The City of Minneapolis is beefing up security as the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who is accused of killing George Floyd, nears.
On Wednesday (Feb. 17), Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that by the time the verdict is read, the city will have up to 2,000 National Guardsmen and an additional 1,100 law enforcement officers to assist with public safety.
“What we’ve seen in so many other cities as we lead into trials involving Black men that have been killed by police officers, there’s great frustration, there’s anxiety and there’s trauma,” Mayor Frey said during a news conference.
He continued, “We anticipate that trauma increasing as we get closer into jury deliberations and the verdict, and we believe that it on us to honor the magnitude of this moment and ensure that our families in this city feel safe.”
Jury selection for Chauvin’s trial is set to begin on March 8. He is currently facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his involvement in the death of Floyd. Last May, the ex-cop planted his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, as he called out for his dead mother. The deadly arrest was caught on camera and sparked nationwide protests, which were mostly peaceful.
In January, Judge Peter Cahill ruled Chauvin’s trial will be held separately from the other three former cops who were involved in the killing. J. Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, who are charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter and murder, will stand trial together in August.
The city has already begun establishing a security perimeter around the City Hall, Hennepin County Government Center and other nearby buildings in preparation for the verdict. Minneapolis also plans to create ways for business owners to add extra security measures that will allow them to remain open.