Watch a livestream of the trial and find live updates below that.
4:45 p.m. update
Drawing symmetry from hours spent fishing early May 25 and watching the life leave George Floyd's body later that day, mixed martial arts fighter Donald Wynn Williams was the last to take the stand Monday.
"When I first arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was vocalizing his sorry-ness, his pain and his distress he was going through," Williams said.
As Chauvin's knee stayed on Floyd's neck, Williams said "you were seeing Floyd fade away, slowly fade away, and like the fish in the bag, you see the eyes slowly pale out."
Williams had gone to Cup Foods to get a drink after he had finished gutting fish with his family. As he started to walk toward the entrance of the store, he saw a police car and said he debated whether he should keep walking.
"My energy just keep pushing me forward and I kept walking," he said.
Williams testified that he never made it in the store. With a decade of experience in private security, sometimes working alongside off-duty Minneapolis police, Williams said he stopped to overserve everything before he spoke.
He said he yelled at Chauvin that what he was doing to Floyd was a "blood choke." He said calling that out was the only time Chauvin looked at him.
"We looked each other dead in the eyes, when I said it, he acknowledged it," Williams said.
Williams also spoke of his interactions with Tou Thao, whom he described as "dictator," and said that Thao was "the guy that let it go on."
At one point during Williams' testimony, the jury was excused from the courtroom so the court could discuss with Williams how far his testimony could go. There was extensive litigation as to what exactly Williams would be able to say in relation to his expertise in mixed martial arts.
Following the discussion without the jury, jurors were brought back in shortly after 4:30 p.m. and were dismissed for the day. The court was notified of technical issues that some of the live video streams had been lost.
Court is scheduled to resume around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday with further testimony from Williams.
3 p.m. update
A 23-year-old Minneapolis woman was next to take the stand as a state's witness. Alisha Oyler was working as a shift-lead May 25, 2020, at the now-shuttered Speedway gas station that was directly across Chicago Avenue from Cup Foods.
Oyler took a total of seven videos on her cellphone: two from inside the gas station and the remaining five from outside the store. She started recording after seeing "just them [police] messing with someone."
Giving short answers, frequently rubbing her forehead and saying she didn't remember, prosecutors likely called Oyler not for her expertise or clear memory of the event but for the videos she took that day.
When asked by Special Assistant Attorney General Steve Schleicher why she kept recording the incident, Oyler said police "are always messing with people and it’s wrong and it's not right."
2:15 p.m. update
"Again, you not being a Minneapolis police officer you are not familiar with the use of force requirements," Nelson asked City of Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry on cross-examination, who answered "correct."
About 40 minutes into cross-examination, Nelson played a copy of the video from a pole camera that faced Cup Foods near the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.
The video, which was a different copy than the one prosecutors played during questioning before the lunch recess, was more of a real-time video.
Following a brief rewatch of the video, Nelson asked Scurry a series of questions -- all of which she responded either yes or correct.
"You observed and you saw these officers using force or what you believe to be force," Nelson asked.
"What you observed was struggle between officers and the person they were arresting," he continued.
"And that the struggle ultimately resulted in that squad shaking back and forth," Nelson asked.
And when you ultimately called Sgt. [David] Pleoger, you said, 'I don't know if this is a use of force or not,'" Nelson said.
Pleoger told Scurry it could have just been a "take down" and that would not require a supervisor.
After Nelson concluded his questioning, Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank asked Scurry if she had changed her mind about the reasons she called the sergeant when she did.
"No," Scurry said.
Scurry was dismissed and a second witness was called by the state.
12:30 p.m. update
Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank concluded his questioning of City of Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry and jurors were sent on their lunch break.
Court is in recess until 1:30 p.m. and when it returns, defense attorney Eric Nelson will get his chance to question Scurry.
As part of her testimony, juror heard two calls: one dispatching officers to Cup Foods for a report of a counterfeit $20 bill being used and another of Scurry calling a Minneapolis police sergeant over a "gut feeling" of something being wrong in the incident response. The 911 call log was also presented.
Jurors were also able to view video of the police response, which began with two officers walking a handcuffed George Floyd past a Cup Food and to a waiting squad and ended with Floyd on the ground and three officers on or near him.
Scurry recounted her experience that day of watching the live video between fulfilling her job duties.
"I was in and out of looking at the cameras and then going back to my screens to make sure I wasn't missing anything," Scurry said, adding that at one point she had asked her colleagues if the screen had frozen as it didn't appear to change.
"My instincts were telling me something was wrong," she said. "I don’t know how to explain it. It was a gut instinct to tell me that ‘now we can be concerned.’ I took that instinct and called the sergeant."
In the call, Scurry told the sergeant "you can call me a snitch if you want" and noted she saw "all" of the officers get on the back of a man.
In explanation of her call, Scurry said she was voicing her concerns and noted that dispatchers don't normally see incidents unfold.
"My job is mainly all listening," she said.
After the defense questions Scurry, prosecutors will have another chance to ask follow up questions if they so desire.
11:20 a.m. update
Prosecutors called their first witness: City of Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry.
Scurry started work that May 2020 day at 2:30 p.m. and dispatched officers to Cup Foods at 38th and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. Officers were initially called to the area for a report that George Floyd tried to use a counterfeit $20.
Scurry, who's being questioned by Matthew Frank of the AG's office, will testify about how on May 25, she became so concerned while watching Floyd's arrest in real-time that she contacted a police supervisor. https://t.co/4g4jhPvaIT— Libor Jany (@StribJany) March 29, 2021
11 a.m. update
The court went into its morning recess and court is expected to resume at 11:15 a.m.
10:40 a.m. update
Defense attorney Eric Nelson took the podium to address the jurors for his opening remarks.
Nelson told the jury that the evidence in the case was far greater than 9 minutes and 29 seconds
"In this case you will learn that the evidence has been collected broadly and expansively," Nelson said, noting that nearly 50 case agents from Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and more than two dozen FBI agents assisted in the investigation.
Almost 50,000 pieces of evidence were submitted in the case and had a list of 400 witnesses.
"This case is clearly more than 9 minutes and 29 seconds," Nelson said.
Nelson also spoke of the medical examiner's findings and that Floyd's body had "none of the tell-tale signs of asphyxiations."
Concluding his remarks, Nelson said to the jury "When you review the actual evidence and when you hear the law and apply reason and common sense there will only be one just verdict and that is to find Mr. Chauvin not guilty."
10 a.m. update
"You’re going to learn in this case a lot about what it means to be a public servant and have the honor of wearing this badge," Special Assistant Attorney General Jerry Blackwell said in his opening statements. "You will learn that on May 25, 2020, Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excess and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd."
As part of the opening statements, jurors also saw their first video clip of the incident taken by a bystander.
"I can't breath," Floyd says in the video.
"They are going to kill me," he says.
Blackwell told the jurors that 9 minutes and 29 seconds will be the most important numbers in the case. For half that time, Blackwell said, Floyd was unconscious, breathless and pulseless.
Speaking of the evidence jurors will see throughout the case, Blackwell said jurors can believe their eyes.
"It’s a homicide. It's murder. You’ll be able to see every part of what Mr. Floyd went through," Blackwell said. "Mr. Floyd did not die an instant death."
Closing his opening remarks, Blackwell told the jury "there was no excuse for the police abuse of Mr. Chauvin."
8 a.m. update
The trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd begins today, March 29, at 9 a.m. in Minneapolis.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the May 25, 2020, arrest death of Floyd. Floyd’s arrest and death occurred after he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes, and set off weeks of protests and riots across the country and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.
Forum News Service will provide updates on key developments through the trial. Stay with us today for updates.
Catch up here with weekend stories you might have missed:
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- Judge Peter Cahill 'uniquely suited' to preside over high-profile Derek Chauvin murder trial
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