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George Floyd murder trial resumes hours after protests over a Black man’s killing

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this courtroom sketch, defense attorney Eric Nelson introduces former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to potential jurors in his trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., March 15, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

The high-profile televised trial of a former US police officer charged in George Floyd’s murder entered its third week Monday, hours after a young Black man was shot by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb.

The court resumed for the third week to hear arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial, as prosecution's portion of the trial continues with testimony from a physician.

How Floyd died has been a main bone of contention at the trial, with lawyers representing the two sides presenting contrasting arguments.

Prosecutors contend that he died of oxygen deficiency under the weight of policemen pinning him down on the pavement, while the defense has floated a theory of drug use and underlying heart disease that it says caused a fatal heart arrhythmia.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on the victim’s neck even as he pleaded, “I can't breathe.”

Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case that has hogged headlines across the globe.

His final moments, which were filmed by a bystander, led to largescale protests in the US against police brutality and institutionalized racism against African-Americans and Asian-Americans.

The trial resumed on Monday barely hours after violent protests broke out in Brooklyn Center, a bustling suburb north of Minneapolis, after a 20-year-old Black man was shot dead by cops at a traffic stop.

Hundreds of angry protesters assembled outside the city police station in the wake of Daunte Wright’s murder, but they were forcibly dispersed by police with tear gas canisters and flash-bang grenades.

The clashes between protestors and police that broke immediately after the shooting reportedly continued till the wee hours of the morning before the Brooklyn Center’s mayor declared curfew.

A woman, who identified herself as the victim’s mother, told reporters that her son had been driving a car his family had given him two weeks ago and that he had called her as he was being pulled over.

It marks yet another incident of a black man being fatally attacked in the US by police officers.

Racial discrimination against people of color, according to experts, has a history of nearly 400 years in the US, which has been finally exposed through Floyd’s diabolical murder.

Floyd’s death reignited deep-rooted anger and outrage over police brutality toward black Americans in the US and gave fresh impetus to the Black Lives Matter movement at the global level.

This week, another case of hate crime against people of color in the US came to light after a US army lieutenant, a black and Latino, filed a lawsuit against two US police officers for flogging and pepper spraying him through the window of his car.

Attacks on Asian Americans in the US have also witnessed a disturbing upsurge in recent years, which activists have attributed to former US President Donald Trump's racist rhetoric. 

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