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  • Writer's pictureNaasir Qaz

Justice Will Just Have To Wait

Tension continue to escalate after jury selection for Derek Chauvin’s trial postponed.

By Naasir Qaz

Social Justice Activist Deejay says to refer to the Chauvin trial as any sort of suspense ridden, landmark affair for justice, doesn't make sense. “We have it on film,” he emphatically reminded the crowd of over a hundred protesters. The crowd stood nearly as close as they could to the Hennepin County Government Center, the site of the trial. A broad coalition of local Social Justice organizations took turns introducing themselves and reminding the eager crowd that not all people killed by the police are awarded the opportunity of a trial. In one of the most emotionally stirring addresses, activist and organizer Toshira Galloway recalled the death of her own fiancé, Justin Tiegen.

The highly planned and intentionally conspicuous “Operation Safety Net” turned out to be more peripheral than presiding. Only a handful of national guard members stood by the side entrance to the government center and there was no police interference with the peaceful march of masked Minnesotans. There were two separate protest events held, with the second one orchestrated by a group called “Black Visual Justice”. They left broken mirrors, symbolically covered with blood and a message; Reflect. The two events would end up in a harmonious conclusion as the march arrived back at the government center to be met with the art from Visual Black Justice. The trial date was here and these local organizations were ready for some justice.

Inside the courtroom was a different story. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sat with his team of prosecutors as they asked Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill to pause jury selection until the court decides whether or not to add the third degree murder charge back on to Derek Chauvin’s charge list. This third degree murder charge was initially dismissed by Judge Cahill in October of last year, but in the intermittent months, Mohamed Noor’s appeal for his third degree murder charge was denied. Noor’s appeal being denied sets precedent for this trial, argued Attorney General Ellison.

The defense disagrees. Chauvin’s attorney not only disagrees with the third degree murder charge potentially being added, he also discussed what the defense team’s primary argument seems to be. That George Floyd’s death was caused not by officer Derek Chauvin, but by the drugs that were in his system. The defense team tried to convince Judge Cahill to allow Floyd’s 2019 arrest as evidence, which seems a goal unlikely to come to fruition based on Judge Cahill’s body language during his response.

With jury selection pushed back tomorrow, the quest for justice will just have to wait.

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