Ahead of Chauvin trial, protesters rally in Minn. city
Jury selection for Derek Chauvin's trial is set to start Monday
By Nicole Norfleet and Susan Du
ST. PAUL, Minn. — About 150 people, many of them family members of Minnesotans who died during encounters with police, gathered outside of Gov. Tim Walz's St. Paul residence Saturday to demand more accountability.
Speakers said that in light of the George Floyd case, they want other cases where people died in police encounters reopened and examined.
The weekend protest kick-started what will likely be weeks of demonstrations around the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who faces murder and manslaughter charges in the Floyd's death. Jury selection in that trial is set to begin Monday.
Saturday's rally in front of the governor's residence was organized by Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, a coalition of families that has lost loved ones during police confrontations.
The organization was founded by Toshira Garraway, whose fiance, Justin Teigen, was found dead in a recycling truck that had emptied the dumpster he had been in following a chase with St. Paul police in 2009. Garraway believes police beat Teigen and then threw him in the dumpster.
Garraway spoke at Saturday's rally, along with several others.
Protests & tributes in St. Paul & Minneapolis as jury selection begins in Minnesota for the trial of former Police Officer Derek Chauvin on March 8. #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd— Getty Images News (@GettyImagesNews) March 7, 2021
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Protesters also said mental health calls need to be handled differently. Paul Johnson, a friend of Travis Jordan, who was killed in Minneapolis in 2018 during a wellness check, asked, "What if you are having a bad day ... does somebody get to come and kill you?"
Amity Dimock, mother of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, 21, who died in an 2019 encounter with Brooklyn Center police, said advocates need to take advantage of the momentum in the wake of Floyd's death to push for systemic change.
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