Floyd family, supporters kneel in protest ahead of Minneapolis trial

Floyd’s death led to protests mostly under the “Black Lives Matter” movement across the world

Ahead of the opening arguments, Mr Floyd's family said the trial would serve as a "referendum on how far America has come" ahead of opening arguments in the trial in Minneapolis.

Unintentional second-degree murder is punishable by up to 40 years in prison in Minnesota, with up to 25 years for third-degree murder, but sentencing guidelines suggest that Chauvin would face 12 1/2 years in prison if convicted on either charge.

"That he put his knees upon his neck and his back, grinding and crushing him, until the very breath, no ladies and gentlemen, until the very life was squeezed out of him", Blackwell said in his opening argument.

"Derek Chauvin did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19-year career", Mr Nelson told the jury.

Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams spoke briefly of his uncle, and condemned the officers who he said were either underqualified to do their job, or had meant to take Floyd's life.

Mr Chauvin's defence team is expected to focus on the fact that Mr Floyd used drugs before his arrest which may have contributed to his death, along with underlying health conditions, and whether Mr Chauvin followed police procedure. All members of the jury have said they already saw at least snippets of it.

The day before the trial, community activists lit candles at a memorial in Minneapolis near the site where George Floyd died.

"The evidence is far greater than nine minutes and 29 seconds", he said.

The death of Floyd, an African American, sparked a worldwide outcry against systemic racial discrimination in 2020.

Three other officers are also charged of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Scurry also testified that as she watched Floyd lie motionless on the ground, she thought the video footage had frozen. Scurry said she grew concerned because the officers hadn't moved after several minutes.

"You can call me a snitch if you want to but. all of them sat on this man". She said she wouldn't normally call the sergeant about the use of force because it was beyond the scope of her duties, but "my instincts were telling me that something is wrong".

The footage touched off protests across the US last summer.

Netizens compare Suez Canal blockade to Bengaluru traffic snarls
Such an arrangement is customary, but the ship's captain retains ultimate authority over the vessel, according to experts. Rabie said the ships that are waiting were free to reroute around the Cape of Good Hope, but none had yet done so.

The emergency responder said she was so shocked that she chose to call a police sergeant to voice her concerns - the first time she had done so in her seven years in the role.

Prosecutors have played the video early on in the trial, in the prosecution's opening statement, as they seek to remind jurors of what is at the heart of their case.

"My stomach hurts", he says. "Everything hurts", Floyd says, and: "I can't breathe, officer".

Legal experts have noted that USA police officers have nearly never been found criminally liable for killing a citizen.

In the video, Mr Floyd, handcuffed and pressed to the pavement, moans and gasps for breath while bystanders urge Chauvin to let up.

In his opening statement, Nelson implied that bystanders, who were pleading for Chauvin to remove his knee from Floyd's neck as Floyd himself said he couldn't breathe, were at least in part to blame for Floyd's death. But it was revised during the investigation.

The 14-member jury is racially mixed: six white women, three Black men, two white men, two mixed-race women and one Black woman. The judge has not said which ones will be alternates and which ones will deliberate the case.

Jerry Blackwell, a prosecutor with the Minnesota attorney-general's office, told jurors that officers who wore the Minneapolis police badge pledged to never use "unnecessary force or violence".

"He was defenseless", Blackwell said of Floyd. "She did her best to intervene". When she approached Mr Chauvin... Mr. Chauvin reached for his Mace and pointed it in her direction.

Relatives and lawyers for the family of George Floyd knelt in protest on Monday outside the courthouse where the trial is being held for the white police officer accused of killing the 46-year-old Black man.

Crump said the trial would be a test of "whether America is going to live up to the Declaration of Independence", and blasted the idea that it would be a tough test for jurors.

The downtown Minneapolis courthouse has been fortified with concrete barriers, fences and barbed and razor wire.

The key questions at the trial will be whether Chauvin caused Floyd's death and whether his actions in subduing Floyd were reasonable.

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