George Floyd murder trial a 'referendum' on American justice: family lawyer

By: AFP      Published: 11:10 PM, 29 Mar, 2021
George Floyd murder trial a 'referendum' on American justice: family lawyer

The trial of the white police officer facing murder and manslaughter charges for the death of George Floyd is a referendum on American justice and equality, a Floyd family lawyer said Monday.

"Today starts a landmark trial that will be a referendum on how far America has come in its quest for equality and justice for all," said Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer. "The whole world is watching."

Opening arguments begin in Minneapolis on Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white police officer accused of killing Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. 

Crump, who represents Chauvin's family, warned that the defense in the Minnesota trial will try to impugn Floyd's reputation to defend Chauvin, who held his knee to Floyd's neck during an arrest on May 25, 2020 for more than eight minutes before Floyd lost consciousness and died.

The incident, which was filmed by bystanders, rocked the United States and led to widespread protests and riots over police mistreatment of African Americans.

"They are going to try to assassinate the character of George Floyd," Crump said.

"But this is the trial of Derek Chauvin, Let's look at his record," he added.

"The facts are simple. What killed George Floyd was an overdose of excessive force."


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.