Durham student tries to organise mock trial for murder of George Floyd

She was looking for someone to play the role of Derek Chauvin, George Floyd’s killer

A Durham student posted on Overheard this weekend asking for participants to join in an online mock trial for Derek Chauvin, the murderer of George Floyd.

She was requesting people join the trial as defence, prosecution or witness roles – even offering up the role of Derek Chauvin. The post read: “***Mock Trial Opportunity, Trial of Derek Chauvin: Killer of George Floyd*** Hi guys I am organising a Zoom mock trial for anyone who would like to get involved. I am looking for defence, prosecution and a few witnesses, including Chauvin and anyone else who would have witnessed the death. Let me know if you would like to get involved.”

Comments on the post called out the student, calling the trial opportunity “insensitive” with one student saying: “Probably I’d say no to this pre-brain damage but it sounds like a really good idea to me now actually.”

One Durham student told The Tab: “It is obviously grossly insensitive, but not surprising, that students at Durham University feel entitled to offer a conclusive legal ruling on the killing of George Floyd.”

The student who made the post has apologised to The Durham Tab, saying that it was originally intended as a means of education but she now regrets her decision.

The student told The Durham Tab: “I was taught that in order to change and destroy systems we have to understand them. I thought that a mock trial would provide an opportunity to educate ourselves on the systemic flaws of the American legal system, whilst highlighting the inexcusable guilt and villainy of George Floyd’s killer.

“In retrospect it is clear that the topic was insensitive and was not the best way to deconstruct these issues.

“I made my post from a place of solidarity, wanting to engage in the issues of injustice. The past 48 hours have been very difficult for me as I have been accused of things I absolutely do not support.

“I would again like to reiterate my support for the black lives matter movement and my regret for any hurt that has come from my actions.”

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