Crime George Floyd or Derek Chauvin Trial? Here's What Activists Want it to Be Called
'He choked me out': Others detail allegations of abuse by officer who knelt on George Floyd
Multiple people who had run-ins with Chauvin before the deadly encounter have accused him of using excessive force.Braddock, 48, said he had grown somewhat accustomed to being stopped by police because his identity had been stolen and he was sometimes mistaken for the man who had been using his name. He carried paperwork with him from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as proof, he said, so the stops were usually brief: He would show the paperwork to officers; they'd review it and let him go. But the officer at his driver's side window that day stuffed the documents in his pocket without looking at them, Braddock said.
The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of, got underway with the lengthy process of jury selection beginning this week.
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.
'Reckless disregard for human life' or 'tragic accident'? Derek Chauvin goes on trial, charged with murder of George Floyd.
Jurors will likely hear a "battle of the experts" over George Floyd's autopsy results and differing views on the video in Derek Chauvin's murder trialThe question at the heart of the case, which kicks off Monday with jury selection, is whether what people saw on the video was murder or a terrible tragedy.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. A third-degree murder count remains under review.
As jury selection proceeds, activists, advocates and organizations have hit back at references to Chauvin's trial in headlines as the "George Floyd trial."
Earlier this week, Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Floyd family, took toto explain why.
George Floyd is NOT on trial; Derek Chauvin is!
Some will use the "DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL" to question George Floyd's character.
That's WRONG. Demand JUSTICE. pic.twitter.com/gWUr0DF2wr— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) March 8, 2021
He tweeted a photo that included a headline from the website TMZ and the words: "The 'Derek Chauvin trial' starts today, NOT the 'George Floyd trial'."
Derek Chauvin trial: Jury selection begins
Chauvin, who was seen on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck for several minutes, is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. An appeals court ruled Friday that prosecutors can also try to reinstate a third-degree murder charge. Chauvin's attorney has the option of appealing the ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court.The ruling could delay the start of the trial.
In the tweet, Crump wrote: "George Floyd is NOT on trial; Derek Chauvin is! Some will use the 'DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL' to question George Floyd's character. That's WRONG. Demand JUSTICE."
In another tweet, he added: "George Floyd was put 'on trial' for 8 minutes and 46 seconds with Derek Chauvin as judge, jury AND executioner. #ChauvinTrial."
Crump's office has been contacted for additional comment.
Others echoed Crump's sentiment. Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., wrote a tweet Tuesday that repeated "#DerekChauvin is on trial" six times. "Not George Floyd," she added.
#DerekChauvin is on trial. #DerekChauvin is on trial. #DerekChauvin is on trial. #DerekChauvin is on trial. #DerekChauvin is on trial. #DerekChauvin is on trial.
Not George Floyd.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) March 9, 2021
News cycle we are about to requires this reminder. The Derek Chauvin trial is about to start. This is not the George Floyd trial. The man whose breath was squeezed out or his body is not on trial. There are other ways to honor his name beyond giving him this erroneous headline
Derek Chauvin trial live: Jury selection begins Monday; protest, vigil planned to honor George Floyd
Jury selection was set to begin Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged 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. The defense is expected to argue that Floyd's death was the result of his struggle with police, the drugs in his system and health issues such as heart disease.— Michele Norris (@michele_norris) March 8, 2021
Michele Norris, a journalist and the founder of The Race Card Project, tweeted: "News cycle we are about to requires this reminder. The Derek Chauvin trial is about to start. This is not the George Floyd trial.
"The man whose breath was squeezed out or his body is not on trial. There are other ways to honor his name beyond giving him this erroneous headline."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also explained the need for the distinction.
"Don't call this the George Floyd trial. George Floyd wasn't even charged. He was lynched on the street," the organization tweeted. "This is the Derek Chauvin trial and we are demanding justice for George."
Don’t call this the George Floyd trial. George Floyd wasn’t even charged. He was lynched on the street.
This is the Derek Chauvin trial and we are demanding justice for George.— ACLU (@ACLU) March 9, 2021
In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, columnist Renée Graham also explained why media outlets calling it the "George Floyd trial" was an issue.
"For those of us with more of a sense of dread than a sense of justice in America, this is not an accident. It's not even subtle," Graham wrote.
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.
Graham quoted the Rev. Emmett G. Price III as saying: "That is how the underpinning of white supremacist ideology, and its progeny racism, works in these subtle ways to subvert the narrative. By calling it 'the George Floyd trial,' you swap the seats in the courtroom. That's very intentional."
Graham added: "Floyd is not the defendant. That distinction belongs solely to the man accused of murdering him."
EXPLAINER: Role of alternate jurors in ex-officer's trial .
Attorneys in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death are wrangling over not just the 12 jurors who will decide the verdict but also two alternates. Derek Chauvin's trial is moving forward amid national attention around Floyd's death, plus a pandemic that could potentially disrupt proceedings expected to last several weeks. That's why the two alternates will play important role, ready to sub in for other jurors who are unable to continue with the trial.