Jury selection was delayed Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin while an appeal proceeds over the possible reinstatement of a third-degree murder charge.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May. Prosecutors contend Floyd, 46, was killed by Chauvin’s knee, compressed against Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and pinned to the pavement.
Legal experts say bystander video of the incident, as well as two autopsy reports, will play central roles in the trial. The question at the heart of the case is whether what people saw on the video was murder or a terrible tragedy.
Jury selection was delayed until at least Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
Here’s what to know:
- Court began with a brief back-and-forth regarding a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin that had been dismissed. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill ruled Monday that the court would go forward with jury selection while the appeal is pending, but after a brief recess, the judge cut the jurors loose.
- Twelve jurors and up to four alternates will be selected in a process expected to take up to three weeks. Opening arguments are scheduled for March 29.
- Derek Chauvin appeared in court Monday.
- Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister and founder of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, was the Floyd family representative in court Monday morning. She was sitting in the back.
- There have been a handful of peaceful protests leading up to the trial, with a demonstration planned Monday morning at the courthouse and a vigil Monday night at George Floyd Square. On Saturday, a man died in a shooting near the square.