The family of George Floyd and their attorneys knelt in memory outside a Minneapolis courthouse as the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was due to stand trial on Monday (March 29).
“This is a seminal moment, a landmark moment in American history…. because the whole world is watching,” attorney Benjamin Crump said during a news conference shortly before opening statements began on the first day of the trial.
A jury gathered on Monday to hear whether the deadly arrest of Floyd, which ignited a global protest movement ten months ago, amounts to murder as opening arguments commence in the trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin.
The trial is viewed by many as a reckoning for how Black people are policed in the United States.
During the Monday morning news conference, supporters of Floyd took a knee for a nearly nine-minute-long silence to mark the time Floyd spent on the ground with his neck pressed under Chauvin’s knee while begging for his life during his arrest.
Chauvin, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges arising from Floyd’s death and has said he correctly followed his police training. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.
(Production: Mana Rabiee)