Derek Chauvin trial: The US awaits a verdict in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death 



On May 25, 2020, then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, by the neck with his knee for nine minutes and 29 seconds after responding to a call that Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy a pack of cigarettes at a local convenience store.

After struggling under Chauvin’s weight (and that of two other officers) and yelling that he couldn’t breathe, Floyd died. Bystanders, who pleaded with the officers to release their restraint of Floyd, recorded the fatal incident on cellphone video that has been viewed across the world, igniting ongoing global protests for police reform and abolition, the protection of Black lives, and the dismantling of racism and white supremacy.

Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis police force after the deadly encounter and faces three charges in a criminal trial that began on March 29: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

For Chauvin to be convicted of the most serious charge, prosecutors will have to show beyond a reasonable doubt that he caused Floyd’s death when he held his knees to Floyd’s neck and back. The high-profile trial is expected to continue through April 2021, as lawyers for the prosecution and the defense call dozens of witnesses to the stand.





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