Photo: Hennepin County Jail
  /  03.19.2021

 

A judge denied a motion to delay or relocate the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged with the murder of George Floyd.

Following the $27 settlement reached in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Floyd’s family, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, raised concerns about the announcement of the news during the jury selection process and its possible effects on the entire case. He asked for the trial to be delayed or moved out of Minneapolis, but after careful consideration, Judge Peter Cahill opposed the request.

“Unfortunately, I think the pretrial publicity in this case will continue no matter how long we continue it. Perhaps some of it may, with time, be forgotten by people,” Cahill said during a hearing on Friday (March 19). He further explained that changing the venue wouldn’t affect the outcome of the trial as all places in Minnesota have been subjected “to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.”

Cahill also approved Nelson’s request to utilize a portion of Floyd’s 2019 arrest as evidence in the trial, noting that it would serve as an example of his “bodily reaction” during police encounters like the one in which he died.

Earlier this week, the seven jurors chosen ahead of the recent settlement between the City of Minneapolis and Floyd’s family were screened to determine whether they were capable of staying impartial during the trial. Two jurors were dismissed after they admitted their opinions were influenced by their knowledge of the settlement.

As of Friday morning (March 19), thirteen jurors — three Black men, one Black woman, two multiracial women, five white women and two white men — were seated in Chauvin’s forthcoming trial, per NBC News; a total of fourteen individuals are required to serve in the jury.

Opening statements are scheduled to start on March 29.

 

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