MINNEAPOLIS — Just seven hours before prosecutors opened their case against Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, a Chicago officer chased down a 13-year-old boy in a West Side alley and fatally shot him as he turned with his hands up.
One day later, at a hotel in Jacksonville, Fla., officers fatally shot a 32-year-old man, who, the police say, grabbed one of their Tasers. The day after that, as an eyewitness to Mr. Floyd’s death broke down in a Minneapolis courtroom while recounting what he saw, a 40-year-old mentally ill man who said he was being harassed by voices was killed in Claremont, N.H., in a shootout with the state police.
On every day that followed, all the way through the close of testimony, another person was killed by the police somewhere in the United States.
The trial has forced a traumatized country to relive the gruesome death of Mr. Floyd beneath Mr. Chauvin’s knee. But even as Americans continue to process that case — and anxiously wait for a verdict — new cases of people killed by the police mount unabated.
the killing of Daunte Wright, 20, during a recent traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minn.
The pain of George Floyd’s death “is still scarred into our minds and yet history continues to repeat itself,” the statement continued. “Our community has reached its breaking point.”
This past week the mayor of Chicago called for calm as “excruciating” body camera footage was released in the police killing of the 13-year-old, Adam Toledo. The shaky video shows a police officer, responding to a call of shots fired, chasing a boy with what appears to be a gun down an alley at night in a predominantly Latino neighborhood.
“Stop right now!” the officer screams while cursing. “Hands. Show me your hands. Drop it. Drop it.” A single shot fells the boy as he turns, lifting his hands.
killed by the police on April 12 in a high school bathroom after reports that a student had brought a gun onto campus.
All of those killings and many more occurred as testimony in the Minneapolis trial unfolded, though few attracted as much national attention as the shooting of Mr. Wright less than 10 miles from the courthouse where Mr. Chauvin stood trial. Protests erupted in Brooklyn Center after a veteran police officer fatally shot Mr. Wright, saying she mistook her gun for her Taser, as he attempted to flee during a traffic stop.
Abigail Cerra, a Minneapolis civil rights lawyer and a member of the Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission, said it was unclear why the officers stopped him for an expired registration, an issue for many drivers in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.
But two aspects of the case, she said, were infuriatingly familiar: that Mr. Wright was Black, and that the police tasked with delivering him safely to the courts, where violations of the law are supposed to be adjudicated, effectively delivered a death sentence.
“It’s just another example of a nothing offense escalated to lethality,” Ms. Cerra said.