On Sunday, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Minneapolis on the eve of jury selection for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s second-degree murder trial, during which the city will endure international media coverage.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police offer, was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in June of 2020 after he was filmed kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man who was was complaining about his inability to breathe while handcuffed. Floyd died during the encounter, sparking international protests and countless riots throughout cities in America. Demonstrators gathered to protest a perceived lack of justice while violent rioters burned cities, looted businesses and attacked innocent residents, resulting in several people dead and billions worth of damage.
And according to the Star Tribune, one protester said the city is again preparing for the worst.
"The city is preparing for the worst because they haven't done anything over the last nine months," he said. "They do nothing to listen to the people who are out here fighting for our lives."
During Sunday's march, protestors, including some of Floyd’s friends, carried a symbolic white casket covered in roses through the streets as the peaceful crowd marched to songs by Bob Marley and Prince.
At one point, demonstrators sat down in a moment of silence as activist Nekima Levy Armstrong read the names of every person killed at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota since 1984, some 470 names.
Michelle Gross, founder of the non-profit organization Communities United Against Police Brutality, also spoke to the crowd.
"The city had four chances to stop Chauvin before he put his knee on George Floyd's neck, and they did nothing," she said. "These are people whose families are left to grieve. These are people who will never complete their life's mission because their lives were stolen from them prematurely."
While prosecutors face an uphill battle to prove that Chauvin intentionally killed Floyd in order to convict the former officer of the second-degree murder charge, Minneapolis will likely experience countless protests in the coming weeks - especially if the trail fails to end in a conviction, and even as many businesses and cities are still recovering from the rash of violence that raged for months last year.