Floyd case: trial against former police officer Derek Chauvin 2:13
(CNN Business) -
(CNN Business) -
From a media perspective, the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be the biggest trial of the streaming era.
Opening arguments will begin around 10 a.m. Miami time this Monday.
People will be watching on live streaming services like Law & Crime, as well as television networks like HLN.
Full coverage will be available across the web and highlights will be available on demand.
And Court TV will be back, following its relaunch in 2019 with a combination of broadcast, cable and online distribution offerings.
Law & Crime owner Dan Abrams told me that "there have been other lawsuits in recent years that have gained national interest" - the trials of Amber Guyger, Michelle Carter, Robert Durst - "but definitely not on the same scale." .
He said "the Hulk Hogan / Gawker civil trial also had a great hearing, but again nothing like this."
Abrams will serve a dual role during the trial, as ABC's chief legal analyst and as an executive overseeing coverage for Law & Crime.
For an introduction to what to expect, check out Eric Levenson's overview for CNN.com.
"For the first time in Minnesota," he wrote, "the trial will be broadcast live in its entirety to accommodate covid-19 attendance restrictions, giving the public a glimpse into the biggest case of the Black Lives Matter era."
Ken Jautz, the CNN executive who oversees HLN, told me that "it is only right that this trial receives such wide coverage as it involves some of the most important issues of our time."
This is the entry for Reid Forgrave and Maya Rao's piece in Sunday's Minneapolis Star Tribune: “George Floyd pleading for his life under the knees of a Minneapolis police officer has become a defining moment of our time.
What began 10 months ago at the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue has morphed into nothing less than an American reckoning of justice, racial fairness, the proper role of law enforcement, and the historical errors that the society has perpetrated against blacks… «.
"Good morning from Minneapolis," wrote the BBC's Larry Madowo on arrival at the city's airport to cover the trial.
"All the attention in the world will be here," he said.
The presence of the BBC and other international media underscores what is at stake.
"The public is on the lookout for signs that police officers may be held accountable when someone dies in their custody," the Guardian team wrote.
The role of cameras
Thanks to a witness with a cell phone camera, "the knee that Mr. Chauvin placed on Mr. Floyd's neck was filmed for all to see," wrote Joshua Nevett of the BBC.
“Enraged by what they saw, protesters around the world said it was time to end racial injustice.
Now the cameras will allow them to see the justice system in real time.
As noted above, this is happening for the first time in Minnesota.
A Court TV crew will have three cameras in the courtroom.
The recordings will be grouped and shared with all media.
"Every movement Mr. Chauvin makes, even the slightest facial expression, will be open to public scrutiny," Nevett wrote.
"While not unusual in the US, that kind of transparency raises long-debated questions about the role of cameras in court ..."
It is not "the George Floyd trial"
There is a tendency to use Floyd's name, under the assumption that his name is better known than Chauvin's, but the media are thinking about what to call this trial.
The Washington Post's Steven Zeitchik captured some of the framing discussions within Court TV in a story a few weeks ago.
This trial really shouldn't be George Floyd's trial.
He's not on trial, ”producer Emanuella Grinberg said during a Zoom meeting.
Court TV coverage uses the names' Minnesota v.
Derek Chauvin "and" The George Floyd Murder Trial. "
The HLN coverage is titled "The Death of George Floyd - Derek Chauvin on Trial."
What to expect
“Ideas of excessive force in general, ideas of police reform, ideas of police responsibility, ideas of systemic injustice, ideas of the treatment of black victims at the hands of white defendants… they will all be addressed and it will be the elephants in the courtroom, but in the courtroom none of that can overshadow the government's burden of proof in this specific trial, "said CNN Senior Legal Analyst Laura Coates.
Derek Chauvin is the defendant.
Not the American justice system.
Not all police officers.
- "Much of the coverage will appear in digital media outlets," wrote Brian Steinberg of Variety.
- Opening arguments will be shown live everywhere on Monday morning.
David Muir, Lester Holt and Norah O'Donnell will feature special reports on their respective broadcast networks.
- HLN (CNN's sister channel) will have coverage from beginning to end on cable, recalling past coverage of cases such as Casey Anthony, Conrad Murray, Jodi Arias and George Zimmerman.
Mike Galanos will lead the coverage, accompanied by Joey Jackson and Jean Casarez among others.
- CNN.com will broadcast live at all times.
ABC will have full coverage on its ABC News Live streaming platform with Diane Macedo and Terry Moran.
CBS "will make available camera footage from its Minneapolis station, WCCO, through CBSN, its free live news offering," according to the Steinberg story.