Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell began his opening argument at former officer Derek Chauvin's trial by displaying the Minneapolis Police Department badge for the jury
"What it means to be a public servant and have the honor of wearing this badge. It's a small badge that carries with it a large responsibility and large accountability to the public. What does it stand for? It represents the very motto of the Minneapolis Police Department. To protect with courage, to serve with compassion, but it also represents the essence of the Minneapolis police department approach to the use of force against its citizens when appropriate."
Blackwell told the jury that during this trial, they will learn about the oath that Minneapolis officers take. "They take an oath that, 'I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately and as you will learn, as it applies to this case, never employing unnecessary force or violence,'" he said.
"You will learn that on May 25 of 2020, Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge," he said.
Blackwell said that Chauvin "used excessive and unreasonable force" against Floyd.
"That he put his knees upon his neck and his back. Grinding and crushing him until the very breath — no, ladies and gentlemen — until the very life was squeezed out of him."