The murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer whose alleged killing of George Floyd last year prompted a wave of Black Lives Matter protests, gets fully underway with opening arguments in Minneapolis on Monday. chauvin, 45, has denied charges of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter over the death of the 46-year-old Black man after he was detained on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill last May.
The death of George Floyd drew widespread outrage in May after a video circulated online showing Officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee on Mr. floyd’s neck on a Minneapolis street corner as he gasped for breath. george Floyd’s death lead to nationwide protests against police brutality and a reckoning over everything from public monuments to sports team names. now the case will finally be enlighten in criminal court, with derek Chauvin set to go on trial this month to face charges including second-degree murder.
At trial, the central question will most likely be the exact cause of George Floyd’s death. The county medical examiner ruled the death a homicide caused by a combination of the officers’ use of force, the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in george Floyd’s system and his underlying health conditions. the prosecution and defence are expected to focus on the cause of Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s reasoning.
The video that got viral on net shocked many Americans and led to some of the biggest protests against racial injustice, in Minneapolis, anger spilled out from largely peaceful protests into violence with the looting and torching of a police station and shops in the south of the city. the authorities to plan an increased police and national guard presence on the streets as the trial progresses. the outcome is uncertain and the stakes are high.
An autopsy by the Hennepin county medical examiner’s office ruled Floyd’s death a homicide because he suffered from heart failure brought on by “law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression”. chauvin’s defence is expected to focus on the examination finding that Floyd had heart disease and there was evidence of “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent synthetic use of drug”.
The prosecution, led by Minnesota’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, is expected to allege that Chauvin had a long history of excessive force including kneeling on people during his 20-year police career. he was fired and arrested after Floyd’s death. the defence has said Chauvin was following police training and had no intent to harm Floyd.
Minneapolis was calm ahead of the trial but emotions are high. the court house has been surrounded by heavy security in recent weeks and a ring of steel now exists in central Minneapolis, which could be used to seal off a large area downtown in the event of unrest. there’s no way to predict what a jury will ultimately decide but many believe the verdict will be a tipping point , a ruling on where the country stands on race relations , and how it reacts.