Sand-coloured Humvees, barbed wire and concrete barricades surround the Hennepin County courthouse where the fate of Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer charged with killing George Floyd, will be determined.
The plaza on which the building sits in downtown Minneapolis looks more like a military base than the heart of the local government, with armed National Guard troops peering through wire fencing at the protesters gathering outside.
Closing arguments will begin when the trial resumes today (US time), with the jury expected to retire to deliberate shortly after. Heavy security is to be expected, given the rage that Floyd's death provoked last May.
Protesters who gather each day fear the city is once more on a knife edge as it awaits the verdict. Among the regular demonstrators is John Stewart, a 57-year-old ordained pastor, who braves the elements each day to attach placards calling for police accountability to the fencing surrounding the courthouse. Stewart believes Chauvin, who faces murder and manslaughter charges after kneeling on Floyd for more than nine minutes, "deserves a life sentence, no questions asked".
But he falls silent when asked about the possibility the former officer may be acquitted. "That's going to be hard," he says eventually.
"It's unpredictable what people would be up to doing, because we all do believe he's guilty," he said.
In anticipation of potential violence, most of the businesses surrounding the courthouse have boarded up their doors and windows. National Guard troops and sheriff's deputies can be seen patrolling the streets.
The tensions between protesters and law enforcement have already spilled into clashes just 16km away in Brooklyn Centre, where another black man was killed by a white officer just last week. Hundreds of protesters have gathered for consecutive nights outside the police department's headquarters, furious that officers have not altered their behaviour despite the national spotlight on Chauvin's trial.
Police say Kimberly Potter "accidentally" fired her gun instead of a Taser when she shot dead Daunte Wright, 20, during a traffic stop last Sunday.
But those protesting say this is merely the latest instance of police shooting first and asking questions later.
Before Wright and Floyd, the Twin Cities region erupted into protests over the deaths of Jamar Clark in 2015, and Philando Castile in 2016.
Maranda, a 23-year-old cashier, braved the rain to join the crowds this week because she felt "nothing's really changed" in the 10 months since the horrific footage of Floyd's death led to protests in more than 140 US cities.
Wright was a loose acquaintance of hers, she said, adding what happened to him "could have been any one of us".
Another large rally is planned for closing arguments in Mr Chauvin's trial tomorrow, with organisers vowing "not to rest" until Mr Chauvin is behind bars.
Also last week a 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot dead by a Chicago police officer, who according to a bond hearing failed to fully present the facts which resulted in a kid with his hands up being shot and losing his life.
A veteran prosecutor was placed on leave days after he implied in court that Toledo was holding a handgun the instant he was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer.
The announcement was made on Friday, a day after video footage was released to the public that shows Adam had dropped or tossed the gun less than a second before he was shot and killed on March 29.
The Cook County State's Attorney's Office says Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy "failed to fully present the facts" surrounding the boy's death during an April 10 bond hearing.
- The Sunday Telegraph and addition of AP