Minneapolis is preparing to trial Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with George Floyd’s death. This led to nationwide protests and called for an end to the police brutality last summer.
On May 25, Chauvin was featured on video kneeling by Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes when Floyd yelled he couldn’t breathe. Floyd, who was accused of using a fake $ 20 bill, was handcuffed and pinned to the floor by three officers during the arrest. Chauvin kept his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck minutes after he stopped responding as bystanders repeatedly asked officers to look for a pulse.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired the day after Floyd’s death and charged the following week.
Floyd’s name became a rallying cry as protests spread to more than 1,700 cities in all 50 states and around the world.
In Minneapolis, thousands of protesters demanded that officers be held accountable and called for police reform. Although many of the demonstrations were peaceful, businesses were looted over several evenings and a police station burned down.
Last month, city officials began solidifying security plans and establishing a security area around the town hall, nearby buildings and the courthouse, where jury selection will begin on Monday. The streets will be closed, shops will be boarded up and National Guard forces and hundreds of law enforcement officers will be on the scene to await possible riot during the trial, which is due to begin March 29.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the process will likely increase trauma for many, especially as verdict approaches and safety becomes a top priority.
“We believe it is up to us to appreciate the magnitude of this moment and make sure our families feel safe in this city,” said Frey.
Here’s everything you need to know about Derek Chauvin’s trial:
When the Derek Chauvin Process begins
The selection of the jury should start on Monday. The prosecution and defense are due to begin on March 29 with the opening of the statements.
In May, Chauvin was charged with murder and second degree manslaughter, but he may face additional charges. A Minnesota appeals court ruled Friday that third degree murder charges against Chauvin should be reintroduced.
That census was dismissed in October by Judge Peter Cahill, who said the charge would only hold if one defendant put multiple people at risk and someone died. (Under Minnesota law, third degree murder means “to commit an act extremely dangerous to others and to display a depraved mind”.)
The three other former officials involved – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – are charged with assisting and facilitating second-degree murder and manslaughter. They are to be brought to trial together in August.
Chauvin issued a $ 1 million bond in October and was released from state prison.
Chauvin is also facing a federal investigation and civil lawsuit
This isn’t the only time chauvin has had legal implications related to Floyd’s death.
The Justice Department opened an investigation in May into whether Chauvin and the other officers had violated Floyd’s civil rights. New witnesses were called last week and a new grand jury was brought into the investigation, according to the Star Tribune and the New York Times.
Attorneys representing Floyd’s family filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in July against Chauvin, the other officials, and the City of Minneapolis. The lawsuit alleges that officers used excessive force and violated Floyd’s constitutional rights and that the city is liable for failing to properly train officers.
George Floyd is not alone:“I can’t breathe” uttered by dozens in deadly police custody in the United States
“He will never see her grow up”:George Floyd mourned children, family, friends and strangers
How to see the process
Chauvin’s trial will be broadcast on court televisionThis will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom.
Visual and audio recordings are typically not permitted in Minnesota courtrooms without permission from a judge. Cahill confirmed his decision to broadcast the trial live in December due to the immense global interest in the case and the limited space in the courthouse.
Two media representatives are allowed to enter the courtroom. The USA TODAY Network sends a team of journalists you can follow on Twitter early in the process: Tami Abdollah, Eric Ferkenhoff, Trevor Hughes, Clairissa Baker and N’dea Yancey-Bragg.
Where is the process?
The trial will take place in the Courts Tower of the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis. The building, in which there were several demonstrations, is surrounded by barbed wire and concrete barriers.
According to an order from Cahill, Chauvin will be separately attempted to adhere to physical social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Only those with approved ID are allowed to enter the courtroom, including a member of the Floyd and Chauvin families, according to an order issued by Cahill on Monday.
“This has been an extremely painful and emotional year for every member of the Floyd family, many of whom intended to be in the courtroom to witness this trial,” family lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said in a statement Tuesday. “Although they understand the judge’s reasons for restricting attendance in the courtroom, the family is understandably disappointed with the verdict.”
What protests are planned?
More than a dozen activist groups, including Black Lives Matter Minnesota and Communities United Against Police Brutality, are planning a demonstration outside the courthouse on Monday from 8:30 a.m. CST, KARE reported 11.
“People are demanding justice for all stolen lives. Condemn all killer cops,” the coalition said in a statement. “Derek Chauvin represents what is wrong with the police in Minneapolis and this country, and now it is time to bring justice to George Floyd and set the precedent for seeking justice for any life stolen.”
The George Floyd Global Memorial will hold a meeting with faith leaders in George Floyd Square at 8:00 a.m. CST, ending with a candlelight vigil at 6:00 p.m., some of which will be broadcast live, according to the group’s website.
How did we get here? A timeline of the events that led to national outcry after George Floyd’s death
Will the police be brought to justice in other high profile murders of black Americans?
Floyd’s death was one of several high-profile incidents of violence against African Americans – almost all of them police involved, all but one fatal.
In protests across the country, other police officers and bosses have been fired, resigned or charged. States and cities announced that they would cut funding for police departments and criminalize the use of deadly restrictions; and federal lawmakers passed a major police overhaul bill bearing Floyd’s name.
Several large juries declined to bring charges against officials accused of killing unarmed blacks.
The protests began in Kentucky after no Louisville police officers were accused of killing Breonna Taylor when they fired their guns into her home last year. In New York, large juries declined to bring charges against officials involved in the death of Daniel Prude, 41, who died in Rochester.
Contributor: The Associated Press
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg