A jury selection process has started in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged of killing African-American man George Floyd under custody last May.
The process started on Tuesday, a day after it was delayed by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill as he sought guidance from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on a pending additional charge against Chauvin, The Hill news website reported.
On March 5, the court ruled that the Dictrict Judge should consider the reinstatement of a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin which dismissed last October.
The former police officer, who was filmed pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes leading to the latter’s death on May 25, 2020, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The three other former officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, who were on the scene also face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Their trial is expected to begin in August.
Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide, with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report revealing he died from “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression”.
Floyd’s death triggered last year’s massive protests against racial inequality and police brutality, across many US cities and also internationally.
The incident followed the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in New York; and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement in recent years.