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Young attorney shares the emotional impact of the Chauvin trial

The world is watching Minneapolis during the Derek Chauvin trial, including many lawyers.

MINNEAPOLIS — Attorneys across the country are watching this trial to see how both sides are arguing their case. That includes a young attorney who's feeling the impact of the trial. 

Minneapolis Attorney Kojo Addo's eyes are glued to the Derek Chauvin trial. He's one of the Twin Cities youngest black lawyers who shared the two most emotional parts of the trial for him so far.

"The playing of the video of Mr. Floyd. Also hearing the testimony of that 9-year-old, 10-year-old girl," said Kojo Addo.

The Derek Chauvin trial is also a learning tool for attorneys like Addo.

Prosecutors are trying to prove the fired Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, is responsible for the May 2020 death of George Floyd. 

A 17-year-old girl, only identified in court as Darnella, recorded Chauvin holding his knee on Floyd's neck outside the Cup Food Grocery Store in Minneapolis.

Defense attorneys argue Floyd died from drugs he ingested instead of at the hands of Chauvin.

The trial is being televised worldwide due to limited courtroom seating because of the pandemic.

Addo believes both prosecutors and the defense for Chauvin have their work cut out for them. Especially with powerful and emotional testimony from witnesses like martial arts expert Donald Williams.

"I think the raw emotion that he demonstrated but yet this controlled frustration was so compelling," said Addo.

Addo is the only African American attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. He started as a law clerk in 2015 and joined the firm two years later. Kojo is a Wayzata High School alumnus and received his undergraduate degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Management from Gustavus Adolphus College. He obtained his juris doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

In one of the firms, YouTube videos featuring the partners and staff, Kojo shares why he loves his job so much, even on Monday mornings.

"I look forward to going to work on Monday," said Addo, "because I know I am going to have a direct impact on someone's life in a positive way. I would encourage young Black males to find a mentor in the field they want to study."

Addo also shared he hopes to impact the lives of young Black males by inspiring them to pursue their dreams, despite the nightmare surrounding George Floyd's death.

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