Derek Chauvin trial opening statements: What to expect

All eyes are on Minneapolis as opening statements in the Derek Chauvin trial begin this morning.

The big picture: Ten months after Floyd’s killing rocked the world, many see the trial as a defining moment in our collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

What to expect: Day one includes instructions to the jury and opening statements. What actually caused Floyd’s death will likely be a central theme of the arguments and testimony to come.

  • Chauvin’s defense is expected to point to an underlying heart condition and a “high level of fentanyl in his system” as factors, said Mary Moriarity, the former Hennepin County chief public defender.
  • The prosecution, meanwhile, will rely heavily on medical examiner testimony and argue that “what substantially caused [Floyd’s] death, was the compression and the actions by the former officers” as Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck.

Outside the courthouse, expect protests and a heavy (and growing) security presence.

Of note: As we’ve reported, convictions of police officers are rare, even when a fatal encounter is caught on camera.

  • But unlike in those other cases, experts say it’s hard to argue that Chauvin’s actions were self-defense or the result of a “split-second” decision made in the line of duty.

What to watch: The trial will undoubtedly bring renewed attention to the debate over the future of policing in Minneapolis and beyond.

  • The campaign manager for one proposal to overhaul MPD told Torey they’re on track to collect signatures needed to qualify for the ballot by April 30.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Source: Axios Breaking News

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Related Post

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Breaking News, Newsletter, Blog Posts and Special Deals from 1631 Digital and their media/marketing partners.

Subscribers agree to be contacted from 1631 Digital News and/or their media/marketing partners for breaking news alerts, newsletters and special media marketing offers via email, mail and/or texting communication.