As Derek Chauvin stands trial for the murder of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Government Center, protesters outside have chained themselves to a fence and kept a vigil in a push for police reform.
Kaia Hirt, a local high school teacher, first started the protest on Monday evening (March 29) after the opening statements in the murder trial.
According to the Star Tribune, Hirt says she was demonstrating to show her support for families of those who have been killed by law enforcement.
"I'm frustrated by local and state officials' failure to address racist policing in the community," she told the newspaper earlier this week.
Hirt says she was relieved Floyd’s family has been treated with dignity by authorities, but says other families affected by police violence are also hurting and not receiving the same level of focus and respect.
"We will not have justice until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are," she added. "When we say nothing about the things that are going on in our world … we are failing them as educators.”
Chauvin, 45, is charged with causing Floyd’s death by asphyxiating him when he knelt on his neck in an attempt to apprehend him. He had exited a store when a clerk accused him of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. Three other officers who arrived at the scene were also charged.
The other three defendants, former Minneapolis officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, eached charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter, is scheduled for August.
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