Derek Chauvin trial, MLB Opening Day, April Fools Day: 5 things to know Thursday

Chauvin murder trial enters fourth day following bodycam footage viewing

The Derek Chauvin murder trial enters its fourth day Thursday, a day after jurors watched four police body-cam videos. In the videos, George Floyd, a Black man, could be heard pleading for his life and saying “I can’t breathe.” The videos also revealed Chauvin defended his tactics after an ambulance left the scene, remarking to a bystander that Floyd was “a sizable guy” and “probably on something.” Jurors also heard from Cup Foods employee Christopher Martin, 19, who took the counterfeit $20 from Floyd — the incident that led to the call to police that brought Chauvin and the other officers to the scene. Martin said he “saw Derek with his knee on George’s neck on the ground” during his testimony.  “If had just not taken the ($20) bill, this could have been avoided,” Martin added. Other witnesses Wednesday included:

  • Cup Foods customer Christopher Belfrey, 45,  said he was “startled” by what he saw and began recording on his phone. 
  • Charles McMillian, a 61-year-old man who lives near Cup Foods, broke down on the witness stand at one point as he recounted his memories.
  • Minneapolis firefighter and trained EMT Genevieve Hansen, 27,  returned to the stand, saying she thought Floyd “needed medical attention” and “officers didn’t let” her into the scene. 

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of Floyd.

  • Guilt. Regret. Helplessness:Watching George Floyd die had a ‘profound’ impact on witnesses
  • Opinion: Race is on trial in Chauvin case. And whatever the jury decides won’t be enough.
  • Stay updated on the trial: Sign up for text messages of key updates, follow USA TODAY Network reporters on Twitter, or subscribe to the Daily Briefing newsletter.

Witnesses, many of whom were minors at the time, said they wished they could've intervened as Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck.


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April Fools Day is here: Will other companies follow Volkswagen’s lead?

April Fools’ Day, the annual tradition every April 1 where people and brands become pranksters, returns Thursday. The origins of the day probably date back hundreds of years, author Alex Boese said last year. In the 21st century, corporations began using the day as an opportunity to make joke advertisements go viral, Boese added. Due to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, some companies, including Google, reconsidered their gags. But if Volkswagen’s recent stunt is any indication, companies may be less shy with pranks in 2021. The automaker said Monday that it was changing its U.S. name to “Voltswagen” in a nod toward the company’s heightened commitment to electric vehicles. Major news outlets, including USA TODAY, reported on the decision. The company then admitted it was an April Fools’ joke. Volkswagen is not changing its name. A spokesman acknowledged the stunt upset some people in a statement Wednesday and apologized.

  • Volkswagen won’t be ‘Voltswagen’ after all:Misleading marketing is risky, especially for the automaker
  • Did Michael Strahan really remove his teeth gap or was it a gag?Not even his ‘GMA’ co-hosts know
  • This is not a joke:National Burrito Day and April Fools’ Day fall on the same day this year

The April 1 tradition of pranks has been observed for centuries across a variety of cultures but the true origins of April Fools’ Day is unknown.


MLB opening day – a national holiday

The 2021 baseball season gets underway Thursday, with all 30 teams scheduled to start on the same day for the first time since 1968. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 2020 after an abbreviated 60-game season, but the league is on track to play a full 162-game slate in 2021. Thursday’s matchups include the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in a battle of AL East contenders and the Washington Nationals facing the New York Mets with Cy Young winners Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom set to pitch. 

  • The Face of Baseball:21-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr. to take up the mantle
  • National pastime opens to fans as pandemic threatens a fourth wave:Texas Rangers plan to make all of their seats available
  • MLB opening day 2021:Fun facts, milestones for the upcoming baseball season

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