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Jury Selection Continues in Minneapolis Trial for George Floyd’s Deadly Arrest

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The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter for his role in the fatal arrest of George Floyd, is due to resume Monday with a second week of jury selection.

Seven jurors are already sitting for a trial that is closely monitored as a means of using force and violence by law enforcement agencies against Black people in a country where virtually no police officer has been found with criminal responsibility for the murder of a civilian.

Many more potential jurors questioned by Chauvin’s judge, prosecutor and lead attorney were removed after it was decided they could not be impartial in the high -profile case.

Among the sitting jurors were four white men, including one Hispanic; a white woman; a woman of mixed race; and a Black man who immigrated to the United States about 14 years ago. All but one were in their 20s and 30s, the court said.

Chauvin, a white man, was videotaped by a spectator with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, cried for his life and his mother, who had recently died. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd, who was arrested on suspicion of passing a fake $ 20 bill, stopped moving and seemed to stop breathing.

The video shocked people across the country and abroad, producing one of the largest protest movements seen in the United States, with daily marches against racism and police brutality.

Chauvin, 44, was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty, saying he followed police training.

All of the potential jurors who have appeared so far in the Hennepin County district court in a sturdy fortified tower in downtown Minneapolis said they know who Chauvin is and what the video shows him; most said they had formed a negative opinion of him, although some said they could remain open to the possibility that his actions were not criminal.

The process of selecting an impartial jury could be affected by the city’s announcement Friday that it has agreed to pay $ 27 million to settle a federal death lawsuit brought by Floyd’s relatives.

The court plans to begin opening arguments on March 29. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charges.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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