'We're the most accidentally shot people by police': Anger in Minneapolis as city awaits George Floyd verdict

  • Video report by ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo

The city of Minneapolis is waiting with baited breath, as a verdict on George Floyd's death could be delivered in a matter of hours.

The tension is palpable, with the court fenced off and shops boarded up, awaiting to see whether Derek Chauvin will be jailed.

Many in the black community have their own stories to tell. Northside Boxing Club coach, Phil 'The Drill' Williams, can't help but see a sinister trend emerging across the US.

"We're the most accidentally shot people by police I've ever seen in my life," he told ITV News.

"We just accidentally get shot all the time. 'Thought it was a cell phone, thought it was a real gun, thought he was reaching, thought it was a Taser'.

"God, how many times do you keep doing this?"

A few weeks ago, Minneapolis Police was involved in an incident with a group of youths outside his gym.

Phone footage uploaded onto social media shows a white police officer punching a black teenager repeatedly.

An incident involivng police and young black youths took place just a few weeks ago.

It has led to a breakdown of relations between many in the community. Some black people in Minneapolis say they are more afraid of police officers than they are of criminals.

Sharrell Slaughter, whose eight-year-old son Royal attends the boxing gym, said he is conscious of his actions when around officers.

Sharrell Slaughter says her son knows how to act around police.

She said: "The kids normally see the police and think 'they're around to protect us.'

"Now, it's like 'oh my god look at the police, oh my god they're going to kill us.'"

Jerry Thomas, Royal's stepfather, added: "My son is eight-years-old and he asked 'will the police kill my dad? Are they going to kill me and my dad if I'm with my dad? Are they gonna kill you, me and my dad if we're together?'"

A few miles away - and just a few days before George Floyd's killing - another black man was shot dead.

Douglas Lewis had been involved in a road accident then a row with another motorist.

Douglas Lewis had been involved in a road accident then a row with another motorist when he was shot dead.

A white man said he feared for his life so shot him dead.

This week, Douglas' family will hear if his killer will be jailed for the charge, which he denies.

Valerie Lewis, Douglas Lewis's sister, said: "I was angry. I was confused. I'm still hurt because all I can imagine of him being there by himself. He had nobody. He didn't have his family.

"He was laying on that ground by himself. He was at that hospital by himself."

Valerie Lewis, Douglas Lewis's sister, recalls her brother's death. Credit: ITV News

In separate courtrooms this week, America itself is on trial.

And everyone is ready.

Because for many African Americans, the verdicts will be judgments about whether justice really is for all.