Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 7:04 PM ET, Mon March 29, 2021
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8:57 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

The Derek Chauvin murder trial begins today. Here's what we know about the death of George Floyd.

Minnesota National Guard stand guard outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 29 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Minnesota National Guard stand guard outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 29 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

The murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will begin later today with opening statements.

Chauvin faces of second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder for the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

Here's a recap of the case that spurred widespread protests against police brutality and racism:

  • May 25: Floyd, 46, died after pleading for help as Chauvin kneeled on Flloyd’s neck to pin him – unarmed and handcuffed – to the ground. Floyd had been arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, police have said.
  • May 26: It is announced that four Minneapolis police officers have been fired for their involvement in the death of Floyd.
  • May 27: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard after protests and demonstrations erupt throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • Also on May 27: Surveillance video from outside a Minneapolis restaurant was released and appears to contradict police claims that Floyd resisted arrest before an officer knelt on his neck.
  • May 28 to 29: Several buildings were damaged and the Minneapolis police department’s Third Precinct was set ablaze during protests.
  • May 29: Chauvin is arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
  • June 3: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder for the three previously uncharged officers.
  • July 15: Floyd’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the police officers involved in his death.
  • October 21: A Hennepin County judge drops the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin (This charge would later be reinstated due to an appeals court ruling.)
  • March 12: The Minneapolis city council unanimously voted to approve a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family.