The murder trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, began on Monday (March 29). Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes last May. The videowent viral and sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.
Prosecutors will argue that Chauvin was responsible for killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck as he “repeatedly stated he could not breathe and his physical condition continued to deteriorate such that force was no longer necessary to control him.” The medical examiner determined that Floyd suffered cardiac arrest and ruled his death a homicide.
Chauvin’s defense will argue that Floyd died due to drug use and pre-existing health conditions and that Chauvin did not intend to harm him. The medical examiner found that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system when he died.
The entire trial will be broadcast live and is expected to last at least four weeks.