ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — As jury selection begins in the case of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, the Atlanta attorneys representing Floyd’s family prepare for the trial.
Floyd’s family reached out to Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys the day after he died, according to Justin Miller, the co-lead counsel for the family. “They just told us, ‘Something bad has happened in Minnesota. You guys need to get up here,'” he said.READ MORE: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp moves to quash subpoena in Fulton County election probe
Video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes before he died sparked international outrage. Authorities charged him with second degree murder. “This is the time that we really need to have our eyes glued on the TV to make sure everything is going right,” said Miller, in reference to the trial and the possibility of the jury selection process taking several weeks. “People have feelings one way or another, so it’s gonna be hard to pick 14 people who are unbiased.”READ MORE: Purple Pansies is raising funds to support pancreatic cancer patients and families
The attorneys are waiting to see if the Minnesota Supreme Court will add a lesser charge of third degree murder. They’re prepared to present key arguments. “The prosecution is definitely going to argue that Chauvin was following instructions and following his training when he kneeled on George Floyd’s neck,” said Miller, adding the prosecution also has to prove it was a felony assault and caused Floyd’s death. Both sides will likely argue Chauvin was following instructions and training, but defense attorneys are expected to draw more attention to that argument and say other issues caused his death.
A lot has died down since the protests last year, but the impact on Floyd’s family will never go away. “Imagine you’re a six-year-old girl and your father is killed on national TV,” he said, urging people to continue making their voices heard. “The pressure needs to stay on these police departments, these counties and these cities to stop these kind of policing practices. A long jail sentence is something that everybody involved from the family of George Floyd would like to see.”MORE NEWS: Family of Gwinnett Co. woman killed in accidental shooting seeks justice
Once the judge ultimately rules on the criminal case, attorneys will focus on a civil suit.