All eyes are on Minnesota this week as the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin gets underway.
Mr Chauvin faces two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, last May in Minneapolis.
Protesters crowded the streets in Mr Floyd’s name in cities across the US and around the world over the summer.
An African-American political hopeful, a Minnesota resident and a retired police veteran shared their thoughts on Day One of the trial.
Tell me how you’re feeling as you watch this trial.
Having to watch the details of what happened, having to watch the video over, having to relive the moment – it was hurtful. I’m still in awe and I can’t believe it happened.
It pisses me off. We have some of the most horrific mass murderers of our time in custody without a scratch, but this black man who allegedly uses counterfeit $20 bill loses his life and loses it tragically.
They’ve got to convict the [former police officer]. If they don’t convict him, it’s going to be a problem.
What did you make of the opening arguments from the two legal teams?
The prosecution presented very good evidence. He was very detailed and said some things that I think will be really critical to the case. He reminded us of an officer’s oath and said, despite all his training, this officer sat on someone’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
As for the defence, they’re trying to make it seem like George Floyd was a drug addict and the opioids took his life.
We already know they [the county medical examiner’s officer] deemed this a homicide. And we know that police officers are supposed to care for who is in their custody and they did not do that. They had no regard for George Floyd’s life. Did he need to lose his life?
The officer came to a situation where he should have de-escalated and given out a ticket in the worst case scenario.
What impact do you think this trial will have?
I’m watching the case closely because I want to see what the outcome is going to be. Are we going to hold this officer accountable for his actions?
This is a chance for America to show exactly what they represent: giving everybody liberty and justice for all.
If you don’t convict him of all three charges, you’re simply telling black America and minority Americans that we do not care for you. This is a white America and you’re going to get down or lay down. Now people are fighting for equality, but soon they’ll be fighting for revenge.
News Source: BBC News