trial of Derek Chauvin begins in Minneapolis,” Star-Tribune video journalist Mark Vancleave said on Twitter, attaching a video of the crowd.
City leaders encouraged Minneapolis business owners to consider installing “permanent security gates” ahead of ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd.
The trial is set to begin Monday with jury selection but could face delays because of an appellate court’s Friday ruling that the presiding judge in the case erred when he didn’t reinstate charges of third-degree murder against Chauvin, The New York Times reported.
The downtown area is already heavily fortified, with businesses and government buildings boarding up their windows and installing barricades.
New court filings of the Hennepin County Autopsy Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker show that George Floyd likely died of an overdose rather than strangulation.
On Monday, ex-officer Tou Thao’s counsel requested the complete medical witness opinions from both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Floyd family’s individual autopsy doctors, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson.