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Derek Chauvin trial live updates: Opening statements begin



(MINNEAPOLIS) — The trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, begins Monday in Minneapolis.

He faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

Mar 29, 11:54 am
The evidence goes beyond the video, defense says

Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, emphasized during his opening statement that the evidence for the case is “far greater than 9 minutes and 29 seconds.”

The evidence has been collected “broadly and expansively” and includes several police experts and at least 200 civilian witnesses, Nelson said.

Nelson will spend the trial talking about “reason and common sense and how that applies to the evidence,” Nelson said.

The store clerk at Cup Foods who accused Floyd of making a purchase with a fake $20 bill will be among those who testify, Nelson said.

Attorneys will also question one of Floyd’s friends who was in the Mercedes-Benz after he left the store. The friend previously stated that Floyd consumed what she believed to be two Percocet pills before police arrived. Floyd then fell asleep, Nelson said.

When officers arrived, Floyd put drugs in his mouth in an effort to conceal them from police, Nelson said.

Mar 29, 11:29 am
Three witnesses “called the police on the police” during Floyd encounter, prosecutor says

Three people who witnessed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck called 911 on the officers who were at the scene, Blackwell said.

A first responder, who was distressed that the officers were not checking Floyd’s pulse or performing chest compressions on him, called the police, Blackwell said.

Another man, who Blackwell described as a “very focal” bystander with a background in security and mixed martial arts, also called the police.

The third person was a 911 dispatcher who could see the encounter through a fixed police camera on the scene.

The incident was “so unusual, and for her, so disturbing,” that she called a sergeant at the police department to alert him to what was happening, Blackwell said.

Mar 29, 11:42 am
Chauvin watches intently as prosecutor plays witness video

Blackwell played a portion of the 9 minute and 29 second video taken by a witness on May 25, 2020.

“For half of that time, Mr. Floyd was unconscious, breathless and pulseless,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said Floyd can be seen repeatedly heaving his right shoulder into the air. This move was an attempt by Floyd to expand his ribcage so he could breathe, as he was “pancaked” between the hard pavement beneath him and Chauvin on top of him, Blackwell said.

Chauvin watched intently as the video was played in the courtroom.

Mar 29, 11:05 am
“Mr. Chauvin betrayed his badge,” prosecutor says

Derek Chauvin failed the responsibilities that come with the badge he was given by the Minneapolis Police Department when he pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck and killed him, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said in opening statements Monday.

Part of the oath Minneapolis police officers take is to enforce the law “courteously and appropriately,” while “never employing unnecessary force,” Blackwell said, adding that Chauvin violated both when he engaged in the “grinding and crushing” of Floyd “until the very life was squeezed out of him.”

“Mr. Chauvin betrayed his badge,” Blackwell said.

Floyd was unarmed, in handcuffs and did not present a threat to anyone, Blackwell said.

“He was completely in the control of the police,” Blackwell said. “He was defenseless.”

Blackwell vowed to give Chauvin a fair trial, but stated that he was “anything but innocent” on May 25, 2020 — the day that Floyd died.

The prosecution plans to prove that Chauvin engaged in “force that he applied without the regard for its impact,” Blackwell said.

Mar 29, 10:50 am
Attorneys for George Floyd’s family speak ahead of trial

The civil rights attorneys representing the family of George Floyd — Benjamin Crump, Antonio Romanucci and L. Chris Stewart as well as Rev. Al Sharpton — spoke to reporters Monday morning.

“Today starts a landmark trial that will be a referendum on how far America has come in its quest for equality and justice for all,” Crump said, with Floyd’s family present.

Crump stressed that the evidence against Chauvin speaks for itself, saying this “murder case is not hard.”

“We’re not asking for anything extraordinary,” Crump said. “We’re asking for equal justice under the law.”

Mar 29, 10:36 am
15th juror to be excused

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill will excuse the 15th juror chosen for Chauvin’s trial as court gets underway.

The first 14 jurors are present and will be sworn in and seated.

Eight jurors are white and six are people of color, including four jurors who self-identify as Black. There are nine women and five men.

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