Live: Opening statements begin in Derek Chauvin trial

Opening statements begin Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd

Court resumes at 9 a.m. The trial is being broadcast live, gavel to gavel, on FOX 9 and streaming live at fox9.com/live

Fifteen jurors were seated during jury selection, but as long as the first 14 show up with no issue, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill will dismiss the 15th juror before opening statements. 

The 14 jurors will hear the whole case, but only 12 will deliberate. The two alternate jurors will step in if one of the 12 has to excuse themselves from the case. Judge Cahill has instructed the jurors to avoid any media coverage of the trial. 

Opening statements are some of the most pivotal moments in the trial besides the reading of the verdict. This is a chance for the lawyers to lay out their case and build a relationship with the jury. Besides closing arguments, it is the only time lawyers will directly address the jurors. 

The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. 

Derek Chauvin charges

Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May.

Judge Cahill reinstated the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin during the first week of the trial. 

Chauvin trial streaming and TV information

The Chauvin trial will be live streamed, gavel to gavel, at fox9.com/live and the FOX 9 News App. You can also find the FOX 9 stream on Tubi through connected TVs. When the trial itself begins March 29, FOX 9 will broadcast it live on FOX 9 for the duration, including a quick recap of the day when court adjourns, followed by the FOX 9 News at 5. 

Who is in the courtroom?

  • Trial Judge Peter Cahill
  • 1 judge's clerk
  • 1 court reporter
  • Derek Chauvin, the defendant
  • The jury. The empaneled jury will consist of 12 jurors and 2 alternates.
  • Up to 4 lawyers or staff for the prosecution, led by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.
  • Defense attorney Eric Nelson and up to 2 staff from his law firm
  • 1 witness at a time in the courtroom
  • 1 George Floyd family member
  • 1 Derek Chauvin family member
  • 2 members of pooled media - 1 print and 1 broadcast or digital media
  • 1 broadcast technician

Court schedule

The Derek Chauvin trial is being held in Courtroom 1856 of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis. Court will begin at 9 a.m. and will adjourn at 4:30 p.m. most days. 

Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin on March 29. A verdict is not expected until mid to late April. 

QUICK READ: Derek Chauvin trial essential info and FAQs

Who are the selected jurors? 

  • Juror No. 2: White man in his 20s
  • Juror No. 9: Mixed/multiracial woman in her 20s
  • Juror No. 19: White man in his 30s
  • Juror No. 27: Black man in his 30s 
  • Juror No. 44: White woman in her 50s 
  • Juror No. 52: Black man in his 30s
  • Juror No. 55: White woman in her 50s
  • Juror No. 79: Black man in his 40s 
  • Juror No. 85: Mixed/multiracial woman in her 40s
  • Juror No. 89: White woman in her 50s
  • Juror No. 91: Black woman in her 60s
  • Juror No. 92: White woman in her 40s
  • Juror No. 96: White woman in her 50s
  • Juror No. 118: White woman in her 20s
  • Juror No. 131: White man in his 20s

READ MORE: Who are the selected jurors? 

Jurors will only be referred to by a random, previously assigned number because Judge Cahill has ordered their identities to remain a secret for the duration of the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Cahill will decide when the jurors’ identities can be made public.  

The jury will be partially sequestered during the trial and fully sequestered while they are deliberating, which means they cannot go home until they reach a verdict or the judge determines they are hung.  However, the judge can order full sequestration of the jury at any time if the partial sequestration proves ineffective in keeping the jurors free from outside influence.

Courtroom restrictions

Courtroom 1856 was renovated specifically for the Derek Chauvin trial to maximize capacity and maintain COVID-19 social distancing standards. The courtroom is located on the 18th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center. 

Judge Cahill has ordered certain behavior in the courtroom:

Jurors, attorneys, witnesses and support staff must wear masks and keep six feet from other people.

Masks can be removed when giving testimony, examining witnesses, giving opening statements or closing arguments. Attorneys must conduct all witness examinations and arguments from the lectern.

Any sidebar conferences will be conducted over wireless headsets. Chauvin will be outfitted with a headset to listen to these conferences, which will be off-the-record.

Jurors will be escorted to courtroom each day by deputies or security. No one can have contact with jurors except the judge, court personnel and deputies. Any attorney contact is limited to the jury selection process when court is in session.

Jurors will only be referred to by a randomized number.

Death of George Floyd

George Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. The intersection has remained closed to traffic since Floyd's death and has been dubbed George Floyd Square.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 17: People participate in a demonstration on August 17, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Community members came together for a rally to protest the city's potential forceful reopening 38th Street and Chicago Ave, an unofficial

A widely-shared video taken by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he repeatedly cried, "I can’t breathe." 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced the firing of all four officers the following day. Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd’s death on May 29 and the three others were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting on June 3.

TIMELINE: George Floyd's death to Derek Chauvin's trial

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's report ruled the death of George Floyd a homicide. The updated report stated that George Floyd experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement.