Only one family member from George Floyd’s family will be allowed to attend the upcoming murder trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
According to CNN, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill announced the ruling on Monday (March 1). The same restrictions will also apply to Chauvin's family as well, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. A different family member can rotate through the in-court position with proper credentials.
Attorneys Antonio Romanucci and Benjamin Crump said Floyd’s family was disappointed by the ruling. “This has been a deeply painful and emotional year for every member of the Floyd family, many of whom intended to be in the courtroom to witness this trial,” the lawyers said in a statement.
“While they understand the judge’s reasons to limit attendance in the courtroom, the family is understandably disappointed by this ruling,” their statement continued. “The family is looking forward to the start of the trial as a critical milestone on the path to justice and a step toward closure in this dark chapter of their lives.”
Chauvin is currently facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his involvement in the death of Floyd. Back in May, the former officer planted his knee on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes.
Jury selection for Chauvin’s trial is set to begin on March 8. Minneapolis authorities have barricaded the Hennepin County District Court with fencing and barbed wire to prevent damage in the event that protests turn violent.
Last month, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that by the time the verdict is read, the city will have up to 2,000 National Guardsmen and an additional 1,100 law enforcement officers to assist with public safety.
Chauvin’s trial will be held separately from the other former officers who were also involved in Floyd’s death. J. Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are each charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter and murder. They will stand trial together in August.