Minneapolis Shootings Leave One Dead Ahead of Jury Selection in Trial of Ex-Cop Charged Over George Floyd’s Death

March 8, 2021 Updated: March 8, 2021

Multiple shootings in Minneapolis this weekend claimed one life and left others injured, according to multiple reports.

Police said a man was shot and killed near the Minneapolis intersection known as George Floyd Square, where Floyd died in police custody last May, The Associated Press reported.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder told the outlet that shortly before 6 p.m. on Saturday, two people had been shot following an argument.

“This appeared to be a very directed attack or assault. And we’re unaware of this being a threat to the community,” Elder said, according to the report. “They had an argument. And so, it appears that there may have been some previous knowledge of one another.”

The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he later succumbed to his wounds. The second shooting victim was not located, Elder said.

Friends identified the victim as 30-year-old Imez Wright, who worked as a team member for Change Inc., a local organization that helps mentor black youth in St. Paul, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“It is a huge loss for our organization, our team,” Quinton Bonds, one of Wright’s supervisors told the outlet. “Our team is like family. We lost a family member.”

According to local outlet KSTP, the victim had already been taken to the hospital by the time officers arrived at the scene, with Elder saying the responding officers “were met with interference” when they got to George Floyd Square, a barricaded area where a memorial to Floyd has been erected.

Epoch Times Photo
A view of the site where George Floyd died last May, known now as George Floyd Square, in Minneapolis, Minn., on March 6, 2021. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Activists have treated George Floyd Square as a so-called “autonomous zone” where police are not always welcome, according to local media.

Another person was shot shortly before 11 p.m. on Saturday, with police saying the man suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital, according to CBSN Minnesota.

The shootings took place less than 48 hours before jury selection was set to begin Monday in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in Floyd’s death. Chauvin was fired and criminally charged after a bystander video showed him restraining Floyd with a knee to the neck.

Jury selection, which local outlets reported has been delayed until at least Tuesday, is expected to take at least three weeks, as prosecutors and defense attorneys try to weed out people for bias.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, has argued that pretrial publicity and the subsequent violent unrest in Minneapolis would make it impossible to find an impartial jury in Hennepin County.

Judge Peter Cahill said last year that moving the trial probably wouldn’t cure the problem of a potentially tainted jury pool, however, because “no corner of the state of Minnesota” has been shielded from pretrial publicity.

Update: This article has been updated with recent reporting on the postponement of jury selection.

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