Jury sent home at George Floyd murder trial

 

Jury selection has been delayed at the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck until he died.

Reaction to the video of the killing of Floyd, a black man whom the white Chauvin was arresting for passing a counterfeit $20 note, spread across the world and sparked an ongoing racial reckoning in the US.

In anticipation of further protests, the National Guard has effectively locked down the Midwest city where more than 1500 buildings were torched by rioters last June.

The area surrounding the court building has been fortified with bollards and razor wire.

 

 

 

 

Judge Peter Cahill has set aside three weeks for jury selection and legal argument.

Chauvin is charged with second degree murder and second degree manslaughter and faces up to 40 years jail.

Judge Cahill sent the potential jury home Monday morning local time while a higher court considered an appeal over whether or not he has to reinstate a murder three charge that he struck out last October.

An appeals court decision on the charge is expected from Tuesday, local time.

Murder three is a lower bar for prosecutors to clear than the more significant second degree murder charge and carries a maximum 25 years jail compared to 40 years.

For second degree murder to stick, the jury would have to convict Chauvin of felony assault, which observers say will be complicated by the fact that the choke hold he used to restrain Floyd was police procedure in May last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floyd resisted arrest and was found to have amphetamines and fentanyl in his system during an autopsy.

Whether or not it is used, is tied to the appeal of Mohamed Noor, the police officer who was in 2018 found guilty of murdering former Sydney life coach Justine Damond Ruszczyk.

Hundreds of protesters gathered from early Monday near the Government Centre where the trial is taking place.

Minnesota lawyer general Keith Ellison was among those in the court. Attendance is strictly limited to due Covid and just one family member at a time is allowed in the room to represent Floyd and to support Chauvin.

Chauvin is being tried separately to the three other officers who are charged over Floyd's death.

Due to significant interest in the trial, it is being streamed on Court TV.

Originally published as Jury sent home at George Floyd murder trial



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