MINNEAPOLIS, United States (AFP) — Jury selection began on Tuesday in the high-profile trial of the white police officer accused of killing George Floyd, a Black man whose death sparked mass protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.
Former Minneapolis Police Department Derek Chauvin is facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with Floyd’s May 25 death.
Jury selection had been scheduled to begin on Monday but was delayed for a day as prosecutors sought to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against the 44-year-old Chauvin.
A court of appeals has not yet issued its ruling but Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill decided to go ahead with jury selection anyway.
This selection process is expected to take about three weeks with opening arguments in the trial expected to begin around March 29.
Chauvin was dismissed from the police force after he was captured on video by a bystander with his knee on the neck of a pleading, gasping Floyd for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death laid bare racial wounds in the United States and sparked months of sometimes violent protests against racism both in the US and abroad.