Opening statements in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd are set to take place Monday morning in Hennepin County, Minn., marking a pivotal development in the case that launched national racial justice protests and a renewed uprising against police brutality in 2020.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was fired from his job after video footage emerged last May of him kneeling on 46-year-old Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while the man pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. That video will undoubtedly play a critical part in the trial, where the former cop is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Chauvin could face up to 15 years imprisonment if convicted on the most serious charge, according to USA Today.
Chauvin’s trial will be the first in Minneapolis to be live-streamed, reports USA Today. Presiding Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled last year to permit the trial to be filmed and live-streamed in its entirety, citing the immense interest in the case as well as limited courtroom space due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The jury for the trial was seated on Friday. Including two alternates, the group consists of nine white jurors, four Black jurors and two others who identify as multiracial.
During jury selection, it was announced that Minneapolis had agreed to a record-breaking $27 million settlement for the Floyd family. That announcement prompted Chauvin’s defense attorney to request that the trial be delayed and moved to another location on the basis that the news could prejudice potential jurors. Cahill denied that motion but granted a request from the defense to allow evidence from a 2019 arrest of Floyd to be introduced during the trial.
Today’s court session is set to begin at 10 a.m. ET, with the opening statements beginning shortly after. The trial is expected to run for up to four weeks from Mondays to Fridays.
You can watch the proceedings live on YouTube here. Fox News, CNN, CBS and NBC will also be airing the trial (though maybe not in its entirety), along with corresponding streams on their news websites. If you have Court TV, you can tune in to watch the entire trial on TV as well as online.
However you watch it, you’ll want to witness what is bound to be a watershed event in the ongoing fight against racist violence—whatever the outcome of the trial may be.