MINNEAPOLIS Opening statements are set for today in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
George Floyd, who was Black, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin’s trial is expected to last about four weeks. Jurors may not wait long to see parts of the bystander video that caught Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck.
Prosecutors have not said when they will play the video, but legal experts say they expect it to be early as part of an effort to remind jurors of what is at the heart of their case.
The widely seen video sparked waves of outrage and activism across the U.S. and beyond. And while it will have an impact, the key questions at trial are likely to be whether Chauvin caused Floyd’s death and whether his actions were reasonable.
Outside issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and a global outcry over racial inequities are also affecting the trial, which will be streamed online for the world to see. Watch the trial live on our Facebook page.
On Sunday night, national civil rights leaders appeared alongside several family members of George Floyd at a prayer service. Several dozen attendees gathered in the benches at Greater Friendship Missionary Church, where preachers led worship, a choir sang and members of Floyd’s family were joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
The speakers called for justice in Floyd’s death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report