Protesters march in Minneapolis ahead of Chauvin trial

One organizer said they're watching, 'praying and wishing for justice to be served because we didn't receive it.'

Protests have begun in Minneapolis as the world turns its eyes to the small Midwestern city for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of the second-degree murder of George Floyd

This weekend saw hundreds of protesters participating in rallies outside of the residence of Governor Tim Walz. 

Demonstrators carry a scroll listing the names of people killed by police during a march in honor of George Floyd held Sunday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jury selection in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing Floyd, starts today. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

“We’re watching this trial, hoping and praying and wishing for justice to be served because we didn’t receive it,” one organizer, Toshira Garraway, told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Maybe we can get it for somebody even if we couldn’t get it for our loved ones.”

Garraway is the founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. Her fiancé, Justin Teigen, was found dead in 2009 after a chase with St. Paul Police. His death was never ruled a homicide. 

P.J. Hill, another Minnesota activist, characterized this summer’s protests as an “uprising.” Worldwide Outreach for Christ, the George Floyd Square-located church where his great-uncle serves as reverend, will offer a weekly healing circle every Saturday at 1pm during the duration of Chauvin’s trial.

“After the uprising, there was a flux of support from all kinds of people,” Hill said. “In light of a super horrible event, it was a lot of positivity that came in. Now in the months ensuing — this is my opinion and what we’ve experienced — the gates have made George Floyd’s memory into almost a bad thing. … So that’s why we wanted to combat that with doing these healing circles and say, ‘Look, we welcome people to come here. We don’t want a gated community keeping people out.'”

Read More: 3 Alabama professors suspended after being seen in ‘racist’ costumes

Jury selection in the trial has been delayed until at least Tuesday as a petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court is pending to determine if a charge of third-degree murder can be added to the current complaint in the case. 

The April 2019 conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor has arisen in court briefs, with the Minnesota Court of Appeals noting that Judge Peter Cahill should consider third-degree murder, as was filed in that case. Noor was sentenced to 12-½ years in prison. 

Read More: Piers Morgan dragged by Black activist for Meghan Markle comments: ‘You are disgusting’

“The district court therefore erred by concluding that it was not bound by the principles of law set forth in Noor and by denying the state’s motion to reinstate the charge of third-degree murder on that basis,” read the order.

Court is in recess until Tuesday morning. The trial is scheduled to be livestreamed on various media outlets. 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!