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World ‘The Whole World Is Watching’: Chauvin’s Murder Trial Isn’t Just About George Floyd

04:22  08 march  2021
04:22  08 march  2021 Source:   thedailybeast.com

3rd-Degree Murder Charge in George Floyd's Death Under Review Days Before Jury Selection Begins

  3rd-Degree Murder Charge in George Floyd's Death Under Review Days Before Jury Selection Begins On Friday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals called for a judge to reconsider reinstating the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, who is charged with Floyd's death while in police custody last May. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the charge in 2020.On Friday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals called for a judge to reconsider reinstating the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the charge, one of seven issued against Chauvin, in 2020.

The trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd puts the US jury system under the Now the former US police officer faces trial on second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter Three other dismissed officers will stand trial together later this year but proceedings in Chauvin ' s The trial will be watched closely and local officials have fortified security around the courthouse and

Derek Chauvin , who is charged with second-degree murder in Floyd ' s death on May 25, appeared remotely via video, wearing an orange uniform and a mask. J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane, who are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, appeared in person. Much of the hearing centered on public comments that have been made about the state' s criminal investigation by government officials since the arrest of the four former officers, that defense lawyers say could prevent them from having a fair trial .

While the world watched Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pin George Floyd to the ground by the knee for more than eight minutes last May, Amity Dimock-Heisler was still awaiting answers about the death of her own child at the hands of Minnesota police.

a group of people holding a sign: Mario Tama/Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Mario Tama/Getty

In August 2019, her son, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, was shot six times by two Brooklyn Park police officers responding to a “disturbance call” at his grandparents’ house. The 21-year-old, who was on the autism spectrum and had a history of mental illness, had lost his temper at a local Wendy’s, and he turned his anger on his grandfather, Erwin Heisler, once they returned home, at one point grabbing a paring knife and hammer.

As the George Floyd Murder Trial Begins, Here's What You Need to Know

  As the George Floyd Murder Trial Begins, Here's What You Need to Know The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd's death, begins with jury selection on March 8.Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died on May 25 last year after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes while he cried "I can't breathe" multiple times. Chauvin and other officers were arresting Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a corner store.

The trial of Derek Chauvin , the former Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd ' s death, begins with jury selection on March 8. © Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images Kendra Waldeyer, 36, holds a placard with the image of George Floyd outside of Minnesota Governor' s residence during the protest "Families Supporting Families Joins Mass Action 4 George Floyd Justice 4 All Nationwide Protest" in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6, 2021.

The murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is set to begin Monday. Last year, George Floyd died after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes. Now, on the eve of the trial , rows of fencing, barbed wire and barricades aim to prevent a repeat of the violence the city saw last year. NBC' s Shaquille Brewster reports for Sunday TODAY.

Fearing for his grandson’s safety, Heisler called the cops. By the time two officers arrived, Kobe had calmed down, so Heisler tried to send them away, but they forced themselves inside anyway, the grandfather said. During a tense conversation in the living room, Kobe lunged for something hidden in the couch cushions. Officers later said they thought he was grabbing a knife—and responded by shooting him three times in the chest and neck.

“They shot him in the head. In front of his grandmother,” Amity Dimock-Heisler, a 47-year-old accountant, told The Daily Beast. “It was the worst day of my life.”

On Aug. 5, nearly a year after the young man’s death, the Hennepin County Attorney’s office announced they would not file charges against the two officers who shot him. It took the same prosecutors just four days to charge Chauvin in Floyd’s murder amid a nationwide outcry.

The trial of Derek Chauvin, charged with George Floyd’s death, has been delayed

  The trial of Derek Chauvin, charged with George Floyd’s death, has been delayed The prosecution has asked to reinstate a third-degree murder charge.The third-degree murder charge, under Minnesota law, means the perpetrator acted in a way that was reckless at the risk of causing death and carries a sentence of no more than 25 years. Prosecutors are arguing for the charge because it is easier to prove than a second-degree unintentional felony murder. The pending charge would also provide options for jurors about how to convict, since police killings have historically gone unpunished.

The murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is set to begin Monday. Last year, George Floyd died after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes. Now, on the eve of the trial , rows of fencing, barbed wire and barricades aim to prevent a repeat of the violence the city saw last year. NBC' s Shaquille Brewster reports for Sunday TODAY.

The murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is set to begin Monday. Last year, George Floyd died after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes. Now, on the eve of the trial , rows of fencing, barbed wire and barricades aim to prevent a repeat of the violence the city saw last year. NBC' s Shaquille Brewster reports for Sunday TODAY.

“It’s beyond frustrating. My son’s case was just sitting on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s desk while they hopped, skipped, and jumped over it to prioritize George Floyd’s case,” Dimock-Heisler added. “When George Floyd died, he was all over the news. Celebrities, reporters, even politicians were saying Floyd’s name. I just kept thinking, ‘Why aren't they also saying my son’s name?’”

Dimock-Heisler is just one of the hundreds of Twin Cities residents who have lost loved ones at the hands of local law enforcement in the past two decades. Now, they are focusing their attention on Chauvin, one of the four officers fired for his involvement in Floyd’s May 25 death.

“For so long, hundreds of people have been brutally murdered by police officers in Minnesota,” Toshira Garraway, who founded Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence after her fiancé was killed by cops, told The Daily Beast. “All of these families are worked up right now and they are scared because we are just hoping for once in our life we can see justice with Derek Chauvin’s conviction.”

Trial of Derek Chauvin in the United States: fear of an acquittal

 Trial of Derek Chauvin in the United States: fear of an acquittal © AFP - KEREM YUCEL Demonstrators protest in Minneapolis ahead of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of having killed George Floyd, on March 8 2021. The trial of Derek Chauvin, which opened on March 8 in Minneapolis, United States, resumes on Tuesday. Despite a damning video that has gone around the world showing this white cop suffocating George Floyd with his knee for nearly nine minutes, many in Minneapolis fear he will be acquitted.

MUST WATCH . George Floyd ' s family leads moment of silence during DNC 01:53. (CNN) A Hennepin County judge has dropped a third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd , but denied the defendant' s motion to dismiss two Chauvin still faces the higher charge of second-degree unintentional murder and a second-degree manslaughter charge in Floyd ' s death on May 25, which sparked nationwide protests and a reckoning over race and policing this summer. Chauvin , who was released on million bond earlier this month

The murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is set to begin Monday. Last year, George Floyd died after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes. Now, on the eve of the trial , rows of fencing, barbed wire and barricades aim to prevent a repeat of the violence the city saw last year. NBC' s Shaquille Brewster reports for Sunday TODAY.

On Monday—less than a year after a video of Floyd’s death went viral—the former Minneapolis police officer’s long-awaited trial is set to begin in a Hennepin County courthouse. The high-profile case is now in the hands of the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, after a judge banned Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and his staff from the case in September, citing their previous “sloppy” work.

Chauvin faces two charges, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, for violently arresting Floyd over a counterfeit $20 bill. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

Jury selection, which is scheduled to start Monday, will take roughly three weeks. They could, however, be delayed on account of the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ Friday ruling that determined the previously tossed third-degree murder charge against Chauvin should be reinstated. The last-minute order reversed Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill’s earlier ruling, sending the case back to the lower court.

Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, could appeal the ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday morning, which would delay the trial. Opening arguments are scheduled to start March 29.

First Potential George Floyd Juror Dismissed After Calling His Death 'Not Fair'

  First Potential George Floyd Juror Dismissed After Calling His Death 'Not Fair' The juror, a mother of three from Mexico, said she saw video footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck last summer, and couldn't understand why the officer didn't get up when Floyd said he couldn't breathe.The juror, a mother of three from Mexico, said she saw video footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck last summer, and couldn't understand why the officer didn't get up when Floyd said he couldn't breathe.

a person posing for the camera: Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via Getty

At trial, prosecutors will argue Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly night minutes—including nearly three minutes in which Floyd was unresponsive.

“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man,” Floyd said in the viral body-camera footage, which didn’t show the beginning of the arrest. “I’m about to die.”

EMTs said that he had no pulse when he was loaded into an ambulance. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner concluded Floyd died of cardiac arrest from the restraint and neck compression, also noting that Floyd had heart disease and there was fentanyl in his system. An independent report commissioned by Floyd’s family concluded that the 46-year-old died of strangulation from the pressure to his back and neck. Both reports determined Floyd’s death was a homicide.

Three other officers—Tou Thao, Thomas K. Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng—assisted with the arrest, holding down Floyd’s legs and trying to keep concerned bystanders at bay. They’ve been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence, and are expected to face a trial together in August.

George Floyd or Derek Chauvin Trial? Here's What Activists Want it to Be Called

  George Floyd or Derek Chauvin Trial? Here's What Activists Want it to Be Called "The man whose breath was squeezed out of his body is not on trial," tweeted Michele Norris, the founder of The Race Card Project.Floyd's name became a rallying cry for protesters against police brutality and racial injustice after his death in May 2020. Chauvin, who is white, was filmed kneeling on the Black man's neck for more than eight minutes as he gasped that he couldn't breathe.

“This case will be remembered as one of the most egregious police brutality cases in the history of America,” Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Floyd family, told The Daily Beast. “This case will be a referendum on where America is on equal justice.”

Chauvin's lawyer, who did not respond to The Daily Beast’s multiple requests for comment, has previously argued that it was not his client’s fault Floyd died—instead blaming it on the other rookie cops who he said should have called an ambulance sooner or “chosen to de-escalate” the situation.

“If EMS had arrived just three minutes sooner, Mr. Floyd may have survived. If Kueng and Lane had chosen to de-escalate instead of struggle, Mr. Floyd may have survived,” Nelson wrote in a September filing. “If Kueng and Lane had recognized the apparent signs of an opioid overdose and rendered aid, such as administering naloxone, Mr. Floyd may have survived.”

The 10-minute video of Floyd’s death sent shockwaves through social media, erupting the already simmering anger about racial injustice and police brutality in the U.S. and prompting people to take to the streets in protest. Floyd’s final pleas became a rallying cry, bringing renewed energy to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This case speaks to a larger conversation—and its outcome will have a big impact on public policy to come. This is extremely high stakes,” Mike Lawlor, an associate professor at the University of New Haven and a former prosecutor, told The Daily Beast. “It’s almost like a political event, not just a judicial one because this trial will be a catalyst one way or another.”

Derek Chauvin trial: Dismissed juror says George Floyd video made her cry, rioting necessary in BLM movement

  Derek Chauvin trial: Dismissed juror says George Floyd video made her cry, rioting necessary in BLM movement As jury selection continued for a third day Thursday in the trial for ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, one juror was dismissed by the court with cause after explaining that she could not "un-see" what she described as the "traumatizing" bystander video showing a knee pressed to George Floyd’s neck – and stating that the rioting that following his death was necessary to advance the BLM movement. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the woman identified as "Juror #37," expressing doubts that she could reasonably presume Chauvin is innocent until proven guilty.

Jonathan Smith, the executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, said “the prosecution knows the whole world is watching.”

a group of people riding horses on a city street: Stephen Maturen/Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Stephen Maturen/Getty

“If they don’t convict, it will be devastating for prosecutors,” he told The Daily Beast, adding that the video of Floyd’s death is “very powerful” and will be for any jury.

But the pathway to conviction will still be an “uphill battle,” Smith warns, because while it is easier to show that Chauvin used excessive force that deprived Floyd’s civil rights—proving it was “willful” is a more difficult challenge.

“Willfulness is the highest intent standard under criminal law,” Smith, a former official in the DOJ’s civil rights division, said. “To do so, prosecutors need to prove Chauvin actually knew that he was going to violate someone’s rights and acted with purpose. Chauvin’s behavior on camera, though, is going to help the prosecution. He was mocking people who were taping the video and that is powerful evidence.”

Floyd’s trial could have major implications for how other officers who use deadly force will be dealt with since there are so few police brutality cases that actually make it to trial.

“There really isn’t precedent here,” Smith, who also led the independent investigation into Elijah McClain’s death in Colorado, added. “So while it’s a win that this case made it to trial, that means it's a bigger hill to fall if he gets an acquittal.”

There are many people who fear that outcome, like Ira Toles, one of several people who has accused Chauvin of brutally attacking them in the years before Floyd’s death.

“I might have to take justice into my own hands,” Toles said, noting he has been denied the justice he deserves for over 13 years.

According to Communities United Against Police Brutality, 10 complaints were filed against Chauvin in his 19 years with the police, but he only ever received two verbal reprimands. The city’s Civilian Review Authority, which lists complaints prior to September 2012, also shows five more were filed against Chauvin—and all closed without discipline. Violent incidents in Chauvin’s past included the 2006 fatal shooting of 42-year-old Wayne Reyes and the 2011 non-fatal shooting of a Native American man.

Minneapolis reaches $27 mn settlement with Floyd family

  Minneapolis reaches $27 mn settlement with Floyd family The family of George Floyd, the Black man who died while being arrested by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has reached a $27 million "wrongful death" settlement with the Minnesota city, lawyers for the family announced Friday. "The $27 million settlement is the largest pre-trial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in US history," the lawyers said in a statement. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, is currently on trial facing murder and manslaughter charges for his role in Floyd's death, which was captured on video by bystanders and sparked protests against racial injustice around the globe.

As previously reported by The Daily Beast, Chauvin barged into Toles’ home unannounced during a 2008 domestic violence call and beat him up in the bathroom—before shooting him in the stomach. Toles, then 21, blacked out during the assault and collapsed at the front door, where he remained bleeding until paramedics came. While Toles pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, Chauvin continued his career with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

“He tried to kill me in that bathroom,” Toles said in May.

He’s skeptical of real change coming from Chauvin’s trial. Toles told The Daily Beast this week that it won't immediately change a criminal justice system that seems to disfavor minority communities.

For Garraway, the founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, the uniqueness of this case also provides a rare national spotlight on Minnesota—a state with “a major problem” with police brutality. Among the countless other cases she says have gone unnoticed is the death of her fiancé Justin Teigen, who was killed by St. Paul police after a traffic stop in August 2009.

According to police reports, Teigen fled from officers during a traffic stop and crashed his car before trying to run away on foot. Hours later, he was found in a nearby garbage bin. The medical examiner and police say he died of asphyxia due to mechanical compression by a recycling truck that he’d been hiding in. Garraway believes that police beat him up before dumping him in the trash.

Now, 12 years later, she works with other families who have lost their loved ones to police brutality in Minnesota. But while she hopes Chauvin’s trial shows the world that police brutality “is not an isolated issue in Minnesota,” she isn’t confident jurors will hold the ex-cop accountable.

“Even if they do give justice for George Floyd, it may be only because politicians are scared of the aftermath,” she said. “Not even because it’s the right thing to do. But because this is the first time that it has spiraled out of control.”

“Chauvin is a white man who killed a Black man and when the Constitution was written—that wasn’t a crime,” she added.

The high stakes of Chauvin’s trial are especially felt by the Floyd family, who are anxious about getting justice for their loved one—and hopeful about what it could mean for police reform and Black Americans across the country, Crump said.

“All eyes are on the prosecutors,” he added. “History has taught us that when a police officer kills a Black person—not much happens. But we’re confident the video and witnesses who saw George Floyd’s death are enough for a conviction.

“And if we don’t get one: I would expect there will be a global outcry,” he added.

The trial is taking place just as the Minneapolis City Council is about to consider a proposal that would dramatically overhaul how the city handles public safety.

In the wake of Floyd’s killing and the protests and riots that followed, nine City Council members joined a rally in Powderhorn Park and pledged to dissolve the police department, replacing it with a new “model” to be determined over the next year.

That effort was derailed in December when the Charter Commission, a committee appointed by a judge to oversee any changes to the city’s charter or constitution, determined by a vote of 10-5 that the council had acted too soon to place the issue before voters on last November’s ballot.

Smaller reforms that activists had pushed for did come to pass: The city banned chokeholds, overhauled the police use of force policy by requiring officers to consider alternatives, prohibited officers from engaging in car chases for minor offenses, and more than doubled the funding for the Office of Violence Prevention, the kind of social program activists argue is underfunded compared with police budgets. (According to The Star Tribune, The Office of Violence Prevention went from a budget of $2.5 million to $7.4 million, while MPD’s budget stands at $164 million).

But the debate over police reform has come as Minneapolis, like many major cities, experiences a surge in violent crime and homicides, dividing community groups and residents. Some see the crime wave as a reason to support more police funding, others point to Floyd’s death and the department’s troubled history as reasons to consider alternatives.

In late January, three council members introduced a new proposal to change the city’s charter, again eliminating the police department, but this time replacing it with a broader public safety department that would include police but also violence prevention programs, mental health services, and specialized response for unsheltered people. The proposal went to a committee hearing on Thursday and would need to pass the full council and a Charter Commission review before going to voters—though the commission could not delay it from going to the ballot.

The timing of the proposal being introduced just before the trial was coincidental, but Councilmember Steve Fletcher, one of the three who introduced it, told The Daily Beast that the trial is “stirring up a lot of emotions.”

“As the city where George Floyd was killed we have an obligation to move deliberately and with intention and persistence to change the system, and we are continuing to move forward at every opportunity to create the kind of transformation that our community is demanding,” he said.

Activists who support the proposal aren’t just counting on the council to pass it. In a parallel effort, a coalition of groups is running a campaign to gather enough signatures to get a similar proposal—one that would also replace the police department with a broader public safety department—on the November ballot. If the petition effort is successful, the council members have said they will drop their effort to avoid overlap.

For D.A. Bullock, a spokesperson with Reclaim the Block, one of the key groups that organized protests after Floyd’s killing, the proposals are the culmination of years of police killings and protests in Minneapolis.

“The charter proposal to create a new public safety department is just a logical acknowledgment of the general public belief that we cannot go back to what brought us to the murder of George Floyd,” Bullock said.

“The Minneapolis Police have proven time and time again that they can not be trusted with exclusive responsibility for our public safety.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Minneapolis reaches $27 mn settlement with Floyd family .
The family of George Floyd, the Black man who died while being arrested by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has reached a $27 million "wrongful death" settlement with the Minnesota city, lawyers for the family announced Friday. "The $27 million settlement is the largest pre-trial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in US history," the lawyers said in a statement. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, is currently on trial facing murder and manslaughter charges for his role in Floyd's death, which was captured on video by bystanders and sparked protests against racial injustice around the globe.

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