Judge denies request to delay Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd case after defense argues city settlement prejudiced jury picks

Judge denies request to delay Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd case after defense argues city settlement prejudiced jury picks

A request from former cop Derek Chauvin’s defense team to push back the date and change the location of his trial in the death of George Floyd has been rejected.

Minneapolis Judge Peter Cahill denied the request on Friday. Chauvin’s defense lawyers had made the appeal after the city announced a $27 million settlement with the family of Floyd during the middle of jury selection – a development which Chauvin’s lawyers said biased candidates.

“The fact that this came in the exact middle of jury selection – it’s perplexing to me, your honor, whose idea it was to release this information when it was released,” protested attorney Eric Nelson. Chauvin’s defense team added that it was “gravely concerned” that the settlement would make the jury less impartial and prejudice the trial.

Though Cahill called the timing of the settlement announcement “unfortunate,” he said that a trial delay would fail to help the situation of pretrial publicity and that there is nowhere in the state of Minnesota where it would be easier to find more impartial jurors, given the magnitude of the case.

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© Reuters / David Delgado
Derek Chauvin lawyers ‘gravely concerned’ about juror impartiality after George Floyd civil settlement, ask for trial delay

Cahill had complained last week about public officials repeatedly talking about the case, saying he really wished they would stop.

Twelve out of fourteen jurors have been selected: six white, 4 black, and 2 multiracial.

Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after a video went viral last year that showed him kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest. Floyd was later pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.

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