From red / dpa 08. March 2021 – 16:56
Less than ten months after the violent death of the African American George Floyd, the trial of the white ex-police officer Derek Chauvin has begun in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis – Almost a year after the unarmed African American George Floyd was killed in a police operation, the trial of the white main defendant Derek Chauvin has begun. The former policeman is charged with second degree murder, among other things, resulting in up to 40 years in prison in the US state of Minnesota. The Minneapolis court began filing motions on Monday. Judge Peter Cahill initially postponed the start of the time-consuming selection of the twelve jurors and four substitute candidates to Tuesday.
The main trial is scheduled to begin on March 29th. Cahill on Monday rejected Prosecutor Matthew Frank’s request to delay the start of the trial to await a decision by a higher authority. “We’re not trying to delay this case, but we want to get the process right,” said Frank. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, opposed the delay.
The dispute concerned the admission of an additional charge. Judge Cahill had originally denied the prosecution’s motion to also charge Chauvin with third-degree murder. There is 25 years imprisonment on it. An appeals court said on Friday that the judge should allow the indictment. This decision is not final, however, and it could end up in the Minnesota Supreme Court. Prosecutor Frank therefore argued that the final decision on this matter would have to be awaited. Judge Cahill said jury selection could begin anyway.
Chauvin is charged with second degree murder without intent. According to German law, this charge would be more like manslaughter. Chauvin also has to answer for second degree manslaughter, which could be punished with an additional 10 years imprisonment.
Fall goes around the world
The 46-year-old Floyd was killed in a brutal arrest in Minneapolis on May 25 last year. The police arrested him on suspicion of paying with a fake $ 20 bill. They pushed him to the ground in the street. Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s throat for about eight minutes while Floyd pleaded for him to breathe. According to the autopsy, Floyd passed out and died on the spot.