George Floyd’s brother was seen taking knee earlier today in Minneapolis as Derek Chauvin attended the opening day of his murder trial…
And as anyone would expect, it has been a truly emotional day for both Floyd’s family and the Black community.
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…
And it caused global outrage.
Where former police officer, Derek Chauvin, proceeded to kneel on his neck, while 3 other officers knelt on his back.
After nearly ten minutes, Floyd was completely unresponsive. An ambulance arrived and took the unconscious man to the hospital but, devastatingly, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Floyd died unlawfully at the hands of these officers…
And the 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.
But Floyd’s death sparked an outrage like never before.
And they were all marching for one thing: For the end of blatant racism and injustice in this country.
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.
But in the days following the inital incident…
There 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 Floyd’s death, it was announced that all 4 officers had been fired…
And 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.
Floyd’s family still have to live and deal with the devastating loss.
Something that will never get easier.
And now, less than a year after Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin is finally facing trial…
And his charge for third-degree murder has been reinstated, which comes after a Court of Appeals ruling asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to reconsider restoring the charge based on its precedent in a separate case.
Earlier this month, 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 on Wednesday.
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.”
Well, Chauvin’s trial kicked off this morning in Minneapolis…
And according to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started by playing the horrifying video of the moment the former cop dug his knee into Floyd’s neck as he cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
Trial attorney Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement, where he argued that Chauvin “betrayed the badge” when he crushed the life out of Floyd:
“You can believe your eyes. That it’s homicide, it’s murder.”
If convicted of the most serious count, Chauvin could face up to forty years in prison…
But if he’s found guilty of manslaughter, he faces a maximum penalty of ten years; though he could be free within 5.
But right now, the goings-on inside the courtroom isn’t what people are talking about…
It’s what happened outside the courtroom.
Just before the trial opened, Floyd’s brother took a knee in front of Hennepin County Courthouse for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time Chauvin knelt on his brother’s neck.
Reverend Al Sharpton, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump, Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams and other supporters joined the brother, Philonise Floyd, in his silent act of protest.
It was a moment of both solidarity and protest…
And for everyone who was there this morning, the raw emotion in the air was undeniable.
This is a developing story and updates will be posted accordingly.