Jury selection began on Monday morning (March 8) for the trial of Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer, who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
On Friday (March 5), it was reported that the Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered a judge to consider reinstating Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge, which was dismissed back in October.
According to WISN Milwaukee, a three-judge panel said Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill made a mistake when he dismissed the charge. The panel said Cahill should have instead followed the precedent set by the appeals court in the case of ex-officer Mohamed Noor, who was convicted of third-degree murder for fatally shooting Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017.
If prosecutors do try to reinstate Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge, his attorney would have the option to appeal the ruling to Minnesota’s Supreme Court, which could delay the start of the trial.
As reported by REVOLT, Minnesota Attorney General William Barr previously denied Chauvin’s attempt to plead guilty to third-degree murder. Barr reportedly rejected the plea deal because he wanted to let Attorney General Keith Ellison, who was taking over the case, make his own decisions. Barr also said he believed it was too early in the investigation to enter a plea and feared a 10-year prison sentence would be perceived as too lenient.
City officials have prepared for Chauvin’s upcoming trial by increasing security measures, including installing barricades around the courthouse. National Guardsmen and more police officers are also set to be deployed in Minneapolis this week.
Per COVID-19 restrictions, only one member of Floyd and Chauvin’s families will be allowed in the courthouse. According to Deadline, the trial will be televised on Court TV and streamed and televised on Law&Crime, which can be viewed on Peacock.
The trials for the remaining three officers involved in Floyd’s death are set for this August.