Timeline: George Floyd's death to Derek Chauvin's trial

The trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, is scheduled to begin on March 8. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, 46, on May 25, 2020. 

The Chauvin trial will be live streamed, gavel to gavel, at fox9.com/live.

Timeline

May 25

George Floyd, 46, dies while being detained by Minneapolis police officers. A video taken by a bystander shows Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he repeatedly cried, "I can’t breathe." 

May 26

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announces all four officers involved in Floyd’s death have been fired

May 27

The Minneapolis Police Department identifies the four now-fired officers involved Floyd’s death as Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. 

May 28

Federal and state prosecutors were negotiating a possible plea deal with Chauvin, but the deal ultimately fell apart. 

Those negotiations delayed a previously announced press conference that day by nearly two hours. "I thought we would have another development to talk to you about, but we don’t," said then U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald at the start of the delayed press conference in front of the FBI’s Brooklyn Center Headquarters.  

May 29

Chauvin is arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says, "This is by far the fastest we’ve ever charged a police officer." 

May 31

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison takes the lead on the prosecution in the case of George Floyd’s death. 

June 3

Kueng, Thao and Lane are taken into custody after being charged for their roles in Floyd's death. 

Chauvin’s charges are upgraded to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Kueng, Thao and Lane are all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

June 6

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's report ruled the death of George Floyd a homicide. The updated report stated that George Floyd experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement. 

June 29

All four former officers appear in Hennepin County District Court for an omnibus hearing in which Judge Peter Cahill sets a trial date for next year and warns public officials to stop talking about the case publicly.
 
July 7

Lane and J. Alexander Kueng’s body-worn cameras, transcripts of the body camera videos and photos of the interior of George Floyd’s vehicle are all submitted as exhibits supporting a motion to dismiss the charges against Lane. 

July 9 

Judge Cahill issues a gag order in the cases against all four former officers after at least two attorneys talked to the media. 

July 15

Judge Cahill allows the media and public to view the footage from the body-worn cameras of former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. The videos were available to view by appointment only and reporters were not allowed to record or share the body camera videos.

On the same day, George Floyd’s family files a federal civil rights wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis and its police officers. 
 
July 21

Judge Cahill dismisses the gag order after the defense argued it was not fair to the four former officers after so much had already been said about their actions. He also decides not to sanction AG Ellison, who the defense said violated the now-dismissed gag order about the case when he sent out a news release to the public introducing his full prosecutorial team. 

Aug. 12

The State of Minnesota files a motion to join the cases of Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane into one prosecution. The move means there would be one trial for all the officers, rather than four separate trials.

Sept. 11

Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane all appear in court for a motions hearing. It was the first time Chauvin appeared in court in person, after making his previous appearances over a video feed from the Oak Park Heights prison. 

Demonstrators gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center ahead of the hearing, demanding justice for George Floyd. Following the hearing, several members of the Floyd family and their attorneys took the podium to address the crowd and share their reactions

Judge Cahill heard oral arguments on multiple motions, including changing the trial venue, joining the four cases into one and dismissing the cases altogether. Cahill did not address any of those motions, but he did disqualify Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and three other attorneys in his office from participating in the trial. He made the decision because the four prosecutors are now witnesses in the case because of a private meeting they had with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. 

Sept. 26

The state files an amended notice of intent to offer other evidence. They claim some of the evidence will help show previous acts of misconduct by the former officers, while other evidence will demonstrate in similar cases to Floyd's they followed protocol and had knowledge of proper training.

Attorneys representing Chauvin, Thao and Kueng argue if the state wants to use that evidence, then the four cases should be joined into one trial as the state requested.

Oct. 1

Thomas Plunkett, the attorney representing Kueng, calls for a change of venue for the trial after the defendants were met with a hostile crowd at the Sept. 11 hearing. 

Oct. 7

Derek Chauvin is released from jail after posting a $1 million bond. Chauvin had been jailed in segregation at the maximum security Oak Park Heights, Minnesota since May 31.

Following his release, Gov. Walz activates the National Guard "out of an abundance of caution" for possible unrest. Floyd’s aunt, Angela Harrelson, while stunned by Chauvin’s release, calls for peace.

After an evening of peaceful protests, tensions rise at a protest outside of the Minneapolis Police Department's Fifth Precinct, leading to 51 arrests.

Oct. 8

A pair of protests are held in Minneapolis and St. Paul in response to Chauvin’s release.

Judge Cahill signs an order allowing Chauvin to live in Minnesota or one of its bordering states, although his address will remain confidential. 

Oct. 13

Prosecutors in the George Floyd case push to restrict public access to new filings in the case for two business days before they can be released. A media coalition, which includes FOX 9, opposes the motion because it would interfere with the public’s right to access court proceedings.

Oct. 15

Judge Cahill rejects the state’s motion to seal the body camera video of Floyd’s prior arrest in 2019. In his ruling, Cahill said body camera video of Floyd's prior arrest is one small piece of evidence.

The video is released to the public

Oct 22

Judge Cahill dismisses the third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, but denies the defense's motions to dismiss the other charges against him. Chauvin remains charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. 

In his ruling, Cahill says he dismissed the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin because the statute does not fit the alleged crime as it requires that Chauvin put other people’s lives in danger with his actions, not just Floyd’s. 

Gov. Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard after a request from Minneapolis over possible unrest following the court rulings. 

Nov. 4

Judge Cahill grants the state’s motion to join the cases of Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane and hold one trial.  

In a rare move, Cahill also says he will allow full, live broadcasting of the court proceedings in the trial of the four officers. 

The judge preliminarily denies the defense’s motion to move the trial out of Hennepin County. 

Cahill vacates his previous order disqualifying Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and three other attorneys from his office from participating in the prosecution in the trial, allowing all four to stay on the prosecution of the cases. 

Nov. 25

AG Ellison files motion asking Judge Cahill to reconsider his motion allowing audio and video coverage of the trial. 

Dec. 14

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, files a motion asking for the trial to be pushed back, arguing discovery items were "hay stacked" with relevant material sandwiched between useless training materials. 

Dec. 22

Potential jurors are mailed a questionnaire asking about their knowledge of the case, police connections and attitudes toward the justice system. 

Dec. 31

State prosecutors, led by AG Ellison, file a motion asking the court to delay the trial until June, citing COVID-19 concerns. The state's motion for continuance is supported by an affidavit from a member of President-elect Joe Biden's Coronavirus Advisory Board.

Jan. 7

A virtual hearing is held on the state’s motion to delay the trial until the summer. Judge Cahill does not rule on a trial delay. 

Jan. 11

Judge Cahill rules Chauvin will stand trial alone on March 8, while Thao, Kueng and Lane will stand trial together on Aug. 23. In his order, Cahill says concerns over COVID-19 are too great to have all four former officers charged in the case go on trial in the same courtroom at one time. 

Jan. 19

State prosecutors file a motion asking Judge Cahill to consider rejoining the four cases into one prosecution and hold one trial in the summer, citing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jan. 21

Judge Cahill denies state’s motion to rejoin the four cases and hold one trial in the summer. 

Jan. 26

Judge Cahill denies the defense’s motion to admit at trial evidence relating to George Floyd’s 2019 arrest in Minneapolis and his subsequent admission to the Hennepin County Medical Center as well as his 2007 conviction for aggravated robbery in Texas. 

Meanwhile, Cahill grants part of the state’s motion to admit evidence relating to an August 2015 incident and a June 2017 incident involving Chauvin. 

Jan. 28

State prosecutors, lead by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, file an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals to rejoin the trials of the four former Minneapolis police officers and hold one trial in the summer, arguing that holding two separate trials is too much of a public health risk during a pandemic. 

Feb. 4

State prosecutors file a motion asking Judge Cahill to reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin as well as add the same charge against the other three former officers charged in connection with Floyd’s death.

Feb. 8

The state and defense submit their prospective witness lists for Chauvin's trial. 

Feb. 9

Eight Minnesota jail guards file a lawsuit against Ramsey County alleging racial discrimination after they were barred from working on the floor where Chauvin was being held.

Feb. 10

The New York Times reports that Chauvin had agreed to plead guilty to third degree murder just days after Floyd’s death, but William Barr, the U.S. attorney general at the time, rejected the agreement.

Feb. 11

Judge Cahills denies state’s request to reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. 

Feb. 12

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says it will not step in and delay Chauvin’s trial

State prosecutors file an appeal asking the Court of Appeals to review Judge Cahill’s rejection of their motion to reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. 

Feb 23

The Minnesota Court of Appeals announces it will hear oral arguments over reinstating the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. The state had asked the appeals court to review Judge Cahill’s rejection of their motion to reconsider his decision to dismiss the third-degree charge against Chauvin. 

FOX 9 reports a federal grand jury is looking into civil rights violations by Chauvin. A source says four Minneapolis police officers have been called in to testify about Chauvin, but they were not involved in the incident with George Floyd. The source says federal prosecutors are looking at Chauvin’s "entire history of employment."

March 1

The Minnesota Court of Appeals hears oral arguments over reinstating the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. 

Judge Cahill sets rules for the Chauvin trial, ruling that George Floyd and Derek Chauvin’s families will only get one seat each in the courtroom. His order also lays out additional procedures for the trial such as the use of wireless headsets between the attorneys and the judge to minimize their face-to-face contact and when masks can be taken off, including during opening statements and closing arguments as well as when witnesses testify.

March 8

Chauvin's trial begins. Judge Cahill delays jury selection until the following day after state prosecutors file a request with the Minnesota Court of Appeals suspend the trial while the issue of whether to reinstate the third-degree murder charge remains unresolved.  

Chauvin’s defense attorneys file a motion with the Minnesota Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals opinion on the matter.

March 10

The Minnesota Supreme Court says it will not hear any appeal from Chauvin’s legal team as it relates to adding a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, leaving it up to Judge Cahill to determine whether to reinstate the charge. 

March 11

Judge Cahill reinstates the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin after hearing arguments from both sides. Jury selection continues. 

March 12 

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approves a record $27 million settlement in the civil lawsuit brought by the family of George Floyd. The vote was 13-0. The settlement includes $500,000 to be spent on community efforts near the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, which has become known as George Floyd Square.

The first week of jury selection ends with seven jurors seated. Prosecutors and defense attorneys will continue to question prospective jurors until they can seat a 12-person jury, with two alternates. 

March 17

Judge Cahill re-questioned the seven jurors who were seated prior to the city's announcement about the settlement with Floyd's family. Cahill dismissed two jurors after they felt they could no longer be impartial after learning about the city's settlement.

This brought the total amount of seated jurors down to seven, but after resuming jury selection, two new jurors were selected, bringing the total back up to nine seated jurors.

March 19

Judge Cahill denies the defense's motion to delay or move the trial out of Hennepin County.

Cahill also determines a portion of the body camera video of Floyd's arrest in 2019 is admissible. He said some of the body camera video from one officer from up until Floyd is out of the car and handcuffed is admissible because it shows delay in compliance, Floyd digesting drugs and subsequent stressful medical condition. 

March 23

Full Chauvin trial jury seated. Fifteen jurors were selected, but only 14 (12 jurors and two alternates) will hear the case. The 15th juror will be dismissed before opening statements on Monday, March 29. 

March 29

Opening statements delivered in the Derek Chauvin trial. The state calls its first witnesses, including the 911 dispatcher who called police on police. 

April 13

The state rests its case in the Derek Chauvin trial. The defense calls its first witnesses.