Minneapolis – Fence and concrete barriers encircle the county government center. Neighboring companies are set up. And Intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Street, Where George Floyd died, remains closed to traffic.
But Reverend Billy J. Russell welcomed Minneapolis residents to his church on Sunday night.
“We’re trying to get to the front end of all this to prepare people’s minds and hearts for what is going to happen,” said Russell, a pastor at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Great Church. “Everyone is on the edge of the abyss now.”
Ten months since then George Floyd dies in police custodyAnd Opening data is scheduled to begin on Monday In the trial, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was murdered. Local activists planned Sunday rallies and protests to honor Floyd’s life and draw attention to the cause.
Who is on the jury ?:The jury was selected in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin
More than a dozen local organizations were appointed to sponsor a march at the Minneapolis Government Center on Sunday afternoon.
“We want to give people a space to meet and talk about what we have experienced through the jury selection process,” said Chunnell Allen of Black Lives Matter Twin Cities. “And to let the system know that we are paying attention. We are paying attention to the details, and we will keep emerging.”
Russell held an evening vigil at his church with members of the Floyd family, Reverend Al Sharpton and civil rights attorney Ben Cromb. Russell said he has seen most of the jury selection over the past three weeks and plans to continue to pursue the trial.
A few dozen supporters gathered at the Evangelist of Great Friendship Sunday night to listen to songs, prayers and speeches during the vigil and rally led by the George Floyd family, Reverend Al Sharpton, and the family’s lawyer Ben Cromb.
The mood on the campus was fun as Russell welcomed the crowd from behind the podium as Sharpton delivered a eulogy at Floyd’s funeral.
He urged them to heed the trial and peaceful protest.
Protesters – some cheering and banging drums and carrying pictures of Floyd – demonstrated outside the courtroom all around. 11 days jury selection, which concluded last week. Some said they planned to protest for the remainder of the trial.
Now is the time to make the effort to win. Russell said, “It’s time for victory.”
Sharpton noted, when he spoke, that many of the cases have not resulted in criminal charges against the officers involved, citing previous incidents including the beating of Rodney King and the murder of Eric Garner. He said Monday was not only the start of Chauvin’s trial, but an opportunity for the country to hold the police accountable.
“The criminal justice system will be tried tomorrow,” said Sharpton. “Chauvin is in the courtroom, but America is on trial.”
Crump, along with his legal team, echoed Sharpton’s sentiments, describing the trial as “a referendum on how far we have come in our quest for equality for all.”
Kramp led the crowd, chanting, “This murder case isn’t difficult when you look at the George Floyd torture video.” He also mentioned the tension in the city, saying he was calling for peace and justice.
“We need to make sure we watch everything unfold. Whatever we have to do, we will do it in a peaceful spirit,” he said. “Even with convictions, no amount of justice can restore Mr. Floyd’s life, but it can restore hope for a system that should include all citizens.”
Floyd’s brothers, Filones and Terence, spoke at the vigil about the need to reform the criminal justice system.
Terence Floyd remembers speaking at the spot where his brother was killed and thanking the protesters for continuing to demonstrate. He became emotional when he talked about the need for accountability.
He said, “We demand justice from the regime, but this gathering that we are doing now is what is needed.” “We will seek justice from God.”
“We need justice, we need it now!” He said.
His other brother Felones Floyd spoke of the need to end qualifying immunity and increase police transparency. He described his brother’s death as a “mass murder in the modern era.”
He said, “Give me conviction, give the world what it wants to see.”
Relatives join George Floyd The protest hymn album project
Members of A Mother’s Love, a community group working to reduce gun violence and instances of domestic violence, were in the city center every day of jury choice wearing bright pink shirts and black jeans, handing out leaflets offering emotional support and encouraging residents to do so. Protest peacefully.
“It’s about making sure people have a safe place to grieve,” said Don Easter Morris, director of the initiative and a resident of the Twin Cities. “The community is still grieving the loss of the business that was there last summer. We’re still rebuilding.”
Morris said there was “a little bit of a sense of heightened tension” as the opening statements approached. “There are growing concerns about how the trial will proceed,” she said.
Morris said she plans to attend the vigil at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Grand Church. She said that the day is “for prayers and peace in all parts of the city, whatever happens.”
Minnesota National Guard personnel have been stationed outside the courtroom, but officials said last week that there were no trial arrests and no reports of property damage. Police officials said they intend to increase their presence as the opening statements begin.
“It wouldn’t be a big increase,” John Harrington, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety commissioner, told a news conference last week. “At this time, there is no information or intelligence that justifies a significant increase in our situation.”
Floyd, a black man, passed away on May 25, 2020After Derek Chauvin, who is white, fixed his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd, lying on a street in Minneapolis under Chauvin, shouted, “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times.
The incident sparked hundreds of protests around the world. While the majority of the protests were peaceful, hundreds of businesses were looted in Minneapolis and a police station was set on fire.
Jury selection for the trial began in early March. The court faced some early setbacks after the city She announced a $ 27 million settlement With the Floyd family. Two jurors who were jury members told the judge that they could no longer take part after seeing the news, and were excluded from the jury.
Defense and prosecution attorneys worked through more than 100 potential jurors, asking each about their knowledge of the case and opinions on a range of issues, including discrimination, police in communities of color and the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the end, the court selected 15 jurors. Twelve jurors will deliberate, two will act as substitutes, and one will be dismissed if all the others appear in the opening statements on Monday. The committee consists of nine white and six colored jurors, including three black men, a black woman, and two mixed-race women.