Derek Chauvin trial live: Judge to determine if murder trial will be delayed or moved out of Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS — Friday could be a pivotal day in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, with attorneys hoping to pick two final jurors and the judge ruling on possibly moving or delaying the trial.

Chauvin’s defense team argues the jury pool has been tainted by the city’s announcement Friday of a historic $27 million civil settlement with the family of George Floyd. The news prompted the court this week to cut two previously selected jurors who said the settlement swayed their views, but several jurors selected said they knew of the settlement and could remain impartial.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said he also planned to rule on the defense’s request to submit evidence related to Floyd’s 2019 arrest and the prosecution’s request to call a forensic psychiatrist to testify about Floyd’s behavior during the fatal encounter a year later. Cahill initially said the jury could not hear evidence related to the previous arrest.

Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020, when Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. As he lay on the ground under Chauvin, Floyd cried out, “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. The incident sparked protests worldwide.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Latest updates:

  • Court was expected to resume at 8:15 a.m. CT Friday, with jury selection to resume at 9 a.m. CT
  • Twelve jurors — five men and seven women — have been selected so far.  Six identify as white, two as multiracial and four as Black, according to the court. Five of the jurors are in their 20s or 30s, three in their 40s, three in their 50s and one in their 60s.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and city attorney Jim Rowader said Thursday they don’t think the city’s announcement of a $27 million civil settlement with the Floyd family has had a negative effect on the trial. But the presiding judge expressed frustration Thursday that city officials continued to talk about the settlement.
  • The trial is scheduled to begin March 29.

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‘There is no good timing to settle any case,’ city lawyer says

After the court cut two jurors who said they were swayed by the city’s $27 million settlement with the Floyd family, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and city attorney Jim Rowader said Thursday they don’t think the proceedings have been hurt by the settlement.

Rowader said in a press conference the city decided to move forward with the settlement in part because there was “no guarantee” the deal would’ve been available weeks or months from now. He declined to elaborate.

“There is no good timing to settle any case, particularly one as complex and involved and sensitive as this,” he said. “It’s clear from the judge’s comments this week that he does not want us to talk about the settlement at this time while they’re finishing jury selection.”

In court, Eric Nelson, the lead defense attorney, complained that the city had addressed the settlement at another press conference.

The prosecution brought it up again at the end of the day, spurring Cahill to angrily respond, “I’ve asked the City of Minneapolis to stop talking about it,” referring to the settlement. “Everybody just stop talking about it,” Cahill said. “Let me decide what the ramifications are.”

Six of the eight potential jurors questioned Thursday said they knew about the settlement, and all three people seated knew the amount. Only one juror said his awareness of the settlement would affect his impartiality – that it made him think Chauvin was guilty.

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