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Derek Chauvin’s Trial, the former Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, is set to begin on March 29

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Derek Chauvin case

Chauvin faces charges for manslaughter, second-degree and third-degree murder

The murder trial against Derek Chauvin, 44, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with the death of George Floyd, will start on March 29th and will be held in the same city, after attempts from Chauvin’s attorney to change the location and time to avoid the huge pretrial publicity from influencing the jury. 

With the decision, judge Peter A. Cahill of Hennepin County District Court, set the stage for the opening statements to be presented on Monday. Eric J. Nelson, Mr. Chauvin’s attorney argued that the publicity over the case, including the news of the settlement between the city of Minneapolis and the Floyd family for $27 million, prejudiced the jury. 

The timing of the civil settlement caused the dismissal of two jurors that have been already seated since they said the settlement made them change their views on the case.  Nonetheless, the final jury was finally selected and will be composed of 12 members: two white men, four white women, three Black men, one Black woman, and two women who identify as mixed race, according to information provided by the court. Also, two white women and a white man are the alternates. The trial is expected to last at least four weeks. 

Mr. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis was captured on video and showed Mr. Chauvin pressing his knee for more than nine minutes over Floyd’s neck. The county medical examiner then ruled the death a homicide caused by three factors: the officers’ use of force, the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Mr. Floyd’s system, and his underlying health conditions.

The event caused months of protests across the country against police brutality and racial equality. 

Chauvin now faces charges that carry a combined maximum 35-year sentence and he is being tried separately from the other three former officers who were also involved in Mr. Floyd’s death. Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng will be presented in court jointly in August. 

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