Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd’s death. America’s criminal justice system is not

Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd’s death. America’s criminal justice system is not

By Eric Levenson, CNN

Updated 6:10 AM ET, Sun March 28, 2021

How the fatal arrest of George Floyd unfolded

Mourners pass by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Monday, June 8, 2020. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

Thousands mourn George Floyd at Houston memorial

Stephanie Busari and daughter

Op-Ed: What speaking to my daughter about George Floyd taught me

black lives matter global gatherings protests nic robertson pkg 3

Black Lives Matter supporters gather across globe

Former officer Lane appears in court for his first hearing.

Former rookie police officers seek to blame Chauvin in Floyd death

George Floyd mural in Manchester, England.

See tributes to George Floyd painted on walls worldwide

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at a memorial service for, George Floyd at North Central University Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Al Sharpton is more hopeful today than ever. Here’s why.

Floyd’s brother shares what it was like growing up with George

A split screen of the four officers charged in George Floyd's death.

All four ex-officers charged in Floyd’s death amid protests

How the fatal arrest of George Floyd unfolded

Rdoney Floyd stands in front of a hologram honoring his brother as it is projected over the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, during a private event on July 27.  CNN obscured portions graffiti on the statue that contained profanity.

See George Floyd hologram light up Confederate monument

George Floyd

New transcript reveals final moments of George Floyd’s life

Minneapolis police chief vows to reform police department

See the Seattle area overtaken by protesters

Philonise Floyd House Judiciary hearing

Hear Philonise Floyd’s opening statement to House committee

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner hands the family a proclamation family and guests attend the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church on June 9, 2020, in Houston. - George Floyd will be laid to rest Tuesday in his Houston hometown, the culmination of a long farewell to the 46-year-old African American whose death in custody ignited global protests against police brutality and racism.Thousands of well-wishers filed past Floyd's coffin in a public viewing a day earlier, as a court set bail at $1 million for the white officer charged with his murder last month in Minneapolis. (Photo by David J. Phillip / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DAVID J. PHILLIP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Friends and family pay last respects to George Floyd

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 6: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey looks over a demonstration calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to be defunded on June 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mayor Frey spoke at the head of the march but was asked to leave by the organizers after declining to commit to fully defunding the MPD. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minneapolis mayor responds after being booed out of rally

Mourners pass by the casket of George Floyd during a public visitation for Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Monday, June 8, 2020. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

Thousands mourn George Floyd at Houston memorial

Stephanie Busari and daughter

Op-Ed: What speaking to my daughter about George Floyd taught me

black lives matter global gatherings protests nic robertson pkg 3

Black Lives Matter supporters gather across globe

Former officer Lane appears in court for his first hearing.

Former rookie police officers seek to blame Chauvin in Floyd death

George Floyd mural in Manchester, England.

See tributes to George Floyd painted on walls worldwide

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at a memorial service for, George Floyd at North Central University Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Al Sharpton is more hopeful today than ever. Here’s why.

Floyd’s brother shares what it was like growing up with George

A split screen of the four officers charged in George Floyd's death.

All four ex-officers charged in Floyd’s death amid protests

How the fatal arrest of George Floyd unfolded

Rdoney Floyd stands in front of a hologram honoring his brother as it is projected over the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, during a private event on July 27.  CNN obscured portions graffiti on the statue that contained profanity.

See George Floyd hologram light up Confederate monument

George Floyd

New transcript reveals final moments of George Floyd’s life

Minneapolis police chief vows to reform police department

See the Seattle area overtaken by protesters

Philonise Floyd House Judiciary hearing

Hear Philonise Floyd’s opening statement to House committee

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner hands the family a proclamation family and guests attend the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church on June 9, 2020, in Houston. - George Floyd will be laid to rest Tuesday in his Houston hometown, the culmination of a long farewell to the 46-year-old African American whose death in custody ignited global protests against police brutality and racism.Thousands of well-wishers filed past Floyd's coffin in a public viewing a day earlier, as a court set bail at $1 million for the white officer charged with his murder last month in Minneapolis. (Photo by David J. Phillip / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DAVID J. PHILLIP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Friends and family pay last respects to George Floyd

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 6: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey looks over a demonstration calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to be defunded on June 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mayor Frey spoke at the head of the march but was asked to leave by the organizers after declining to commit to fully defunding the MPD. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minneapolis mayor responds after being booed out of rally

(CNN)George Floyd’s public death under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last May set off an intense debate about societal issues on anti-Black racism, on police accountability and on the entire American criminal justice system.But over the next four weeks, the debate in Chauvin’s trial inside a Hennepin County, Minnesota, courthouse will shift toward legal specifics. How exactly did Floyd die, medically speaking? How aware was Chauvin that Floyd could die? What does “culpable negligence” actually mean?As opening statements in the trial begin Monday, the gulf between the societal issues at stake and the legal ones will be particularly wide, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates said.”The ideas of excessive force generally, the ideas of police reform, the ideas of police accountability, the ideas of systemic injustice, the ideas of the treatment of Black victims at the hands of White defendants — those will all be touched upon and will be the elephants in the room, but in the courtroom none of that can overshadow the government’s burden of proof in this specific trial,” Coates said.https://ed4c277472785f826bfa090ca0289e7f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html”Derek Chauvin is the defendant. Not the American justice system. Not all police officers.”

These are the people at the center of the Derek Chauvin trial

These are the people at the center of the Derek Chauvin trialChauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.close dialog

Do you want the news summarized each morning?We’ve got you.Sign Me UpBy subscribing you agree to ourprivacy policy.In a first for Minnesota, the trial will be broadcast live in its entirety to accommodate 

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