The murder trial of former Mineapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will happen as scheduled. The presiding judge ruled on Friday (March 19) that jurors will be allowed to hear evidence related to George Floyd’s arrest in 2019, which was a year before Floyd’s fatal encounter with police.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin’s defense team’s request to move or delay the trial after they claimed the jury would be affected by news of a historic settlement the City of Minneapolis reached with Floyd’s family.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death. His trial will begin on March 29.
Attorneys in Chauvin’s trial hope to select the two final jurors on Friday to serve as alternates.
Twelve jurors have so far been chosen. The panel will consist of 14 people in total – 12 jurors and two alternates. As it stands, according to KTLA, six of the jurors are white and six are people of color and/or mixed race.
On Monday morning (March 17), during pretrial motions, defense attorney Eric Nelson said he was “gravely concerned” about the potential of the news affecting the seated jurors and prospective ones.
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday approved a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family over his death. It is the most substantial in the city’s history and one of the largest in U.S. history.
The three other officers involved in Floyd’s death — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — will be tried later this summer. They face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
All parties have pleaded not guilty.
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Photo: Minneapolis Police Department