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Minneapolis braces for Derek Chauvin murder trial verdict

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Minneapolis — Minneapolis is bracing for what comes next as the prosecution and defense in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial are set to give closing arguments on Monday. The jury will then be sequestered and deliberate, before announcing a verdict. 

“How do you keep having murder after murder,” said Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2016. “We don’t have time to recover.” 

Mothers of sons who died in police incidents spoke Friday to remind people of their pain. 

“I’m mad as hell again,” Castile said. “And again and again and again.” 

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Emotions are raw after 14 days of testimony from 45 witnesses and new videos of the 9 minutes and 29 seconds Chauvin’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. 

Police are ready for a violent reaction to the verdict and are planning for unrest that could surpass what followed Floyd’s death last summer. 

Law enforcement officials around the country are making similar preparations. Police in Washington, D.C., are switching to 12-hour shifts. The New York Police Department has spent nearly a year preparing for possible citywide protests. Some businesses in Philadelphia are boarded up. 

As tensions build, children in Minneapolis are feeling the anxiety. 

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“It is not cool to have a Black person walking in your neighborhood, and a white lady or a white man just sees you and all she sees is trouble,” said 9-year-old Keshawn Clark. 

Clark and other children are in a mentoring program called TEAM, which stands for Teach Everyone a Method. They range in age from 9 to 17 and have been following the trial. 

“We’re deciding between two fates, you know, the fate of the people and the fate of the system,” Roderick Ewing, 17, said. 

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