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'We just want justice' | George Floyd's friends, family in Houston prepare for start of Derek Chauvin trial

Opening statements in the trial of the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd begin in Minneapolis on Monday.

HOUSTON — It has been 308 days since George Floyd died in police custody and the trial against Derek Chauvin, the former officer who kept his knee on top of Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes is set to begin. 

"It was for the world to see on camera in broad daylight where he was murdered," Tiffany Cofield said. "They snuffed the life out of him in front of everybody."

Cofield was Floyd's good friend. She and the rest of Floyd's family are bracing for what will be an emotional three weeks of testimony and evidence.

RELATED: Key players in trial of ex-officer charged in Floyd's death

"I know it's going to be hard for me to watch any of it because I know they're going to paint him in a negative light," Cofield said.

The defense is expected to try to convince the jury Chauvin's actions did not lead to Floyd's death, while prosecutors will rely heavily on the video and expert testimony to prove to jurors Chauvin murdered Floyd.

"I think it's going to be a very highly publicized and watched trial much like the O.J Simpson trial in the 90s," said Sandra Guerra-Thompson.

She's Director at the University of Houston Law Center.

RELATED: Chauvin trial: What to expect for opening statements Monday

Floyd's death ignited protests across the country.

"It literally turned on the floodlights, not a flashlight or a light bulb, it turned on the floodlights on policing and policing towards black people," Cofield said.

Nearly a year later, tensions remain high. The courthouse has added security. The National Guard has been deployed for the duration of the trial.

"The Floyd case was a touchstone for so much upheavals, protests, so I think it's a culmination of a lot of growing frustration," Guerra-Thompson said.

The family says they trust justice will be served this time, but tell KHOU 11 News no matter what happens, it won't bring their loved one back.

"This nightmare is never going to be over," Cofield said. "For his siblings, it's never going to be over for them."

Stay with KHOU 11 News for complete coverage of the Chauvin trial beginning with opening statements Monday. We will stream the entire trial on KHOU.com and our news app, as well as on Roku and Fire TV.