MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Hennepin County judge has denied the use of body camera footage from a 2019 arrest of George Floyd to be used as evidence in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officers accused in his death.
Judge Peter Cahill denied attorney Earl Gray’s request to use the body camera footage as evidence in court, according to documents filed late Friday. However, the judge says that a transcript of the video may be presented.
Gray represents Thomas Lane, one of the former Minneapolis police officers accused in Floyd’s death. The other ex-officers charged in the fatal Memorial Day arrest are Derek Chauvin, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao.
Chauvin, who was captured on cellphone video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as the Black man lay handcuffed, is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three officers face charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Earlier last week, Cahill ruled that the 2019 arrest video could be made public. That footage, taken a year before Floyd’s fatal arrest, shows him not complying with officers’ requests, crying and asking for his mother. According to Gray, Floyd’s behavior during the two arrests were “almost identical.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that the video should not be made public as it could unfairly sway public opinion, which could add pressure to move the trial out of Minneapolis — something the defense has requested. However, Cahill has asked the defense to attempt to find a suitable jury in Hennepin County..
Other key motions that Cahill may soon decide on include whether or not the jury should be anonymous and whether the officers should stand trial separately or together. Currently, the officers are scheduled to go on trial in the spring.