Below are frequently asked questions and resources related to the State of Minnesota vs. Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao trials.
- March 8: Jury Selection begins for Derek Chauvin trial
- March 29: Opening statements, State of Minnesota’s case begins vs. Derek Chauvin
- Trial duration: approximately 2-4 weeks
- August 23: Trial proceedings begin for J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao trial
Web and phone resources
Minnesota Judicial Branch website: State vs. Derek Chauvin information page + sign-up to receive updates
Additional downtown street closures related to increased security include:
- Third Street South, between Second and Third avenues.
- Second Avenue South, between Third and Fourth streets.
- Fifth Street South, between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
- Fourth Street South, between First Avenue North and Second Avenue South, due to construction and for security concerns.
- Sixth Street South (the street and both sidewalks) remains closed between Third and Fourth avenues at the Hennepin County Government Center.
- Street closures are also in place around the Fourth Precinct, 1925 Plymouth Ave. N., and the Fifth Precinct, 3101 Nicollet Ave. Visit the City’s interactive road closure map to stay up-to-date on the latest closures.
If you need Ambassador services or other assistance downtown, please call the DID Hotline: (612) 332-1111
City services and information: 311 (or visit the 311 online resource page)
Non-emergency police assistance: (612) 348-2345 (more info)
Mpls Police Department Tips Line: (612) 673-5335
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the trial take place?
Jury selection for the trial of Derek Chauvin began on March 9 and concluded March 23. Opening statements and the commencement of the State’s case begin March 29, 2021. Three other former Minneapolis police officers will be tried together, in a separate trial, beginning Aug. 23, 2021.
How long will the trial last?
We do not know how long the trial will last. At a minimum, experts anticipate the trial could last 2-4 weeks.
Who are the defendants?
The defendants are former Minneapolis police officers. The four are: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
Where will the trial take place?
The trial is scheduled to take place in Hennepin County District Court. The Hennepin County Courthouse is in downtown Minneapolis, adjacent to Minneapolis City Hall and near the Federal Courthouse.
Will there be one trial? Or will each defendant be tried separately?
There will be two trials. Jury selection for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began on March 9 with Opening Statements on March 29, 2021. A second trial will begin on Aug. 23, 2021, for former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. The three will be tried together.
Will the trial be televised?
Yes, the judge ruled that cameras are allowed in the courtroom.
Will there be protests?
Protests are anticipated during the trial. Protests around racial and social justice have occurred in cities and towns across the United States, including in Minneapolis. It is important to note that most protests that took place in Minneapolis in 2020 were peaceful.
How is the city of Minneapolis preparing to maintain public safety during the trial?
A coordinated planning effort by the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police Department, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Patrol, the Minnesota National Guard, and additional mutual aid partners are part of the security plan leading up to and through the trial.
Will streets be blocked during the trial?
Yes, there is a security perimeter in place during the trial.
Will Minneapolis businesses be open or closed during the trial?
Yes, Minneapolis will be open for business before, during and after the trial.
Does Minneapolis still have a police department? Has the Minneapolis Police Department been defunded/disbanded?
Yes, the Minneapolis City Charter requires a minimum level of police staffing based on the number of residents in Minneapolis, and the 2021 city budget includes more than $171 million for the MPD. In addition, the city is investing in additional community safety initiatives.
When will the National Guard and additional security presence be downtown?
Law enforcement and National Guard will be available downtown throughout the trial.
Should I board my windows up during the trial?
Additional security presence will be downtown during the trial. Individual businesses will need to determine if you board or do not board your windows.
Will there be curfews?
Curfews are determined as needed by city leaders. At this time there are no curfews planned.
Is there a number to contact if bad behaviors are observed?
The best options for reaching out is the DID hotline (612-332-1111). Unless it includes illegal activity, then call 9-1-1.
How much notice will be given if transit shuts down?
Follow Metro Transit on social media (@metrotransitmn) for the most up-to-date transit information. You can also sign up for rider alerts at www.metrotransit.org/rider-alerts or call 612-373-3333 for updates.
Should I feel comfortable having my staff come downtown?
Additional security presence will be downtown during the trial, and downtown continues to be open for business.
Will known protest areas be posted anywhere?
A First Amendment zone is located on Hennepin County Government Center’s South Plaza.
Which community patrols were selected by the City of Minneapolis to de-escalate and provide support in communities through 2021?
The City of Minneapolis selected seven community organizations to provide positive outreach and support services during and after the trials. These organizations are A Mother’s Love, Center for Multicultural Mediation, Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), Corcoran Neighborhood Organization and T.O.U.C.H. Outreach, Change Equals Opportunity (CEO), Restoration Inc., and We Push for Peace. These organizations will provide positive outreach and community engagement, support two-way communication between communities and the City, de-escalate, mediate and resolve conflicts if needed, and share information about existing City and community supports and help community members access them. Contracts run through Dec. 31, 2021.
With the trial livestreamed, are there plans to react to any days with controversial testimony?
Operation Safety Net is focused on keeping the public safe during trial proceedings including, protecting the first amendment right to peaceful protest and ensuring the justice system can do its job. Making sure that the trial can be carried out safely and without interruption is part of securing justice. Operation Safety Net, its partners and the unified command are coordinating efforts to help elevate or dial back safety measures at any time during the trial proceedings.
Will trash cans and other potential projectiles be removed during the trial?
At this time, trash cans will remain in place.