On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, Kathleen McGee, George Floyd’s “favorite aunt” sat in the courtroom at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis observing the jury selection process in the Derek Chauvin trial. The day before, Floyd’s sister Bridgett sat in for jury selection (the defense and prosecution will select 14 jurors for the trial).

This is because Judge Peter Cahill, who’s presiding over the trial, said that only one family member from Floyd’s family would be allowed in the courtroom every day during trial.

Jury selection for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial began this week. The former police officer is on trial for murdering Floyd. A murder that was caught on a bystander’s phone, seen around the internet and led to worldwide protests against police brutality.

Lumumba Bandele, spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, told the AmNews that allowing only one family member in the courtroom at a time is insensitive to Floyd’s family members.

“Families whose loved ones were killed by police are routinely denied access to justice, and in the case of George Floyd’s family, it’s means they’re denied adequate access to the courtroom during Derek Chauvin’s trial,” said Bandele. “It is unacceptable that the judge is prioritizing members of the media, when only one of George Floyd’s family members is allowed in the room.”

The prosecution wanted to delay jury selection, but Judge Cahill denied their request. After being denied the request, the prosecution asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to issue a stay on jury selection. Cahill said he would continue with the process until he’s ordered not to.

Last spring, phone recordings caught Chauvin, 44, pin his knee onto 46-year-old Floyd’s head as he lay on the ground in the street. Police were responding to a call from a Cup Foods employee who believed that Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill to purchase cigarettes.

At the time, Floyd had just lost his job as a bouncer after businesses closed due to the COVD-19 pandemic.

According to transcripts of police bodycam footage, Floyd, a native of Houston, could be heard saying “I can’t breathe” at least 20 times while being restrained. The entire event, beginning with the call to police and ending with Floyd’s death, took half-an-hour.

Chauvin had his knee pinned to Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

But Congress is looking to correct wrongs and make police officers behave better with people in their custody.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1280, or the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, in an effort to hold police accountable for brutality. This bill is designed to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives.

The bill would ban chokeholds, mandate data collection of all police encounters, streamline federal law to establish independent prosecutors for police investigations, end racial and religious profiling and establish a national standard of operation for all police departments in the country.

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, called the bill “a monumental step towards reforming a broken system that allowed a law enforcement officer to conduct a modern-day lynching of Mr. Floyd with his knee… We must face this moment and deal with police accountability instead of turning a blind eye. We must change the unjust criminal justice system, and patterns and practices of police abuse that we have endured for far too long, including the use of chokeholds, racial profiling of Black and Brown lives, and the wrongful conduct that permeated the system for generations.”

After Tuesday’s jury selection proceedings, Bridgett Floyd told a gaggle of reporters that Chauvin should recognize the support her brother has received around the country in the wake of his death.

“I just really want that officer to know how much love there is for my brother, not just from my family but from people around the country,” she said. “Violence is not the answer. Sometimes we just need to take a step back.

“I miss my brother.”