THE FAMILY of George Floyd knelt outside of the courtroom on Monday morning as the first day of DErek Chauvin's murder trial began.
Video taken by bystanders of George Floyd's death is expected to be played in opening statements.
Almost all of the 15 jurors selected said they have seen at least part of the video in which the white ex-Minneapolis cop pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes.
Prosecutors have not outlined when they will play the video but legal experts believe it could be in opening statements.
“If you’re a prosecutor you want to start off strong," Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor and managing director of Berkeley Research Group in Chicago, told Associated Press.
"You want to frame the argument – and nothing frames the argument in this case as much as that video."
On Monday morning, the prosecution held a press briefing with Floyd's family outside of the courthouse in which they blasted the video as "torture."
They also hit out at claims that Floyd caused his own death and said that Chauvin was on trial, not the victim.
"This is a landmark moment in American history," attorney Ben Crump said.
"This is the momemt to show the rest of the world that you are the standard bearer when it comes to liberty and justice to all.
"The whole world is watching."
"Chauvin is in the courtroom but America is on trial," added Rev. Al Sharpton.
Several members of Floyd's family spoke in which they called for "justice" and said that someone must be held accountable for the father-of-one's death.
His brothers said that they watched the video of Floyd's death as it was the last time they could hear their brother's voice.
The family planned to kneel outside of Hennepin County District Court on Monday morning.
The tribute to Floyd would take place for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time that Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the 46-year-old's neck before he died.
The video of Floyd's death sparked months of outrage and protests across the US.
It showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck while three other police officers also held him down.
Chauvin continued to kneel on the black man even as Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe."
Floyd went limp while he was lying on his stomach in handcuffs and was later pronounced dead.
The key questions at Chauvin's trial will be whether he caused Floyd’s death and whether his actions were reasonable.
His defense is expected to argue in their opening statements that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death as he swallowed drugs before his arrest.
The county medical examiner's autopsy noted fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system.
However, it listed his cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
In Minneapolis, city leaders are determined to avoid the damaging riots that erupted in the wake of Floyd's death, as bystander video spread rapidly on social media.
The courthouse has been fortified with concrete barrriers, fencing andbarned and razor wire.
The National Guard has also been mobilized for the four-week trial.
“They could bring up everything my brother did in his past,” Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, said at a vigil in a Minneapolis church on Sunday night.
“But that don’t have anything to do with those 8 minutes and 46 seconds.”
Reverend Al Sharpton called on supporters around the world to join with the family and kneel later in the vigil.
Chauvin is facing an unintentional second-degree murder charge and a third-degree murder charge.
Prosecutors have to prove Chauvin’s conduct was a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death for him to be convicted on the second-degree murder charge.
They must prove that Chauvin's actions were reckless and without regard for human life if he is to be convicted of second-degree murder.
Chauvin also faces a manslaughter charge for which prosecutors must prove that he cuased Floyd's death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk.
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