Day 1 of The Derek Chauvin Trial

As you may already know, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is facing trial for numerous criminal charges, including second-degree murder, following the death of George Floyd. 

Floyd was killed on May 25th, 2020 after Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, despite him exclaiming many times that he was unable to breathe. The video of this horrendous act quickly made global news and is generally seen as the starting point for the thousands of Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality last year.

The trial began on March 29th, 2021. The jury, according to @justiceforgeorge on Instagram, is made up of two white men, four white women, three black men, one black woman, and two women of mixed-race. The defense has said that Floyd was responsible for his own death, and argued that he died of a heart condition as a result of ingesting illegal drugs. 

One major point of the trial has been the reference to "9 minutes and 29 seconds": the amount of time Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck, debunking the originally alleged 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The prosecutors broke down the timeline of Chauvin's crime: 4 minutes and 45 seconds where Floyd was calling for help and saying he couldn’t breathe, 53 seconds of him seizing, and the remaining 3 minutes and 51 seconds where he was entirely unresponsive. The timeline is crucial to providing evidence to the jury that Chauvin was at fault for Floyd's death, not Floyd himself.

Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry was brought to testify, as she was the one who dispatched Chauvin and the other officers. She told the prosecutors that while she was watching the footage, her instincts were telling her that something was wrong and that she believed the officer used excessive force during the arrest. Another important witness was Alisha Oyler, an employee at the Speedway gas station across the street from the crime scene. She told the jury that she shot seven videos of the arrest with her cell phone and testified that Floyd was in no way resisting the arrest. The last major witness was Donald Wynn Williams II, who can be heard in the viral video of Floyd's arrest. He told the jury he saw Floyd's eyes roll to the back of his head and blood come from his nose. Williams is also trained in mixed martial arts and testified that he witnessed Chauvin use a move called a "blood choke." The testimonies from these witnesses will play a key role in convincing the jury of Chauvin's intent to kill.

The trial will likely continue for several more weeks, and it is unclear what results are to come. To demand a fair trial, visit this list of resources to find out how you can help hold Derek Chauvin accountable for his crimes. For more news on the trial, follow @justiceforgeorge on Instagram for frequent and accessible updates.