The eyes of the world will focus on Minneapolis this Monday, as the trial of a former police officer accused of killing George Floyd is expected to begin.
Protests are already underway in the city and its surrounding neighborhoods, which were devastated in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. As widely reported, Officer Derek Chauvin faces murder charges for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes.
Court TV will televise the trial live, and reports indicate it’s likely to be among the most closely watched legal events in recent US history. Minneapolis and cities around the world saw sometimes violent protests and looting in the wake of Floyd’s death.
Minneapolis has been barricading and boarding up in anticipation of the trial. Protests at the governor’s mansion in St. Paul occurred yesterday, with more protests planned for Sunday and Monday outside the Minneapolis courthouse.
One possible delay stands in the way of Monday’s start to the trial. A state appellate court ordered a lower court judge to revisit his decision to drop third-degree murder charges against Chauvin. A guilty verdict on that charge, which alleges someone acted “without regard for human life,” carries a sentence of up to 25 years.
As of now, Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers present at the scene, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao, face charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. They will be tried in the summer.
All four have been fired by the Police Department.