When prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell told a Minnesota jury on Monday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is on trial for the alleged murder of George Floyd, “betrayed” his police officer badge “when he used excessive and unreasonable force against the body of George Floyd,” he spoke from behind plexiglass that bordered him on three sides.

Jerry W. Blackwell of Blackwell Burke. Jerry W. Blackwell of Blackwell Burke.

Blackwell, a respected corporate defense attorney who has joined the prosecution’s team pro bono for the Chauvin case, stood at a lonely podium erected in almost the exact center of a municipal-building courtroom that reportedly has had its gallery torn out in order to create additional space for physical distancing between the jury, the lawyers, the judge, the defendant and the few other staff and observers allowed inside the room.

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