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Chauvin case opens with video of Floyd arrest

Defense attorney Eric Nelson (left) and former police officer Derek Chauvin prior to opening statements on Monday at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Associated Press/Photo by Court TV

Chauvin case opens with video of Floyd arrest

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said in court that officer Derek Chauvin crushed George Floyd “until the very life was squeezed out of him.” During opening statements in Chauvin’s trial on murder and manslaughter charges on Monday, Blackwell played a famous video taken by a bystander showing the officer pinning Floyd to the pavement outside a Minneapolis store last May. Attorney Eric Nelson countered that Chauvin was doing “exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career.” Nelson said Floyd died from pre-existing health problems complicated by drug use and adrenaline, not from asphyxiation during the attempted arrest.

How long before a verdict? The trial is expected to last four weeks. The court is streaming and broadcasting the proceedings—a first in Minneapolis history. The judge allowed it because COVID-19 rules restrict the number of people who can watch the trial in person.

Dig deeper: Read Sophia Lee’s report on efforts to abolish or reform the police following the protests over Floyd’s death.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas.



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“The court is streaming and broadcasting the proceedings” – The whole world will be able to view the proceedings, so I pray that the cameras don’t show the jurors. May God protect them and their families, because, no matter how the jurors decide, there will be people who vehemently disagree. Where can the jurors and their families go in this world to live the rest of their lives in peace?