Only one George Floyd family member allowed at trial: judge

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Only one member of George Floyd’s family will be allowed in the courtroom at a time when ex-cop Derek Chauvin goes on trial for murder in his death, a Minnesota judge has ruled.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said Floyd’s relatives can rotate to attend the trial but will be limited because of the high demand for space at the highly anticipated trial, according to a report by USA Today.

Social distancing restrictions will also severely limit the number of seats available.

“Different family members may rotate through that position, but only with the appropriate credentials to be admitted to the 18th floor,” Cahill wrote. “Family members may not use electronic devices anywhere on the 18th floor.”

The same restrictions apply to Chauvin’s family, the judge said.

Ex-cop Derek Chauvin is going on trial for murder for the murder of George Floyd.
Ex-cop Derek Chauvin is going on trial for murder for the murder of George Floyd.
Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

“While we understand the judge’s reasons to limit attendance in the courtroom, the family is understandably disappointed by his ruling,” Ben Crump, an attorney for Floyd’s family, said in a statement.

Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020.
Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020.
Darnella Frazier via AP

“The family is looking forward to the start of the trial as a critical milestone on the path to justice and a step toward closure in this dark chapter of their lives,” he wrote.

Jury selection in the case is due to begin Monday, with opening arguments scheduled for no earlier than March 29, court officials said.

However, a request by prosecutors to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, argued before the Court of Appeals this week could delay the start of the trial if either side opts to appeal the eventual ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The trial will be broadcast by Court TV.

Chauvin, 44, was fired after he was caught on viral video pressing his knee to the back of Floyd’s neck at a Minneapolis intersection after he was handcuffed.

The incident sparked worldwide protests for racial justice and against police brutaity.

Barbed wire blocks off the Minneapolis City Hall ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial in the murder of George Floyd.
Barbed wire blocks off the Minneapolis City Hall ahead of Derek Chauvin’s trial in the murder of George Floyd.
ZUMAPRESS.com

Minneapolis officials have put in unprecedented security for the potentially volatile trial.



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