Jury sits in the murder trial of ex-police officers over George Floyd’s death

© Reuters. Jury selection continues in George Floyd’s murder trial

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – The last member of a 12-person jury and three alternates were on Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was charged with murder in the murder and death of George Floyd last year.

Twelve jurors and two proxies have been in office since the trial began two weeks ago: six white women, two white men, three black men, one black woman, and two multiracial women.

A third deputy sat on Tuesday, a white man who said he worked as an accountant.

The 45-year-old chauvin pleaded not guilty of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter and said he had completed police training during Floyd’s fatal arrest on May 25, 2020.

Hennepin District Judge Peter Cahill and the case’s attorneys have interviewed dozen of potential jurors in court over the past two weeks to weigh their impartiality. Chauvin, wearing a suit and tie, made extensive notes on a yellow notepad throughout the procedure.

All respondents said they were aware of a video showing the white chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck as the 46-year-old black man begged for his life. Almost all of them said they saw at least some of the footage, sparking global protests against police brutality and racism.

The court has promised to preserve the anonymity of the jury for the duration of the trial, which is taking place in a tower in downtown Minneapolis surrounded by concrete barriers and barbed wire and watched by soldiers from the state’s National Guard.

The opening arguments are supposed to start on Monday.

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