The first trial in the death of George Floyd started opening statements on Monday, March 29 after spending about two weeks selecting a total of 15 jurors, three of which were alternates. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Officers responded to a Cup Foods store in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 where Floyd was after a 911 call about him allegedly using a counterfeit $20. Chauvin is accused of kneeling on Floyd’s head and neck for more than eight minutes, resulting in his death. Floyd can be heard on cell phone video gasping for air and telling Chauvin and three other officers nearby that he couldn’t breathe.
Video of Floyd’s final moments was widely shared on social media and sparked demonstrations around the world against police misconduct and anti-Black racism.
"The death of George Floyd was a watershed moment in our country," commented Scott Tufts, Court TV Senior Vice President. "Given the cultural impact it had from the beginning, this trial is one that needs full transparency and we are pleased that Hennepin County court officials share that view.”
This will be the first time a trial in Minnesota has aired on television and Court TV will be covering the proceedings gavel-to-gavel.
How long will the trial last:
While the exact length depends on many factors, it is expected to take about 6 weeks.
How can I watch:
Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage. The entire trial will be on live TV as well as available online at CourtTV.com, and the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.
In addition to in-depth reporting and expert analysis from veteran legal journalists - most of whom are lawyers - Court TV’s extensive coverage will include new virtual recreations, and insights and discussions from attorneys, investigators and forensic experts.
How can I follow updates:
Court TV will be updating their website, CourtTV.com, as well as their social media platforms and Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.
We will also post the latest developments on the trial on our website and social media platforms.
What has happened so far:
Jury selection took a few weeks as attorneys and Judge Peter Cahill questioned potential jurors about their knowledge of the incident, whether they had watched the widely-shared video showing Floyd's death, their feelings about Black Lives Matter, etc. Mid-way through jury selection, the City of Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement with the Floyd family in connection to a civil suit.
While it was not connected to the charges being brought against Chauvin, the defense and Judge Cahill worried news of the settlement may influence potential jurors. However, the judge decided to keep the process going and keep the trial in Minneapolis.
The first few days following opening arguments have been filled with emotional testimony from prosecution witnesses recalling what they saw and felt on May 25, 2020. Several bystanders who recorded their angle of the events as they unfolded told the court how they became "mad", "distressed" and angry when officers would not stop putting their weight on Floyd and Chauvin, in particular, would not remove his knee from Floyd's neck.
What about the other officers:
Judge Cahill ruled earlier this year to hold Chauvin’s trial separately from the other three former officers who were present on May 25, 2020. He said given the “physical limitations” of the courtroom and coronavirus safety protocols, it was impossible to have four defendants together.
Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, are scheduled to face trial later this summer on charges of aiding and abetting murder.
Court TV is part of Scripps Networks, a division of The E.W. Scripps Company.