A Minnesota judge denied a request to delay or move the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer charged with the death of George Floyd on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Former officer Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, made the request due to jury concerns after Floyd’s family received a $27 million settlement, the AP reported. The city of Minneapolis approved the payout to settle a civil suit over Floyd’s death as jury selection was halfway complete last week.
Nelson said the timing of the settlement jeopardizes the fairness of the trial, the AP reported. Cahill said the timing was “unfortunate,” though a delay would not affect the pretrial publicity of the case and moving the trial would be pointless because all of Minnesota has been exposed to details of the case.
The trial for Derek Chauvin will NOT be delayed over pretrial publicity concerns and will not be moved to a different venue, the judge just ruled. He ruled pretrial publicity was going to be a major factor no matter when this trial happened and no matter the place. #DerekChauvin
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) March 19, 2021
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in a separate ruling the jury will hear some information regarding Floyd’s 2019 arrest because there are some similarities between the two incidents such as Floyd swallowing narcotics after being approached by officers, the AP reported. Cahill previously denied hearing information from Floyd’s prior arrest at the trial.
Cahill said he will allow medical evidence of Floyd’s physical reactions during the incident including his dangerously high blood pressure and a short clip from an officer’s body-worn camera after narcotics were discovered in a second search of the police vehicle officers tried to put Floyd in, the AP reported.
Floyd’s “emotional behavior” exhibited during his 2019 arrest won’t be reviewed in court, Cahill ruled, according to the AP.
Nelson had argued Floyd’s emotional behavior during his 2019 arrest such as calling for his mother, saying he had been previously shot and crying while putting what appeared to be pills in his mouth were relevant to the trial, the AP reported. Prosecutor Matthew Frank said the defense was trying to portray Floyd in a negative light and that it only matters how the police treated him.
Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he was handcuffed and lying face down on a street in Minneapolis, video shows. Chauvin faces charges of murder and manslaughter, the AP reported.