Opening statements in the murder trial of George Floyd’s accused killer, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, began this week with devastating video evidence played in court and witnesses as young as 9 years old called to the stand.
Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded the viral video of Floyd’s death, was called to testify for the prosecution Tuesday.
“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they’re all Black,” Frazier said. “I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that and I look at how that could have been one of them.”
During his opening statement on Monday, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, indicated a key part of the defense strategy would be to argue that drugs and health problems caused Floyd’s death. Nelson also claimed the crowd of onlookers who witnessed Floyd’s death made the responding officers worry for their safety and diverted their attention from Floyd.
In this episode of [Un]Common Law, host Adam Allington takes you through the first days of Chauvin’s trial and talks with experts about what the next few weeks could look like. He speaks with Ekow Yankah, a professor of criminal law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, and Sheila Bedi, a clinical law professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and the director of the Community Justice and Civil Rights Clinic.
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