At the end of March, opening arguments will begin in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who will be tried in the death of George Floyd — an event that sparked an entire summer of looting, rioting and literally resulted in the burning of several American cities.
What many believe to be more than a reasonable request, Chauvin and his lawyers requested that the trial be moved to a different county in the state given the high profile level of the case. After seating 12 jurors as of Thursday, the judge ultimately denied the motion to move the trial.
That comes on top of Minneapolis city officials awarding Floyd’s family a dumbfounding $27 million settlement earlier this month.
In other words, Chauvin doesn’t stand a chance at due process and a fair trial. But I suspect that’s the intention.
Reuters has the story:
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The judge in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, on Friday denied Chauvin’s request to move his trial to a different county, saying publicity on the case had spread far and wide.
Chauvin’s lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, has complained to the court that publicity around the trial has tainted the jury pool in and around Minneapolis, citing in particular the city’s announcement last week that it would pay Floyd’s relatives $27 million to settle their wrongful-death lawsuit.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill ruled against Chauvin, saying that delaying or moving the trial would make it no easier to seat an impartial jury in one of the most scrutinized cases in the history of U.S. policing.
“I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity in this case,” Cahill said.
The judge, however, partially granted a separate request by Chauvin to show the jury evidence of an earlier episode in which Floyd was arrested by police. That occurred about a year before Chauvin held his knee for about nine minutes on the neck of a handcuffed, prone Floyd on May 25, 2020.
Cahill and the lawyers in the case have questioned 57 potential jurors in court since last week to weigh their impartiality as Chauvin, dressed in a suit and tie, takes extensive notes on a yellow legal pad.
All of them said they were aware of video showing Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, begged for his life. Almost all said they had seen at least some of the footage, which sparked global protests against police brutality and racism.
Twelve jurors have been seated so far, and the court continued on Friday seeking two more members to serve as alternates.
Sadly, the outcome of this trial, whether it results in a conviction or an acquittal, will likely spark a new round of rioting and looting in the formerly great city of Minneapolis.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org