Seeking justice

A timeline since the death of George Floyd

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It’s been days since George Floyd took his last breaths with a knee on his neck. Since then, protestors have marched and clashed with police, politicians and local leaders have made promises to hurting communities and America has had to come to terms with generational inequities that have left many Black and brown people at a disadvantage to their White counterparts.

The highly publicized trial of Derek Chauvin resulted in the jury finding Chauvin guilty on all charges, a conviction that reverberated through the country and across the world. In June 2021, a judge sentenced Chauvin to 22 and half years in prison.

Here’s everything that led to the sentencing.

One week of chaos and anguish

In the week between May 25 and June 1, 2020, a video of Floyd’s death went viral and protests erupted across the US.

Videos reveal panic from all sides during Floyd’s arrest

As the world awaited more information regarding Floyd’s death, videos from the body cameras of the officers at the scene painted a picture of escalated panic from officers, bystanders and Floyd himself during the May 25 arrest.

    • Left to right: Thao, Chauvin and Kueng are seen struggling with Floyd in this screengrab from Lane’s bodycam. (Hennepin County Court)

      June 3

      The other three officers in Floyd’s killing – Lane, Kueng and Thao – are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

    • People gather at a police precinct during a protest in Minneapolis on May 26. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

      June 5

      Minneapolis City Council approves restraining order against police, meaning the use of chokeholds by police is banned and also requires police to report and intervene if the banned practice is used.

    • George Floyd's funeral procession arrives at Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in Pearland, Texas, on June 9. (Eric Gay/AP)

      June 9

      Floyd is buried next to his mother in his native Houston. The same day, a Hennepin County judge approved the restraining order to ban chokeholds by police officers.

    • (Hennepin County Court)

      August 3

      The Daily Mail, based in London, obtains footage of the body cameras worn by two of the former Minneapolis police officers involved in the arrest of Floyd. The footage is released and shows a panicked Floyd struggling with officers while in the back of a squad car in the minutes before his death, saying, "I can't breathe."

    • (Hennepin County Court)

      August 10

      Police body camera footage showing Minneapolis police pointing a gun at Floyd and struggling with him during his fatal arrest is released by Hennepin County Court.

      The footage, roughly an hour in length, comes from the body cameras of former officers Lane and Kueng, who were the first to respond to a store where Floyd was accused of passing a fake $20 bill.

    • (Hennepin County Court)

      August 13

      Body camera video from former officer Thao is released by Hennepin County Court. The video shows a crowd of bystanders becoming increasingly upset as police hold down Floyd, pleading with officers to get off of him and check his pulse.

    • (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension)

      August 14

      A video interview with former officer Thao is released and shows him telling federal investigators the call for backup on May 25 sounded “like it was urgent.”

Legal proceedings begin

Chauvin is granted bail and a judge allows him to leave the state for his safety during this period. Protesters and activists alike are angered by these developments and take to the streets again.

    • Chauvin’s lawyers stand before a judge as Chauvin listens on camera in June. (Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration, L.L.C.)

      August 28

      Former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin asks a judge to dismiss murder charges against him in the death of George Floyd.

    • Police advance on protesters to clear a street in Portland, Oregon, on September 5. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

      September 7

      A little over 100 days since Floyd died, protests are still raging across the US.

    • The memorial at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue is seen on September 15. (Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

      September 18

      Minneapolis City Council unanimously votes to rename a street after George Floyd.

    • Protesters lock arms as they march in Minneapolis on October 7. (Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)

      October 7

      Chauvin posts bond on $1 million bail. Protesters take to the streets of Minneapolis to express outrage of Chauvin’s release.

    • Workers install security fencing at the Hennepin County Government Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 3. (Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)

      October 9

      The Hennepin County Court posts on its website saying Chauvin will be allowed to leave Minnesota and live in a neighboring state due to safety concerns stemming from his involvement in Floyd’s death.

    • Judge Peter Cahill is seen in a courtroom sketch from July. (Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration, L.L.C.)

      October 21

      Cahill drops a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, but denies his attorney’s motion to dismiss two other charges. Cahill also denied motions to dismiss charges against the other three officers.

Details of the trial are hammered out

Will the four ex-cops be tried together? Who are the jurors? Will Chauvin face a third-degree murder charge? Officials have had to deliberate over these questions before any trial could begin.

    • Judge Peter Cahill (Minnesota Judicial Branch)

      November 5

      Cahill rules the ex-cops in Floyd’s death will be tried at the same time in the county on March 8. Cahill also rejected a defense attorney’s request for a change of venue in the trial of the four former officers.

    • In this screen grab from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson speaks during jury selection in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on March 17. (Court TV via AP)

      December 22

      The Minnesota District Court files a 16-page questionnaire asking prospective jurors to answer how many times they have seen the video of Floyd’s death, their prior interactions with police and their views on defunding the police and racial discrimination.

    • Billy Briggs updates a sign at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis on December 23. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

      January 12, 2021

      Cahill rules Chauvin will be tried separately from the other three officers because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      Jury selection in Chauvin's trial will take place March 8 to 26, according to the ruling. Opening statements will begin "no earlier than March 29," the judge wrote.

      The other officers will be tried together starting on August 23.

    • Judge Peter Cahill speaks during pretrial motions on March 11 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. (Court TV/Pool via AP)

      March 11

      Judge Cahill reinstates the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin after a Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered Cahill to reconsider the motion.

    • Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, is introduced to potential jurors by his attorney Eric Nelson on March 23 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Court TV/Pool via AP)

      March 23

      A jury of 15 people is selected for Chauvin’s trial. It takes two weeks to select the jurors, nine of whom are White, four are Black and two are mixed race, according to how the court says the jurors identified themselves.

    • Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, center, is handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom after being found guilty on all counts. (Pool)

      April 20

      Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jury deliberated for more than 10 hours over the course of two days.

    • Derek Chauvin is seen in his latest booking photo taken on April 21. (Minnesota Department of Corrections)

      May 4

      Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, filed a motion for a new trial in which he outlined alleged mistakes made by Judge Peter Cahill, state prosecutors and the he claims jury that violated Chauvin's constitutional rights to a due process and a fair trial.

    • Derek Chauvin speaks briefly in court before his sentence was handed down. “I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” Chauvin said. “There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind.”. (Pool)

      June 25

      Judge Peter Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 and half years in prison. Under Minnesota law, Chauvin will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence, or 15 years, and he will be eligible for supervised release for the remaining seven and a half years.