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What It's Like Inside The Courtroom During The Derek Chauvin Trial

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WCCO's Esme Murphy was in the courtroom today as the one broadcast pool reporter for the day (2:13). WCCO 4 News At 5 - March 29, 2021

Video Transcript

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: WCCO's Esme Murphy was in the courtroom today as the one broadcast pool reporter for the day. Media outlets around the world are using the notes that she provided for reporting on the trial. Esme joins us now with what the day was like day one in the courtroom. Esme, what's your overview of what you saw there going on today?

ESME MURPHY: Well, it was just extraordinary, Amelia. First of all, incredible tension in that courtroom. What's so unusual about this, is that there's no gallery. As you said, just one member of George Floyd's family who was allowed in, Philonise Floyd. One member of Derek Chauvin's family or a supporter is allowed in. There was nobody there to support him. Or none of his family was there.

But what was there were the 14 jurors. I was directly facing them. And they really look like a cross-section of our community. They really-- from 20s to 60s, men, women White, Black people who are of mixed race. And then there is, of course, the defendant, Derek Chauvin. Where I'm sitting, I'm actually sitting about eight feet directly behind him, which is very unusual. But it's only because of the COVID precautions.

One thing that was very startling was that we did have that video played again. And this is the whole video, folks. And jurors were asked in juror questionnaires if they had seen the whole video. And none of them had seen the entire thing. Most of them had seen clips, but they hadn't seen the whole thing that goes on. As they said in court today, for 9 minutes and 42 seconds, Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd's neck. And it was really interesting to see this tape played on four different screens in the courtroom.

And Derek Chauvin just looked at it. He didn't seem to show much emotion. I could see him from the side. He, at times, actually took notes. He obviously was there. And the other thing about that video is-- this is the bystander's video-- it didn't lose any quality as it was blown up. You could really see in every detail George Floyd's face, his eyebrows, his nose. And that came across really clear. I thought that some of the jurors looked as if they were shaken, frankly, just seeing it again. And some of them were seeing it for the first time. And I'll have more on my experiences in the courtroom coming up at 6 o'clock.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: All right. We look forward to that, Esme. Thank you.