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Sarah Stultz: Take advantage of opportunity to watch trial

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I tried to listen to some of the trial on Tuesday for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged in the death of George Floyd last year. This trial is the first time in Minnesota history for a trial to be live-streamed for the public.

Already, it has been emotional — for the witnesses who have testified, for the family and friends of George Floyd and for people indirectly related or not even related at all. I watched as some of the comments rolled in as the video streamed on MPR’s Facebook page, where I was watching.

It has been a heavy 10 months leading up to the trial, not only for people in Minneapolis, but for people throughout our state, our community, our nation and even across the globe — and it will likely continue to be that way for weeks and months to come regardless of the outcome.

The pain was evident in the witnesses as they answered questions from both the prosecutor and the defense attorney surrounding what they saw, heard and felt that day.

No matter what your thoughts were going into this trial, it was evident they had experienced something that literally changed their lives forever.

I had to shut it off after only about 30 minutes because I had too many other things I needed to get done, but I hope to catch more of it as I can in the coming days.

As a journalist, I still remember some of the details and emotions of the large trials like this that I have covered in my almost 15 years in Albert Lea, in which people were charged with killing another person.

While trials can often be long, raw and graphic, I hope others can take advantage of this landmark opportunity to watch the trial live so they can hear more details firsthand about the events surrounding that day and hear all of the information that is presented to the jury — instead of solely relying on the information you may have heard previously in the case or the information you may hear in passing from some other source.

As we continue to move through this trial and the days, weeks and months that follow, I hope people will be sensitive to others’ needs.

It’s clear there are many people hurting, and this is an opportunity to build bridges on many fronts.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.