Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 2304 GMT (0704 HKT) March 29, 2021
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1:06 p.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Minneapolis 911 dispatcher is now testifying about sending police to the scene


The first witness called by the prosecution is Jena Lee Scurry, who has worked as a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher for almost 7 years.

Scurry testified that she dispatched police to Cup Foods, at the intersection of 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020.

Scurry testified that a call came in about a suspect providing a counterfeit bill at Cup Foods that afternoon. She said that in response, she dispatched a squad car to the location.

Prosecuting attorney Matthew Frank is questioning Scurry.

Watch Minneapolis 911 dispatcher describe her decision to dispatch police to the scene:

12:24 p.m. ET, March 29, 2021

The trial is back in session, and the first witness is testifying


The murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged in the death of George Floyd, is back in session following a short recess.

Jena Scurry, a 911 dispatcher in the city, is now testifying.

12:02 p.m. ET, March 29, 2021

The trial is taking a short break


Judge Peter Cahill just announced the court is taking a 20 minute break in the the first day of the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Earlier this morning, prosecutors and defense attorneys gave opening statements in the case.

Chauvin faces murder charges in the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck while Floyd pleaded, "I can't breathe."

12:09 p.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Defense attorney: Chauvin "did exactly what he had been trained to do" as a police officer

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said that questions about the reasonable use of police force will be a theme of the trial.

He said that the jury will learn about authorized use of force and other Minneapolis police department policies for its officers.

"You will learn that Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career," Nelson said during his opening statement. 

"The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing," he added.

Watch the moment:


11:56 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Defense attorney says case "more than about 9 minutes and 29 seconds"


Defense attorney Eric Nelson said during his opening argument that "this case is clearly more than about 9 minutes and 29 seconds," referencing the amount of time that the prosecutor said would be significant for the jury as it relates to George Floyd's final moments.

Nelson said that the number of documents in the case numbered in the tens of thousands, and hundreds of people had been interviewed as potential witnesses in the lead up to trial.

Nelson told the jury "I suggest that you let common sense and reason guide you" during the trial.

Some more background: Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

Defense attorneys plan to make the case that Floyd died of unrelated medical issues and drug use, and they have argued Chauvin was following proper police protocol.

CNN's Eric Levenson contributed reporting to this post.

12:18 p.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecution in Derek Chauvin trial: "It's a homicide. You can believe your eyes.”

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper in Minneapolis


Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell laid out his case against former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin during his opening statement, saying it’s clear that George Floyd’s death was a homicide. 

“You can believe your eyes, that it's a homicide. You can believe your eyes,” the prosecutor said during his opening arguments. “You’ll be able to hear his voice get deeper and heavier his words further apart, his respiration is more shallow. You'll see him when he goes unconscious, and you'll be able to see the uncontrollable shaking he’s doing when he’s not breathing anymore.”

The prosecutor says policing experts will testify holding Floyd to the ground was unnecessary and deadly. 

“You're also going to hear from Lieutenant Johnny Mercil of the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Police Department’s use of force training coordinator. He's going to tell you about what training Mr. Chauvin had to see, but he's also going to tell you that he knows of no training that would suggest that kneeling on somebody's neck, as Mr. Chauvin was doing, was proper,” Blackwell said.

“You will learn that Mr. Floyd was in handcuffs already, so they didn't need to put him on the ground, to get him into — to get him under police control,” Blackwell said. “You'll hear from a number of experts on the stand that putting a man in the prone position with handcuffs behind his back, somebody on his neck and back pressing down on him for nine minutes and 29 seconds is enough to take a life.”

Floyd did not die an instant death from a heart condition or a death from an opioid overdose, Blackwell told the jury. 

“You'll be able to see for yourself that Mr. Floyd did not die an instant death. He died one breath at a time, over an extended period of time. It does not at all look like the way that one dies from a fatal arrhythmia,” Blackwell said. “You will also learn, ladies and gentlemen, that George Floyd struggled with addiction. He struggled with it. You will learn that he did not die from a drug overdose, he did not die from an opioid overdose. Why? Because you'll be able to look at the video footage and you see it looks absolutely nothing like a person who would die from an opioid overdose.”


11:22 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecutor: 911 dispatcher will testify "she called the police on the police" during the incident

Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell said that they will call to testify a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher who watched the incident from a feed from a fixed police camera located in the neighborhood.

"You'll learn that what she saw was so unusual and for her so disturbing that she did something she had never done in her career. She called the police on the police," he said.

Blackwell said that the 911 dispatcher called a police sergeant because she was disturbed by what she was watching.

"She will tell you she felt she saw man literally lose his life," he said.

11:13 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Prosecutors show video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell is showing video evidence from the day George Floyd was killed.

The graphic footage shows former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck. Floyd can be heard saying "I can't breathe."

"I need to tell you ahead of time that the video is graphic," Blackwell said before the video was played. The prosecutor said a bystander took the video.

Blackwell said the the footage would allow jurors to see for themselves what happened, "without lawyer talk" and "without lawyer spin."

He added that the prosecution team plans to show more videos throughout the trial.

11:05 a.m. ET, March 29, 2021

Here is who the prosecution expects to call as witnesses in the case

Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell presented a list of witnesses that the prosecution expects to call to make its case to the jury against former officer Derek Chauvin.

Blackwell said that they plan to call a number of police officers to testify, including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

He also said that prosecutors plan to call "some of the bystanders" that were on the scene on May 25, 2020.

In addition, Blackwell said the prosecution will present expert testimony from medical professionals that will prove George Floyd's death was from asphyxia.

These witnesses will include the county medical examiner who will "tell you what he found" after Floyd died.