George Floyd’s family take knee with Rev Al Sharpton as death video to be played at Derek Chauvin trial

THE FAMILY of George Floyd knelt outside of the courthouse on Monday morning before the first day of Derek Chauvin's murder trial began.

Rev. Al Sharpton and Attorney Ben Crump joined the family for a press briefing before entering the courtroom in which they slammed the video of Floyd's death as "torture."

The family then knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time that Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the 46-year-old's neck before he died.

Crump hit out at claims that Floyd caused his own death and said that Chauvin was on trial, not the victim.

"This is a landmark moment in American history," Crump said.

"This is the moment to show the rest of the world that you are the standard bearer when it comes to liberty and justice to all. The whole world is watching."

"Chauvin is in the courtroom but America is on trial," added Rev. Al Sharpton.

Several members of Floyd's family spoke, calling for "justice" and stating that someone must be held accountable for the father-of-one's death.

"We came to get justice, and nothing less," Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams said.

His brother Terence Floyd said that they watched the video of Floyd's death as it was the last time they could hear their brother's voice.

In an interview with Today earlier on Monday, Floyd's other brother Philonise called the trail a "slam dunk."

"We know that this case, to us, is a slam dunk because we know the video is the proof, that's all you need," he said.

"The guy was kneeling on my brother's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a guy who was sworn in to protect. He killed my brother in broad daylight."

Video taken by bystanders of George Floyd's death is expected to be played in opening statements on Monday.

Almost all of the 15 jurors selected said they have seen at least part of the video in which the white ex-Minneapolis cop pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes.

Prosecutors have not outlined when they will play the video but legal experts believe it could be in opening statements.

“If you’re a prosecutor you want to start off strong," Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor and managing director of Berkeley Research Group in Chicago, told Associated Press.

"You want to frame the argument – and nothing frames the argument in this case as much as that video."

The video of Floyd's death sparked months of outrage and protests across the US.

It showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck while three other police officers also held him down.

Chauvin continued to kneel on the black man even as Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe."

Floyd went limp while he was lying on his stomach in handcuffs and was later pronounced dead.

The key questions at Chauvin's trial will be whether he caused Floyd’s death and whether his actions were reasonable.

His defense is expected to argue in their opening statements that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death as he swallowed drugs before his arrest.

The county medical examiner's autopsy noted fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system.

However, it listed his cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

“They could bring up everything my brother did in his past,” Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, said at a vigil in a Minneapolis church on Sunday night.

“But that don’t have anything to do with those 8 minutes and 46 seconds.” 

In Minneapolis, city leaders are determined to avoid the damaging riots that erupted in the wake of Floyd's death, as bystander video spread rapidly on social media.

The courthouse has been fortified with concrete barrriers, fencing andbarned and razor wire.

The National Guard has also been mobilized for the four-week trial.

Chauvin is facing an unintentional second-degree murder charge and a third-degree murder charge.

Prosecutors have to prove Chauvin’s conduct was a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death for him to be convicted on the second-degree murder charge.

They must prove that Chauvin's actions were reckless and without regard for human life if he is to be convicted of second-degree murder.

Chauvin also faces a manslaughter charge for which prosecutors must prove that he cuased Floyd's death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk.

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