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George Floyd's family and protesters rally in front of governor's mansion in Minneapolis as the city boards up two days before white cop Derek Chauvin is put on trial for murder

 Dozens of people gathered in front of the Minnesota governor´s mansion on Saturday to demand accountability for police officers, days before a former Minneapolis officer is scheduled to go on trial in the death of George Floyd.

Many of the roughly 150 people who demonstrated in Minnesota were family members of others who died during police encounters. Similar protests were being organized in cities around the country in advance of the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd´s neck while Floyd was held face-down on the ground in handcuffs, saying he couldn´t breathe. Body-camera video time stamps provided by prosecutors show Chauvin held his position for about nine minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Jury selection in his trial begins Monday.

Demonstrators hold Black Lives Matter placards at a rally at the Minnesota governor's mansion on Saturday

Demonstrators hold Black Lives Matter placards at a rally at the Minnesota governor's mansion on Saturday

The rally took place just days before jury selection begins in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, who is accused in George Floyd's death

The rally took place just days before jury selection begins in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, who is accused in George Floyd's death

Rallygoers demanded accountability for black persons killed by police, including Philando Castile

Rallygoers demanded accountability for black persons killed by police, including Philando Castile

Protesters hold placards in support of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery on Saturday

Protesters hold placards in support of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery on Saturday

Gianna Floyd, George's daughter, stands next to a podium during a news conference on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in downtown Houston on Saturday

Gianna Floyd, George's daughter, stands next to a podium during a news conference on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in downtown Houston on Saturday

Former white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (above) is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter
George Floyd (above) died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as the black man begged for air and said 'I can't breathe'

Former white Minneapolis police officer Chauvin (left) is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter over the killing of George Floyd (right) after he knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes

Saturday's protest in Minnesota was organized by Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, a coalition of families who lost loved ones in police confrontations. The Star Tribune reports that speakers said that in light of Floyd's death, they want other fatal police encounters reopened and examined.

 Floyd's death sparked passionate protests in the streets of Minneapolis, but they quickly turned destructive. Some 1,500 businesses were damaged, destroyed or looted across the city with the damage bill totaling close to $1 billion. 


Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng - the three other police officers who were present at the time of Floyd's death - face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter and will stand trial separately in August. 

Meanwhile, businesses in the area are also boarding up in anticipation of the trial. 

Tawfiq Wazwaz, manager of grocery and tobacco store AM Gift Shop, told the Wall Street Journal he was 'nervous' after having spent tens of thousands of dollars repairing damage and hiring security to protect his business last summer.   

'We don't want what happened in the past to happen again,' he said. 

Jay Chau, the owner of a family-owned hair salon near the Minneapolis fifth police precinct, told Fox News it took months to rebuild his business after it was looted and flooded in the summer. 

Barricades surround the Hennepin County Government Center on Saturday as Minnesota fortifies ahead of Chauvin's trial

Barricades surround the Hennepin County Government Center on Saturday as Minnesota fortifies ahead of Chauvin's trial

Boarded windows at the Hennepin County Government Headquarters in Minneapolis. Minneapolis has launched a massive security effort including putting 2,000 National Guard members and 1,100 cops on the streets

Boarded windows at the Hennepin County Government Headquarters in Minneapolis. Minneapolis has launched a massive security effort including putting 2,000 National Guard members and 1,100 cops on the streets

Dubbed 'Operation Safety Net' (ONS), the multi-agency security plan includes closures of certain public buildings and streets, extra security and the launch of a city website to keep residents up to date

Dubbed 'Operation Safety Net' (ONS), the multi-agency security plan includes closures of certain public buildings and streets, extra security and the launch of a city website to keep residents up to date

Minneapolis City Hall is seen through barricades surrounding the Hennepin County Government Center

Minneapolis City Hall is seen through barricades surrounding the Hennepin County Government Center

'A lot of the suffering were minority business owners too, you know, and a lot of us start from scratch and it just takes time to heal. Hopefully we can all work together,' Chau said. 

Some business owners, however, are refusing to board up their businesses and say they are relying on police and other government officials to offer protections. 

'We're going to operate six days a week as normal,' one local restaurant manager in the downtown area told KARE 11.  

Meanwhile, city, state and federal leaders held their last security briefings Thursday just days before what will be one of the most high-profile and most closely watched trials the US has ever seen kicks off. 

Dubbed 'Operation Safety Net' (ONS), the multi-agency security plan includes closures of certain public buildings and streets, extra security from law enforcement and National Guard troops and the launch of a city website to keep residents up to date. 

Demonstrators march during a rally Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota

Demonstrators march during a rally Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota

LaTonya Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, wipes tears from her eyes after speaking at a press conference Saturday in Houston

LaTonya Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, wipes tears from her eyes after speaking at a press conference Saturday in Houston

US Representative Al Green of Texas addresses the media during a news conference on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Houston on Saturday

US Representative Al Green of Texas addresses the media during a news conference on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Houston on Saturday

The beefed up security is costing Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials at least $1 million including $420,000 on the courthouse alone, reported the Star Tribune.  

Jury selection for Chauvin's trial could take up to three weeks starting Monday with opening arguments not expected to be heard until the end of March.  

Prosecutors say Chauvin murdered Floyd with the county medical examiner ruling his death a homicide from 'cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.' 

The defense says Floyd died from the drugs found in his system and his pre-existing heart disease.   

Chauvin was arrested back in May after footage surfaced online of Floyd's Memorial Day killing in the streets of Minneapolis.  

Chauvin, who it transpired had been subject to at least 12 conduct reports with Minneapolis Police Department since 2001, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter at the end of May. 

Floyd's family called for the charges to be upgraded to murder in the first degree. 

In June Chauvin was handed another charge of second-degree murder. 

A little girl looks at a mural of Floyd in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis

A little girl looks at a mural of Floyd in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis

Pictured (left to right): Former officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao in their mugshots. The three other cops have been charged with aiding and abetting and will stand trial August

Pictured (left to right): Former officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao in their mugshots. The three other cops have been charged with aiding and abetting and will stand trial August 

A judge then dismissed the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin in October saying prosecutors did not have probable cause for the charge because they did not prove that Chauvin's actions were a danger to anyone other than Floyd. 

Under Minnesota law, a person is guilty of third-degree murder if 'without intent to effect the death of any person, [the defendant] causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life'.

The charge is rarely used in Minnesota and carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

Thao, Lane and Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. They each face up to 40 years in prison.  

1 comment:

  1. BLM SUCKS, just a strong arm of the democratic party

    ReplyDelete