Today (March 29) marks day one of Derek Chauvin's trial for the murder of George Floyd.
As reported on CNN, prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell began his opening argument stating how Chauvin broke his code of honor by using excessive force on Floyd during his fatal arrest. Blackwell said,
"What it means to be a public servant and have the honor of wearing this badge. It's a small badge that carries with it a large responsibility and large accountability to the public. What does it stand for? It represents the very motto of the Minneapolis Police Department. To protect with courage, to serve with compassion, but it also represents the essence of the Minneapolis police department approach to the use of force against its citizens when appropriate."
Blackwell told the jury they should focus on the oath Minneapolis Police Department took. Blackwell said,
"They take an oath that, 'I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately and as you will learn, as it applies to this case, never employing unnecessary force or violence.'"
Blackwell went on to say that on May 25, 2020, Chauvin "betrayed" the badge and "used excessive and unreasonable force" against Floyd. Blackwell said,
"That he put his knees upon his neck and his back. Grinding and crushing him until the very breath — no, ladies and gentlemen — until the very life was squeezed out of him."
The judge gave
a list of things they shouldn't do during the trial. Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill told jurors they aren't investigators, don't use the Internet to find out information about the case and avoid all news if possible. Jurors shouldn't talk to people involved with the subject or speak to their families about it.
The article also notes Floyd's family members, Rev. Al Sharpton, and attorney Benjamin Crump
outside the Minneapolis courthouse for eight minutes and 46 seconds before entering the building. Sharpton said,
"We are taking a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds, and we want you to think of during that time, why Chauvin didn't, in that time, get his knee up?
Take a look: