Jury selection for the trial of Derek Chauvin is expected to wrap up later today. Thus far, the prosecution and defense have come to an agreement on 12 jurors and two alternates. The two sides had previously agreed that only 12 jurors and two alternates would be needed, but Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill wants to select an additional alternate in case someone drops out over the next week. The additional juror will be dismissed if no other juror drops out before next week. Initial reports indicate that the jury is made up of nine women and five men. Eight jurors identify as white, four are black and two are reportedly multiracial. At this time, it is unclear who the alternates are and who the actual jurors are. In fact, Cahill has said that the jurors won't know either until they are dismissed for the weekend.
Opening arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin are set to take place at the top of next week. The former police officer faces the following charges: third-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. Chauvin's name has become synonymous with police reform and anti-police protests over the last year. Last May, he was recorded, along with three other officers, pressing his knee against George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. Shortly thereafter, Floyd was pronounced dead at the age of 46. Coupled with the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, Floyd's untimely death sparked protests not only in Minneapolis, but across the world.
Nearly a year to the day after his death, Floyd's name will dominate headlines yet again. Chauvin has plead not guilty to the charges levied against him. If the trial goes according to plan, a verdict could be reached in mid to late April.
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