Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, who sparked historic protests against racism and police brutality, the investigation into the alleged death of an African-American police officer began in Minneapolis this Monday, with both parties presenting their initial arguments.
Floyd was stabbed in the knee for about nine minutes while lying on the sidewalk, on May 25, 2020, by former police officer Derek Zhou, who faces second-degree murder and murder charges.
The moment of the arrest, in which Floyd said several times that he could not breathe, a passerby filmed was uploaded on the Internet. These films went around the world and led crowds to the streets of New York, Seattle, Paris or Sydney to condemn racism and police abuse against minorities.
The lawsuit was filed by Jerry Blackwell, a prominent African-American lawyer from the city.
Minneapolis officials have called for calm and planned protests in court Monday morning to be “peaceful.”
Fearing a violent outbreak, the court’s defense strengthened the process, which lasted three or four weeks. Due to the epidemic, the test will be conducted without spectators, but the hearings will be broadcast live.
For the trial of this case, 12 members of the arbitral tribunal and the transferees were selected for 11 days. There are nine females and six males in total, nine are white, four are black and two are identified as multiracial.
Judgment is expected in late April or early May.
“Suv never moved”
Prosecutors will try to show that the 45-year-old Sovereign used his power by keeping George Floyd, who had already been handcuffed and did not oppose his arrest, on the ground for 9:29 minutes. Renowned civil rights lawyer Jerry Blackwell, citing police guidelines on the use of force, explained that detaining a person face-to-face is a short-term measure and handcuffing an arrested person. Pressing his leg against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, Blackwell brought him to cardiac arrest and death.
“There is no need to use that level of force against an insecure person who has already been handcuffed,” he charged. Although Floyd insisted 27 times that he could not breathe, he stayed on Sue’s neck: “Sue never moved.” In addition, police said that although he was trained in cardiac resuscitation, he did not help Floyd, and although he was already unconscious on the ground, he did not remove the pressure from his neck and did not even allow it. The paramedics also took his main symptoms: “It didn’t wake up (from Floyd’s neck) without a pulse.”
According to the prosecutor, for the defense of the case, witnesses who repeatedly asked police to get up from Floyd’s neck and Suu Kyi’s colleagues will be asked to intervene to stop the attack. The director of the Minneapolis Police Department, the coroner who performed the autopsy, explains how Suu Kyi’s maneuver led to the murder of George Floyd; And the 911 sender answered the call and after several minutes consulted the police sergeant who found that the scene was identical.
Blackwell said they would look into allegations of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, murder and use of excessive force.
“Over 9:29 minutes”
Suu Kyi’s attorney, Eric Nelson, will try to prove that the officer who pleaded not guilty followed approved procedures to control a suspect and that he was not responsible for Floyd’s death.
At the autopsy the defense of the former policeman argues that Floyd died because he was 46 years old, and he was determined to have fentanyl, a powerful opiate, in his blood.
“There should not be two justice systems”
On the opposite end, Attorney Ben Crump said Sunday: “The killing of George Floyd was the result of excessive force.”
“How can anyone see that Derek Suu Kyi did not commit a crime that ended in the death of George Floyd?” That’s what Floyd’s family lawyer Ben Crump told the Sunday Press, “an execution in broad daylight.”
“(Sue’s) took the soul out of my brother’s body, he begged his mother. No man should do that. George, I need justice; we need a hope,” said Pilonis Floyd, the deceased’s brother, at one point this Sunday. Greater Friendly Missionary Baptist Church in southern Minneapolis, with many family members.
“There should not be two justice systems, one for white America and the other for black America. We are one,” said Pilonis, who received loud applause from hundreds of people gathered at the church.
The mayor’s office reached an agreement with the family
Suu Kyi’s attorney criticized the deal, saying it could affect jurors.
Twelve judges must reach a verdict unanimously. Otherwise, the test will be considered void. Many fear that if this situation occurs, or is liberated, it could trigger new riots in Minneapolis.
It is indeed very rare for police officers to be tested for acts of violence in the performance of their duties and the penalties are even higher. Due to the epidemic, three other police officers involved, Alexander Queng, Thomas Lane and Doo Tao, will be questioned in August for “complicity in the murder.”