The trial of Derek Chauvin began on Monday with opening statements against the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with the death of George Floyd.
The death of George Floyd, which transformed America and reignited the Black Lives Matter movement. He was killed by police officers of Minneapolis in May 2020.
The prosecutors played the footage of Floyd’s death in the court; during the opening statements of the trial, claiming that Chauvin used unbearable mortal force against a helpless Floyd – who was also handcuffed – for more than nine minutes.
The lead prosecutor Jerry Blackwell claimed that Floyd’s death cause was oxygen deprivation under the constraint oppression of Chauvin’s knee.
Defense Attorney Eric Nelson negated the claims made by the prosecutors saying that Floyd died because of a heart arrhythmia complication due to fentanyl and methamphetamine; which he had consumed before the fatal arrest.
After the opening statements from the prosecutors and the defense attorney, witnesses were asked to come to the stand and speak about the incident while their testimonies were recorded.
The first witness was a 911 dispatcher who claimed that she immediately called the police; as she saw officers holding Floyd on the ground forcefully.
The most disturbing testimony had come from a former wrestler trained in mixed martial arts, who witnessed the whole episode. He stated that he was on his way home from fishing with his son when he saw this. He described watching Floyd as he “slowly faded away.”
Floyd’s death not only refueled the Black Lives Matter movement but also made people demand that police and racial equality laws in America be reformed. Along with Derek; three other officers are also arrested for the same case under the charges of aiding and supporting Chauvin. They will be tried together in a separate case in August.
It is important to note that Derek Chauvin did not plead guilty. The trial is believed to span for two to four weeks at the heavily secured Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis.
Judge Peter Cahill has allowed limited attendees in the courtroom because of COVID-19 concerns.