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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11:13 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecutors show video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell is showing video evidence from the day George Floyd was killed.

The graphic footage shows former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck. Floyd can be heard saying "I can't breathe."

"I need to tell you ahead of time that the video is graphic," Blackwell said before the video was played. The prosecutor said a bystander took the video.

Blackwell said the the footage would allow jurors to see for themselves what happened, "without lawyer talk" and "without lawyer spin."

He added that the prosecution team plans to show more videos throughout the trial.

11:05 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Here is who the prosecution expects to call as witnesses in the case

Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell presented a list of witnesses that the prosecution expects to call to make its case to the jury against former officer Derek Chauvin.

Blackwell said that they plan to call a number of police officers to testify, including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

He also said that prosecutors plan to call "some of the bystanders" that were on the scene on May 25, 2020.

In addition, Blackwell said the prosecution will present expert testimony from medical professionals that will prove George Floyd's death was from asphyxia.

These witnesses will include the county medical examiner who will "tell you what he found" after Floyd died.

11:05 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecutors plan to call on police to testify about officer training in providing care: "In your custody is in your care"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell discussed how a core principle of the the Minneapolis Police Department is often described in a phrase "in your custody, is in your care" and how that plays a role in their case against Derek Chauvin, along with testimony from police officers about providing care.

"You're also going to learn about another very important policy in the Minneapolis Police Department, that is a core principle of policing. You will hear this phrase that police have to live by in terms of how it is they relate to the public. 'In your custody, is in your care. In your custody, is in your care.' Meaning if you have an officer have an individual, a subject that is in your custody, it is your duty to care for that person. And you will learn that caring, ladies and gentlemen, is not a feeling. It is a verb. It's something you're supposed to do to provide care for that person. You're going to hear from any number of police officers who will talk about this duty to provide care," Blackwell said during the prosecutions opening statement.

10:53 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecutor: Chauvin did not remove his knee after he was told Floyd didn't have a pulse

Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell laid out the timeline for the jury of when former officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd's neck.

Blackwell said that while Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck, he was told "twice" by other responders on the scene "that they can't even find a pulse" on Floyd.

Despite that, Blackwell said, Chauvin did not remove his knee.

"You will be able to see for yourself what he does in this response. You'll see that he does not let up. He does not get up. Even when Mr. Floyd does not even have a pulse, it continues on," Blackwell said. 
11:49 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecutor: Chauvin "betrayed" his oath as a police officer to never employ unnecessary force

Pool
Pool

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."

Watch:

10:49 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Judge outlines key things jurors should not do during the trial 

Pool
Pool

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill outlined some rules the jury should follow throughout the extent of the trial. 

14 jurors, including two alternates, will hear the case, but Cahill wanted to select 15 in case any jurors were excused before the start of opening statements today.  

Cahill noted that although the trial is being broadcast live, the jurors will never appear on video.

Here's a list of key things jurors should not do during the trial, according to Cahill:

  • "You're not investigators. You're not to go out and do any looking. You're not to ask people about this matter."
  • "You're not to use the internet to look for information about the case or about the law. You should avoid all news if possible. But at the very least, you should avoid media coverage of this case." The judge noted they should avoid news coverage in newspapers, radio, television, social media or any other media.
  • "Remember, you must not talk to anyone who is involved in the case. The attorneys, the witnesses, or spectators."
  • "When you go home during the trial, family and friends will be curious as to what you're doing. You need to tell them you're sitting as a juror in a criminal case and that's all you should tell them."
  • "I have to be realistic, and tell you that you can tell your immediate family in your household what you are doing. Because they will probably have figured it out by now. But in any case, feel free to share, but with no one else."
  • "Please refrain from Facebook, and Twitter. You may access such absent tools but please do not publish any information."
  • "Please disable any news feeds that may show up on social media accounts that may appear on this case."

10:39 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

NOW: Opening statements are underway

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper

Pool
Pool

Opening statements have begun in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.  

Chauvin knelt on 46-year-old George Floyd’s neck on May 25 as Floyd told Chauvin and three other officers he couldn't breathe.

Judge Peter Cahill just heard a preliminary motion about what lawyers can say about George Floyd’s state of mind during the arrest. He also excused the 15th and final juror selected.  

Fourteen jurors, including two alternates, will hear the case, but Cahill wanted to select 15 in case any jurors are excused before the start of opening statements today.  

Juror 15 was a White man in his 20s.  

Of the remaining jurors, eight are white, four are Black and two are mixed race, according to information released by the court. Chauvin is White, and Floyd was Black so the makeup of the jury in predominantly White Minneapolis is being closely watched.   

Three jurors are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, four are in their 50s and one juror is in her 60s.

10:24 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

George Floyd's family and attorneys are kneeling for 8 minutes 46 seconds outside the courthouse

CNN
CNN

Members of George Floyd's family, Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Benjamin Crump are taking a knee outside the Minneapolis courthouse for eight minutes and 46 seconds before entering the building for the beginning of Derek Chauvin's trial.

"We are taking a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds, and we want you to think of during that time, why Chauvin didn't, in that time get his knee up?," Sharpton said in a news conference this morning.

Sharpton marked each minute out loud as it passed.

In a news conference before the moment of silence, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump described what he believes the trial means for the family and the country.

"Today starts a landmark trial that will be a referendum on how far America has come in its quest for equality and justice for all," Crump said.

"George Floyd galvanized cities all across America and all across the world when that video, that video of torture was viewed millions and millions of times. So, America, this is the moment, this is the moment to show the rest of the world that you are the standard bearer when it comes to liberty and justice for all. The whole world is watching," he continued. 

Note: CNN has previously reported that while the original criminal complaint in the case says Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the Hennepin County Attorney's office told CNN it was actually seven minutes and 46 seconds.

Watch the moment:

9:48 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Chauvin trial set to resume with preliminary issues and opening statements expected 

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper

Court proceedings are expected to resume at 10 a.m. ET in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin's trial for the death of George Floyd. 

Attorneys will discuss outstanding legal issues before the jury arrives.

Opening statements are expected to start when these preliminary matters are resolved.

Chauvin knelt on 46-year-old Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes on May 25, 2020 as Floyd told Chauvin and three other officers he couldn't breathe. Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

This is the 13th day of the trial by CNN’s count.