FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The trial for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin began Monday. He is accused of killing George Floyd in the spring of 2020.
The trial is expected to be closely watched by people across the country and right here at home.
Former Fort Pierce City Commissioner Reggie Sessions said he will be tracking every development.
"I've been watching it back and forth all day," Sessions said.
After the death of George Floyd, Sessions was involved in planning a march from the courthouse to the Fort Pierce Police Department. Monday, he watched the trial from the perspective of a community activist, but also with interest as an attorney.
"I thought the state was very aggressive in laying out the facts," Sessions said.
He is also pleased with the diversity of the jurors.
"Just that in and of itself makes me feel comfortable," Sessions said.
Over at WJCB in Fort Pierce, Joseph Jenkins, who goes by "Jumping Joe" on-air, talked to listeners about how he's been anticipating this trial, along with his guest, Reverend Kenneth Mills.
Jenkins and Sessions were both pleased by how quickly the trial was scheduled -- less than a year after Floyd's death, and only months following protests across the country.
"We need to continue to peacefully protest while this trial is going on," Jenkins suggested. "Everybody has petitioned, everybody has marched, everybody has prayed their way to this point. We're now in court."
To Sessions, Mills and Jenkins, the trial is not anti-police.
"When they leave the house, we pray to God that they can come home safe," Mills said.
The trial, they hope, gives more answers and clarity about the events leading up to Floyd's death. They hope regardless of the outcome of the trial, community relationships with police will continue to be a priority locally and around the country.
"Be encouraged," Jenkins said. "We're going to get through this."