As Derek Chauvin's trial begins, his defense has claimed that he wasn't to blame for the death of George Floyd.
Read on for the shocking statement...
This comes after Chauvin's third-degree murder charge was reinstated...
Here's the full story.
Now, the world changed forever on May 25th 2020 when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was ruthlessly killed by police officers.
The forty-six-year-old father was arrested and forced to the ground...
Where former police officer, Derek Chauvin, proceeded to kneel on his neck, while 3 other officers knelt on his back.
After nearly ten minutes, George was completely unresponsive. An ambulance arrived and took the unconscious man to the hospital but, devastatingly, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
George died unlawfully at the hands of these officers.
via: GettyThe independent autopsy confirmed that he had passed away as a result of "asphyxiation from sustained pressure." This pressure had cut off blood flow to his brain, the autopsy concluded.
This kind of unjust police brutality towards Black men and women has been happening for centuries now...
via: GettyBut George's death sparked an outrage like never before.
Thousands upon thousands of people began taking to the streets in protest...
The increased awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement was ultimately triggered by the protestors...
And still, to this very day, justice is being demanded not only for George Floyd, but also for so many other Black people who have died at the hands of racism and law enforcement.
In the days following the incident...
via: GettyThere was an overwhelming demand for the 4 police officers involved - Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng, and Tou Thao - to face criminal charges for their actions.
The day after George's death, it was announced that all 4 officers had been fired...
via: GettyAnd after an overwhelming surge of anger and protest, the officers were arrested just days later.
Derek Chauvin, the man who had knelt on George's neck, was arrested and charged with murder in the third degree and manslaughter.
His bond was set at $50,000 before he faced an upgraded charge of second-degree murder, according to Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar.
And now, less than a year after Floyd's death, Derek Chauvin is facing trial.
And his charge for third-degree murder has been reinstated. However, Chauvin's defense has come out with claims that have left many stunned...
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over Chauvin's trial, reinstated the charge on March 11.
It comes after a Court of Appeals ruling asked him to reconsider restoring the charge based on its precedent in a separate case.
Cahill said he had to reinstate the charge because he was "bound" by the Court of Appeals ruling.
Chauvin had tried to appeal to block the charge from being reinstated, however the appeal was blocked by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The additional charges now mean that prosecutors have another route to convict him.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Ted Sampsell-Jones, a Mitchell Hamline School of Law professor said: "For example, if the jurors were divided about second-degree murder, they could settle on third-degree murder as a compromise."
While Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement: "The charge of 3rd-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin."
"We look forward to presenting all 3 charges to the jury."
Those convicted of third-degree murder could face up to twenty-five years in prison.
Chauvin is already facing a second-degree murder charge which carries a maximum prison sentence of forty years, and a second-degree manslaughter charge which carries punishment up to ten years.
The defense in the Derek Chauvin murder trial began by saying...
George Floyd died from drugs and not by the actions of his client.
Attorney Eric Nelson told the jury...
Floyd was believed to be under the influence of something before Nelson tackled Floyd after trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
Nelson says when police got the call about Floyd, he appeared "drunk."
George Floyd died of one thing and one thing only:— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) March 29, 2021
A corrupt and racist cop using his knee to crush Mr. Floyd's neck and stop his breathing for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Everything you hear in opposition to that fact is from a scumbag lawyer representing a racist killer. pic.twitter.com/4OEFFtp909
He claimed when Floyd was inside a car after leaving the market he fell asleep, indicating he had drugs in his system.
He says when Floyd was confronted he "put drugs in his mouth" to conceal them.
Family and lawyers for #GeorgeFloyd kneeled at the courthouse on the first day of Derek Chauvin's trial.— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 29, 2021
They reportedly kneeled for 8 min, 46 sec — how long Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he said he could not breathe.
Chauvin faces up to 40 years for 2nd-degree murder. pic.twitter.com/rsmts8dUb0
And found "speedball" in his system during the autopsy.
He also said the crowd exacerbated the situation...
The fact that Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes on a public street while at least 15 people stood by, complained, recorded it or watched in horror is a testament to his disregard for George Floyd's life. pic.twitter.com/oe6ECQm4Ki— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 29, 2021
He went on to say, "The use of force is not attractive."
Stay tuned for updates...