George Floyd’s death in custody by the Minneapolis Police Department, captured on shocking video, sparked months of protests against racial justice in the United States.
Now former cop Derek Chauvin, who held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, has been tried for murder.
A jury made up of nine women and six men will decide on the case, nine of whom are white, four are black and two are of mixed ethnicity and are between 20 and 60 years old.
Mr. Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. Its process is expected to take several weeks.
High profile law enforcement is led by Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz appointed Mr. Ellison to prosecute just days after the murder when lawmakers showed a lack of trust in the Hennepin County Attorney.
“Unfortunately, our constituents, especially the paint components, have lost confidence in the ability of Hennepin District Attorney Mike Freeman to investigate and prosecute these cases fairly and impartially,” said a letter from 10 Minneapolis members to the House of Representatives represented.
Mr. Ellison, a former congressman, is the first African American and first Muslim to serve as attorney general in the state.
During the pre-trial hearings, Mr. Ellison was represented by his team of attorneys, some of whom are working on the case on a pro bono basis, meaning they will not be paid.
The indictment is led by the Minnesota Criminal Division chief, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.
External attorneys include Steven Schleicher, a former federal attorney who selected the jury for law enforcement.
Mr Schleicher, who is now a partner in a Maslon LLP, was pursuing the case of Danny Heinrich, who admitted the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Jacob Wetterling in 1989 in 2016.
Jerry Blackwell, a co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and CEO of Blackwell Burke, supports the law enforcement team without charge.
Mr Blackwell on Monday handled the prosecutor’s opening arguments on the case.
In his private practice, he has represented companies such as Walmart, 3M Company, and General Mills.
Last June, he won a posthumous pardon for Max Mason, a black circus worker who was wrongly convicted of rape in 1920.
The law enforcement team also includes former acting US attorney general, Neal Katyal, who is now a partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington DC.
Mr. Chauvin’s defense team is paid by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association as if he and three other offices were fired after Mr. Floyd’s death, but the Minneapolis Police Department remains a member.
The association has a group of 12 criminal defense lawyers who handle their cases.
Mr. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, is a managing partner at Halberg Criminal Defense and has been handling association cases since 2015.
The judge in the case is Peter Cahill, who was appointed to the bank in 2007 and had previously headed the Hennepin District Public Prosecutor for 10 years and also had his own private law practice.