Near Derek Chauvin Trial, Casket Left in Street for Black Deaths by Police That 'Weren't Filmed'

Protesters in Minneapolis left a coffin outside the courthouse where former police Officer Derek Chauvin is being tried in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd. The casket represents all Black victims of brutality who didn't receive national attention.

Hundreds of protesters holding "justice 4 George Floyd" and "Black Lives Matter" flags marched along 3rd Avenue on Monday and demanded police accountability during opening remarks of Chauvin's murder trial.

A full-sized casket covered in a white mosaic design was left in the middle of the street after the protest had moved on toward the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial is taking place. The casket featured a message from the activist group Visual Black Justice, which demanded justice for any unnamed or under-reported victim of police brutality.

The march has moved on, but a full-size casket was left behind in the middle of the street.

"For all who weren't filmed...who didn't get a national deserve it all." @WCCO

— David Schuman (@david_schuman) March 29, 2021

"For all who weren't filmed, won't get a trial, haven't received justice, whose names weren't said, cases that were swept under the rug, who didn't get a national uprising and whose cities didn't burn from grief, you deserve it all," read the message on the adult-sized coffin that was left just outside the courthouse fencing.

One activist, teacher Kaia Hirt, had chained herself to the chain-link fence around the courthouse overnight Monday. Hirt told local reporters she is looking to bring attention to the number of police killings in the state of Minnesota. Dozens of protesters signed the names of police brutality victims onto the locks before attaching them to the fence that surrounds the courthouse.

Numerous activists who marched the streets of Minneapolis amid Chauvin's trial expressed solidarity with the message placed on the casket. Teach Everyone a Method activist Tamika Williams told WCCO-TV she is in the streets seeking police accountability and "justice for any Black person that has ever been mistreated."

"For myself and a lot of the other families, it's traumatizing," added Toshira Garraway of the activist group Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. Garraway said Chauvin's trial is a high-profile opportunity "to show the world that an African-American man, a Black man's life, is valued."

Newsweek reached out to the group that signed the casket, Visual Black Justice, for any additional remarks Tuesday afternoon.

Chauvin, 45, is standing trial in Minneapolis on charges of murder and manslaughter in Floyd's May 2020 death. The incident, which was largely recorded on cellphones by bystanders, sparked nationwide protests last summer against police brutality.

Chauvin's legal defense team argues that Floyd, 46, had no signs of asphyxiation despite video that showed the ex-officer pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes.

derek chauvin trial george floyd
A poster with George Floyd's picture and a sign reads that "I Can't Breathe" hang from a security fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 30, 2021, in Minneapolis. KEREM YUCEL / AFP/Getty Images