Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Minnesota governor’s mansion on Saturday to call for police officers to be held accountable, just days before a former Minneapolis officer is set to stand trial in the death of George Floyd.
Many of the approximately 150 people who protested in Minnesota were relatives of those who had died in police encounters. Similar demonstrations were planned in cities across the country ahead of Derek Chauvin’s trial.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after Chauvin, a white man, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down on the ground. Floyd claimed he couldn’t breathe. Prosecutors provided body-camera video time stamps that show Chauvin remained in his position for about nine minutes after Floyd stopped moving. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital later that day.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and jury selection in his trial begins Monday.
Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, a coalition of families who have lost loved ones in police encounters, organized a protest in Minnesota on Saturday. Speakers said that in light of Floyd’s death, they want other fatal police encounters reopened and investigated, according to the Star Tribune.