MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled Friday he will not delay Derek Chauvin’s trial or move it out of Hennepin County. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is charged in the death of George Floyd.
The trial remains on schedule to begin on March 29 with opening statements. The trial is being streamed live, gavel to gavel, at fox9.com/live.
Judge Cahill also ruled Friday he will some of the evidence relating to Floyd’s 2019 arrest is admissible at trial.
Motion to delay, move trial
Judge Cahill denied the defense motion to delay the trial and move it out of Hennepin County, which Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, had filed earlier this week to delay the trial and move it out of Hennepin County over concerns the recently announced record $27 million civil settlement with the Floyd family could taint the jury pool.
During the final minutes of Thursday’s court proceedings, Judge Cahill gave a stern warning to the attorneys on both sides as well as Minneapolis officials to stop talking about the settlement.
"I'm not going to talk about this second press conference. I'm not going to talk about it. Make your submissions, I prefer now they be in writing, and stop talking about it. I’ve asked Minneapolis, to stop talking about it, we keep talking about it, everybody just stop talking about it. Let me decide on the ramifications of it, are we clear on this?"
City officials insist the settlement has not adversely impacted the trial at this point, despite the fact two seated jurors were dismissed earlier this week when they said word of the settlement damaged their ability to serve impartially.
Motion to admit Floyd’s 2019 arrest as evidence
Judge Cahill also ruled Friday some evidence related to George Floyd's 2019 arrest, including a portion of the accompanying body camera video, is admissible in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd's death.
Cahill said there is "some relevance" to Floyd’s prior arrest on May 6, 2019 because it shows an example of Floyd’s physical reaction to being confronted by police in a similar situation as his deadly arrest on May 25, 2020.
The judge said a portion of the body camera video from the arresting officer will be allowed at trial, as well as Floyd’s blood pressure results at the scene, the suspected illicit drug pills in his car and his statements to the paramedic for the medical diagnosis.
"The whole point here is we have medical evidence on what happens when Mr. Floyd is faced with virtually the same situation: confrontation by police at gunpoint followed by a rapid ingestion of some drugs, we don’t know exactly how many but there was an admission that he had done it at the time of the stop," Cahill said. "That is medical evidence."
Floyd’s emotional behavior during the arrest, including crying out to his mother, is not admissible as evidence, Cahill ruled.
Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, moved the court to admit Floyd’s 2019 arrest and the accompanying body camera footage as evidence, despite Judge Cahill previously ruling it would be inadmissible. Nelson said the defense found meth and fentanyl pills in the back of the police car Floyd’s deadly arrest took place in and around. He brought up the 2019 arrest and argued that the pills suggest a "modus operandi" for Floyd ingesting narcotics during an arrest.