Hello, Guardian liveblog readers, welcome back to our dedicated blog on the trial in Minneapolis of white former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in the city last May.
The proceedings are being livestreamed from the courtroom in downtown Minneapolis and we are including this stream at the top of the blog, so do tune in.
This is day six of testimony and the prosecution is still calling witnesses. Last week was harrowing, with eye-witnesses to Floyd’s death recalling their horror and helplessness and continuing trauma at watching Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes on the ground, and the playing of multiple bystander videos of the fatal encounter.
Chauvin, 45, denies all the charges against him: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Opening arguments took place last Monday as the trial got fully under way.
Then later in the week, police officers started taking the stand, describing their role in securing the scene after Floyd had been taken away by ambulance, lifeless, and locating witnesses.
And the city’s top homicide detective and longest serving current officer , Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, testified that Chauvin’s use of force was “uncalled for” and dangerous.
Here’s a recap and analysis of last week’s proceedings or if you’re very short of time, a bullet-point review, here.
With Floyd’s killing in particular spurring a huge resurgence in the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement last year and the biggest civil rights uprisings since the 1960s, this trial is in the world’s spotlight and American socio-politics and, especially, race, equity and policing, are in focus. Minneapolis is on edge, the Minnesota city braced for the outcome.
Here’s what’s coming up:
- Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo is due to testify for the prosecution, perhaps as early as today. This is a very rare occurrence indeed, for a serving police chief to testify at a trial of an officer or former officer.
- Arradondo fired Chauvin and the other three officers who were involved in arresting George Floyd on 25 May last year. The other officers will stand trial in August, together, accused of aiding and abetting murder.
- The trial has heard from bystanders, George Floyd’s girlfriend, and now is hearing from police. After this we expect medical experts to testify about what exactly caused and contributed to Floyd’s death.
- Protesters have been outside court every day. Sometimes relatives of Floyd, mostly his brother, Philonise Floyd, talk to them upon heading into the court house.
- The coronavirus pandemic has heavily restricted public and media presence in the court room, which is why for the first time in its history, Minnesota is allowing the full televising of this criminal trial.