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Dozens rally before ex-officer put on trial in Floyd's death

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

FILE - In this Thursday, May 28, 2020, file photo, a protester holds a photo of George Floyd during a protest at the Hennepin County Government Center, as protests continue over the death of Floyd, who died in police custody Monday night in Minneapolis, after video shared online by a bystander showed a white officer kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe. Dozens of people gathered in front of the Minnesota governors mansion on Saturday, March 6, 2021, to demand accountability for police officers, days before a former Minneapolis officer is scheduled to go on trial in the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Dozens of people gathered in front of the Minnesota governor’s mansion on Saturday to demand accountability for police officers, days before a former Minneapolis officer is scheduled to go on trial in the death of George Floyd.

Many of the roughly 150 people who demonstrated in Minnesota were family members of others who died during police encounters. Similar protests were being organized in cities around the country in advance of the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while Floyd was held face-down on the ground in handcuffs, saying he couldn’t breathe. Body-camera video time stamps provided by prosecutors show Chauvin held his position for about nine minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and jury selection in his trial begins Monday.

Saturday's protest in Minnesota was organized by Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, a coalition of families who lost loved ones in police confrontations. The Star Tribune reports that speakers said that in light of Floyd's death, they want other fatal police encounters reopened and examined.