WASHINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) — The murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin charged with killing African American George Floyd in late May last year officially got underway in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday.
Ahead of opening statements in the trial, members of George Floyd’s family and their legal team knelt in front of a Minneapolis courthouse for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the duration that video taken from the scene showed Chauvin had knelt on Floyd’s neck while the 46-year-old black father was handcuffed, pinned to the pavement, and pled that he could not breathe. The video went viral and sparked weeks-long nationwide protests for racial justice last year.
“Today starts a landmark trial that will be a referendum on how far America has come on its quest for equality and justice for all,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said outside the courthouse on Monday.
“This murder case is not hard, just look at the torture video of George Floyd,” said Crump.
Chauvin, fired by the Minneapolis Police Department after the video went viral online, faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin’s attorneys are expected to argue that Floyd resisted arrest and had drugs in his system when he was being arrested, which they argue could have reasonably led to his death, said a report by The Hill.
The trial is expected to last several weeks. Enditem