Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin made his first court appearance on Monday, facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd.
By World Israel News Staff and AP
On Monday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin appeared via video feed for his first court appearance in the murder case he’s facing, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Chauvin was filmed pressing his knee on George Floyd’s neck even after he stopped responding during a May 25 incident that resulted in Floyd’s death.
Monday’s appearance was the first one for Chauvin in the case since the charge against him was upgraded to second-degree murder.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of mourners lined up outside the Fountain of Praise church in Floyd’s native Houston for a final public viewing.
Mourners, many wearing masks and T-shirts with the words “I Can’t Breathe,” stood 6 feet apart as they paused briefly to view the casket.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the first to view the casket and planned to meet privately with the family later. He wore a striped gold and crimson tie, the colors of Floyd’s Houston high school.
Floyd’s death inspired international protests and drew attention to police use of excessive force and the U.S. criminal justice system.
Floyd’s funeral will be Tuesday, followed by burial at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd.
Former Vice President Joe Biden planned to travel to Houston to meet with Floyd’s family and will provide a video message for Floyd’s funeral service. Previous memorials have taken place in Minneapolis and Raeford, North Carolina, near where Floyd was born.
Cities imposed curfews as protests last week were marred by massive looting, arson, assaults and smash-and-grab raids on businesses.
Several cities have also lifted curfews, including Chicago and New York City, where the governor urged protesters to get tested for the coronavirus and to proceed with caution until they had. Leaders around the country have expressed concern that demonstrations could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases.