Three hundred and thirty days after George Floyd died on the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and the state began a new period Monday: a time of anxiety and uncertainty until a jury decides whether the police officer who knelt on his neck is guilty of murder.
On the day that jurors began deliberations in the Derek Chauvin trial, with Minneapolis being watched around the globe, Facebook declared the city a "high-risk location" and said it would remove posts that incite violence or celebrate Floyd's death.
Locally, students walked out of class to protest racial injustice. Thousands of Minnesota National Guard soldiers joined law enforcement in standing guard. Civil rights leaders the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson led a prayer outside the courthouse. And protests continued over Daunte Wright's killing a week ago by a Brooklyn Center police officer.
The entire region remained on edge.
Kenza Hadj-Moussa, the public affairs director for TakeAction Minnesota, a statewide progressive organization, said she believes the tension is made "1,000 times worse" by the heavy military and law enforcement presence on Twin Cities streets in preparation for any violence.
"It's just compounding the trauma, especially with what Black Minnesotans are going through right now," she said.
"A guilty verdict won't bring justice, won't bring a life back," she continued. "But it's what do we do after this? We do have agency, we do have power."
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey stressed that the heavy police presence on the streets was temporary: "We will get through this together."
Dave Bellows, the retired Dakota County sheriff and an instructor of criminal justice at Inver Hills Community College, said he has faith the process will render a fair verdict. While everyone he has spoken with believes Chauvin's actions were "clearly inappropriate," he said that it's up to the jury to decide whether those actions were criminal.
He said he hopes people don't lump in all of law enforcement with Chauvin.
"Some people look at law enforcement as a monolith, that this is all law enforcement, and that absolutely is not accurate," Bellows said. "Law enforcement agencies have been in reform for many years. It's a constant reform."
But in the Twin Cities' Black community, the powerful imagery of this moment gives Chauvin's trial outsized symbolism.
At Black Table Arts, a cooperative space for Black artists in Minneapolis, writer and activist Jessica Garraway worked on homework for her master's degree during the trial's closing statements.
"I think the state may throw Derek Chauvin under the bus as a way to maintain the legitimacy of the police, which has been completely delegitimized in the eyes of the people of the Twin Cities and really all over the world," Garraway said.
Minneapolis artist D.A. Bullock said it was hard to assess his feelings this week.
"I'm still nervous and still on edge," Bullock said. "Judging by the way the body responds to pain, you kind of get numb at a point, but you're still feeling it."
Jai Hanson, a Bloomington police officer, said he hopes the aftermath of the trial will usher in a chance for reform.
"The whole world and media is watching and expecting us to burn down our city," Hanson said. "This affects us all. This is not us vs. them. … We have an opportunity where we can heal and get reform accomplished, and that's a unique position to be in. Minnesota can lead the way on that."
Gov. Tim Walz said in a Monday evening news conference that there will be rage regardless of the outcome but it must be channeled toward positive change.
The governor and the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul stressed two goals: That Minnesota and the nation address racial inequality whatever the outcome of the trial and that people not repeat last year's destruction.
"Rioting won't solve this problem," said Melvin Carter, St. Paul's mayor. "And looting won't breathe life back into the bodies of our lost loved ones. We cannot cure harm by inflicting harm on others."
Nicole Norfleet, Jessie Van Berkel and Maya Rao contributed.