Updated: March 29, 2021 10:36 PM
Created: March 29, 2021 12:10 PM
Just before the start of opening statements in the trial of Derek Chauvin on Monday, members of George Floyd's family and their attorneys called for justice, calling the trial a "landmark" moment in American history.
The group spoke for nearly an hour leading up to the start of court at 9 a.m.
"Today starts a landmark trial that will be a referendum on how far America has come in its quest for equality and justice for all," attorney Ben Crump said.
Floyd's brothers and Rev. Al Sharpton also attended the event.
The group ended by kneeling for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — highlighting the amount of time Chauvin was seen on video kneeling on Floyd's neck — starting at 8:46 a.m.
Floyd's brothers said they will continue to demand justice and hope the case will be just the start for change across America.
"The shade of your skin shouldn't be a death sentence," said Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother. "America is watching."
Three of George Floyd's brothers, along with several cousins and a nephew, were among the family members who stood together in front of reporters Monday.
"We can't get George Floyd back but what we can do is make sure no family feels this pain and suffering we do," said Brandon Williams, George Floyd's nephew.
National civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton said he believes Chauvin's actions were 'intentional and deliberate,' so justice should also be intentional and deliberate.
"Make no mistake about it. Chauvin is in the courtroom, but America's on trial," said Sharpton. "America's on trial to see if we have gotten to the place where we can hold police accountable if they break the law. The law is for everybody."
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