It seems more like a decade has passed than only a year since the events surrounding the death of George Floyd touched off a firestorm of reaction both locally and around the world.
At long last, the accused, whose name has been dragged through the mud by so may, finally gets his day in court, and a chance to maintain his innocence, while the prosecution has their chance to prove his guilt.
As opening statements for both sides presented the first contours of the case as they would be presenting it, it became increasingly clear that THIS is why we rely on the sober reflection of a judge and jury rather than the reflexive conclusion of public opinion.
But the Prosecution and the Defense presented an even-keeled appeal to logic and reason, promising they would provide a mountain of evidence, testimony, and medical experts to fill in enough gaps in this story to conclusively prove that their side has the correct understanding of what happened on that fateful day in which George Floyd encountered the police.
The prosecution fired the first salvo, promising they would call a barrage of experts and provide evidence that — despite any other complicating details — would prove that those fateful nine minutes on the video were the specific cause of George Floyd’s ultimate death.
Unlike the hyperbole and invective we’ve heard from the various activists in the past year, this was intentionally professorial and academic in its approach. He did an effective job of laying out what direction he intends to be taking this case. He began by emphasizing the triviality of the events that led up to the original arrest, and the number of officers on the scene for such an inconsequential crime, and the observations of concerned bystanders.
His counterpart in presenting the police officer’s defense was similarly well-prepared for this moment in the world spotlight. Like his counterpart in the prosecution, he was leaning heavily on key details of evidence, in his case autopsy details that pointed to a cause of death that would exonerate the accused, as well mitigating circumstances not only in the events surrounding his arrest, but details he suggests did show concern for the late George Floyd, including two separate calls for paramedics, with the second call more urgent and a higher priority.
We give you the chance to review them both at your leisure and see if the early assertions of either lawyer tip you toward one or the other position.
To be honest, there is plenty of time for this case to play out, and there are many, many gaps yet to be properly filled in if, in fact, they ever CAN get properly filled in.
Let us know in the comments what your reactions to the trial are so far, and what you imagine the final outcome might be.