Tuesday’s first jury was chosen for the criminal prosecution of the American agents who killed black prisoner George Floyd last year. The violent killing of Floyd in late May of last year sparked a storm of anger and protests around the world against racism and excessive police brutality.
Former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for manslaughter. The first jury was supposed to be selected on Monday, but this was delayed because the prosecutor wanted to return a number of charges that had been previously dropped.
The first three jurors were selected after detailed, hours of questioning by the prosecution and Chauvin’s attorney. Ultimately, a dozen jurors must determine whether Chauvin is guilty of the charges against him.
The former policeman faces up to 40 years in prison. Jury selection could take another three weeks. The opening speeches are expected to be held on March 29.
Floyd’s relatives are pleased that the trial has finally begun
A potential juror, a woman who speaks Spanish and speaks poor English, was disqualified from the jury by Chauvin’s attorney. He found a young white chemist, a young woman of color, and a white man in his thirties working as an accountant, qualified to perform jury duties on both sides.
Floyd’s cousin, who was present at the court, said she was “optimistic” about the trial. “It’s bittersweet for us,” said Shredoh Tate, who represented the family. But we are pleased to start the legal process. “