Opening Statements Begin In Derek Chauvin Trial

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday morning (March 29) in the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who is charged in the murder of George Floyd last May. 

Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, told NBC News the case against Chauvin is a “slam dunk.” 

“We’re feeling good,” Philonise said on Today. “We know that this case, to us, is a slam dunk because we know the video is the proof, that’s all you need. The guy was kneeling on my brother’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, a guy who was sworn in to protect. He killed my brother in broad daylight.” 

“That was a modern day lynching,” he added. 

The trial against Chauvin will be broadcast live, a first for the state of Minnesota. Prosecutors in the case argue that Floyd died as a result of Chauvin using excessive force during an arrest on May 25, 2020. Chauvin’s defense team is arguing, CNN reported, that Floyd died of unrelated drug use and medical conditions and have reportedly stated that Chauvin properly followed police procedures.

The outlet reported the trial is expected to last four weeks and comes after two weeks of jury selection. Nine women and six men have been seated to hear the trial and determine the outcome. 

Floyd’s death sparked months-long national and global protests, and amplified calls to end police violence and address institutional racism. 

“This is not a finishing point. This is a starting point,” Philonise said during a press conference on Monday (March 29). “We will get justice.”  

Terrence Floyd, another brother of George, told reporters this trial is a “chance” to prove that people can believe in the criminal justice system. 

“They say trust the system, they want us to trust this system. Well this is your chance to show us that we can trust you.” 

If Chauvin is convicted of the charges, he could face up to 40 years of prison in second-degree murder, up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter, a maximum of 25 years for third-degree murder. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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