HOUSTON - The murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is scheduled to begin Monday.
Chauvin is being charged with second-degree murder, and manslaughter, following the death of George Floyd in May of 2020. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died following the incident. Witness cellphone video shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes.
"We feel that we will get a conviction and we will get justice," said Philonise Floyd, George’s brother.
George’s family and friends gathered in Houston Saturday ahead of the upcoming trial. Floyd, a Houston native, died at 46-years-old.
"Everybody that has tragedies like this, all they can do is pray for their family," said Floyd. "We will get this conviction and we will be able to stand proud."
"We have a great support system from family and friends and countless others," said Rodney Floyd, George’s brother. "We’re just staying together. Unified and strong."
The former Minneapolis police officer’s defense submitted a brief Friday in court. In the document, Chauvin’s attorney claims "fentanyl was present" in George’s autopsy report. Adding, "If Mr. Floyd had been found dead at home alone, and no other apparent causes, this would be acceptable to call an overdose."
"The family is prepared for this ordeal," said Benjamin Crump, Floyd’s family attorney. "They know that they’re trying to assassinate the character of George Floyd, after we watched them assassinate his person."
Some businesses in Minneapolis have boarded up or shut down, while barricades have been installed outside Hennepin County Courthouse. These moves are being made as a precaution, after Minneapolis buildings were set on fire last summer.
"Those outside instigators that were certainly present in late May and early June, they seek to cause destruction in chaos in our city, by using peaceful protesters as cover," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
The Floyd family held an event Saturday in Cuney Homes where George grew up. The event was used to celebrate, after the United States House of Representatives passed the "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act" last week. The police reform bill is designed to improve the relationship between law enforcement and communities, and make changes to qualified immunity.
"It’s bigger than my brother now," said Philonise Floyd. "The world. This has impacted the world and we have to stand in solidarity with each other."