MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The judge in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, charged with multiple counts of murder in the death of George Floyd, has ruled that limited details of a previous May 2019 arrest incident be allowed in court. He also denied motions to delay the trial and change the venue.
On Friday morning, Judge Peter Cahill said most of the May 6, 2019 arrest is not relevant to the case and will not be admissible in court. Limited details will be allowed. A portion of the body-worn camera of the officer approaching George Floyd and putting him in handcuffs is allowed. A picture of the pills in the crack of the seat is admissible. His blood pressure at the time and his statements regarding his medical condition is also admissible.READ MORE: Minneapolis City Council Approves $27M Settlement With George Floyd’s Family
Cahill says the main issue is there is medical evidence of what happens in a stressful situation when police approach Floyd and Floyd ingests drugs. He said he will allow it since the cause of death is a highly contested issue and the circumstances of both arrests were very similar.
According to Cahill, Floyd’s emotional behavior is not relevant to the case. The judge said he will not allow the prosecution to have a forensic psychiatrist testify about Floyd’s emotional behavior and its cause.
“Whether he was genuinely anxious or claustrophobic or malingering is of no consequence,” Cahill said.
LIVE UPDATES: Derek Chauvin Trial, Day 10
No Delay, No Change Of Venue
After denying the defense’s motions to continue and move the trial, Cahill said he doesn’t think there’s any place in the state that has not been subjected to an “extreme amount of publicity in this case.”
The defense had called for a continuance and a change of venue due to the announcement last week of the $27 million settlement between Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd.READ MORE: A Look Some Of The Largest Previous Settlements In U.S. Police Killings
A number of jurors were removed from the pool because they told the court the announcement affected their view of the case.
Jury selection resumed following the decisions from the judge, with 12 jurors seated and the court needing two alternates.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020 in police custody after Derek Chauvin, a white former officer with the Minneapolis Police Department pressed his knee into his neck for over eight minutes. His death was filmed and widely circulated throughout the world, sparking protests and a national reckoning on police reform and racial justice.
Chauvin faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, as well as a third-degree murder charge.
The three other former officers at the scene – Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane – face charges for aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. They will be tried jointly in August.
Last week, attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not connected with the case, told WCCO that the settlement opened the door for a number of questions.
“What happens if mistrial motions are made saying because of the influence of this settlement being done now? What happens if there’s another change of venue motion?” Tamburino said. “I’ve never actually seen this … while the criminal jury selection process is going on, where they’ve selected seven out of the 12 jurors in the case.”
Jurors have been asked to stay away from coverage of the trial.
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