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CHAUVIN TRIAL: Looking at what’s happened since George Floyd’s death

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(KTTC) -- May 25, 2020. Officer Derek Chauvin restrains Minneapolis resident George Floyd with his knee on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes.

"Why's the man that killed George Floyd not in jail right now? I'm calling on Hennepin County Mike Freeman to act on the evidence before him and charge the officer in this case," said Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey back in May.

A couple days after Floyd's death, peaceful protesting began before things turned violent. The looting then spread to St. Paul. Former officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on May 29.

"Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman that day.

The other three officers present during Floyd's death were charged on June 1. On June 3, Chauvin's charges were upgraded.

"Today I filed an amended complain that charges former police officer Derek Chavin with murder in the second degree," said Minnesota State Attorney Keith Ellison in June.

Chauvin made his first court appearance in September for a motions hearing.

In October, Chauvin was both released on bond and had his third-degree murder charges dropped.

"Look, the jury will decide what they ultimately believe happened in this case," Ellison said.

There were more pre-trial developments this year as well.

In January, Hennepin County district judge Peter Cahill decided Chauvin would be tried separate from the other three now former officers also charged in the case due to COVID-19 concerns.

The same month, Cahill also ruled that certain evidence concerning Floyd's prior arrests could not be admitted as evidence in the trial while allowing two incidents involving Chauvin and excessive force to be presented.

In February, state prosecutors asked Judge Cahill to reinstate third-degree murder charges.

"It wants it because it's easier to prove the second degeree unintentional murder," explained Minnesota criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino who is not involved in the case. "What they have to prove with second degree is that the Mr. Chauvin did an intentional felony assault and that led to Mr. Floyd's death."

The trial is set to begin Monday, March 8 with jury selection. It is not known if the the new third degree murder charge reconsideration will delay it.

The spotlight on the case getting even brighter with this being the first criminal trial in Minnesota televised live.

Alex Tejada

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