MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is set to begin on Monday, and it could be the most-watch trial in Minnesota history.
What do you need to know ahead of opening statements? WCCO-TV’s Jason DeRusha will be anchoring the station’s gavel-to-gavel coverage on CBSN Minnesota. Here’s what to expect.
What To Expect From WCCO During Chauvin Trial:
- Live daily gavel-to-gavel streaming coverage of the trial on CBSN Minnesota, available on WCCO’s new app, online and on Pluto TV, with key moments and testimony simulcast on WCCO-TV,
- Regularly updated minute-by-minute daily update articles on WCCO.com,
- Push alerts from our app flagging the major breaking developments as they happen,
- Recaps of the day’s most important developments on our Instagram stories,
- Video clips of key moments from the courtroom on all WCCO digital and social channels,
- In-depth, contextual analysis from legal experts,
- Live-tweet threads from both @WCCO as well as WCCO’s reporters, and
- Full coverage of the community’s reactions.
After 11 days of questioning, challenges and surprises, the jury is set in the Derek Chauvin trial. Plexiglas and social distancing are in place in the courtroom while outside are barbed wire and armed security.
The court has a schedule to follow. The lawyers are expected to arrive in court at 9 a.m., and the jurors are to follow at 9:15 a.m. Proceedings are slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. The court will take breaks, including a lunch break, and will wrap up every afternoon around 4:30 p.m.
Under normal circumstances, this trial would be historic. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unprecedented.
No one in the courtroom is required to be vaccinated. Jurors are masked and distanced, so if one tests positive for the virus, only that person would be quarantined. One of two alternates could also step in to take a sick juror’s place.
Here’s what we won’t see: There won’t be much family in the courtroom. George Floyd’s family gets one seats, so does Chauvin’s.
There’s not much room for reporters either. Only two reporters will be allowed to socially distance inside the courtroom. About 40 other journalists, from local, national and international media, will be working across the street at what’s being called the Media Business Center.
What also won’t be seen is Chauvin walking into the courthouse each day, as there are secure entrance points. There won’t likely be any attorney news conferences either; those aren’t allowed inside the Hennepin County Government Center.
What will you see? Lots of security — local police, sheriff’s deputies, and the Minnesota National Guard. There will also be protests, both outside the government center and at the George Floyd memorial site at 38th and Chicago.
For the first time in a Minnesota criminal case, you’ll be able to see everything that happens in court. Testimony is expected to last two to four weeks.
“It’s a huge deal, and it’s a very important deal,” said defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case. “This is the biggest case in Minnesota history, and it’s the first one televised.”
Tamburino will be WCCO-TV’s legal analyst for the trial.
Because COVID-19 restrictions don’t allow for public access in the courtroom, the court ordered live video and audio feeds, approving each camera position.
Joe Tamburino and Jason DeRusha will guide viewers on CBSN Minnesota from opening statements to the verdict.
“This is a great window into the criminal justice system,” Tamburino said. “You’re seeing justice in action.”
You can also watch on a smart TV, just use the CBS News app or watch through Pluto TV.
Assuming there are no developments over the weekend, opening statements are slated to begin Monday morning.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He has pleaded not guilty.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after being arrested outside a south Minneapolis convenience store. Bystander video of the arrest showed Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he lay prone, handcuffed and repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe.
The bystander video was viewed widely online, sparking days of unrest in the Twin Cities and a national reckoning on racial inequality.
Three other former Minneapolis police officers are charged in Floyd’s death. They are slated to stand trial for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in August.