On Thursday, the Minneapolis judge rejected the request for a change of venue for the trial of four ex Minneapolis officers that was charged in respect of George Floyd’s death.
Peter Cahill, the Hennepin County Judge, also stated that the former corpse will be charged at the same time in the county on March 8. The charges are for a death that was captured on video and then became a nationwide rally cry for an end to police brutality around the country.
The defense lawyers complained that the publicity covering the high-profile case won’t help the officers in any way, as it would prevent them from getting a fair trial. They also raised safety concerns for the defendants and potential witnesses.
Judge Cahill, although declining the appeal to move the trial, said he would reconsider a move if needed. He stated that holding a single proceeding for the officers will ensure that jurors understand “all of the evidence and the complete picture of Floyd’s death.”
In his ruling, Cahill also wrote that “And it would allow this community, this State, and the nation to absorb the verdicts for the four Defendants at once.”
The judge granted the request to let cameras into the room. The identities of the jurors will not be made known, and the panel will be partially separated, according to the court documents.
“The murder of George Floyd occurred in Minneapolis, and it is right that the defendants should be tried in Minneapolis,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement Thursday. “It is also true that they acted in concert with each other, and the evidence against them is similar, so it is right to try them in one trial.”
Upon the ruling, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci (Floyd family attorneys) Showered praises on the Thursday rulings.
The attorneys said that “Trying these officers together will give the jury a complete picture of what happened on the day that George was murdered,” the statement said. “Each of these men played a role that ultimately led to his death — whether it was a knee to the neck or denying any intervention as George and onlookers begged for his life.”
They went further to say that “The White officers involved in the death of George Floyd should rightly face a jury of their peers in the city where this tragedy took place.”
One of the ex-corps, Officer Derek Chauvin, will face a charge of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder in the death of Floyd on May 25th, 2020.
The already viral video captured Chauvin while he was kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for about eight minutes, and Floyd was heard telling Chauvin alongside the three other officers that he couldn’t breathe.
The other ex-corps that helped restrain Floyd were Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Keung, and Tou Thao, who stood close to the others. They are now being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Eric Nelson, who is Chauvin’s attorney, has declined the comment on Thursday morning. CNN livenewsmag also got a comment from the attorney regarding Thao, Lane, and Keung.
As of last month, Chauvin was granted a wish to live in a neighboring state due to safety concerns regarding his involvement in the death of George Floyd.
He was released from custody after posting a $1 million bail. According to court records, He was allowed to leave the state while he was awaiting trial. He must make sure to keep his cell phone on him all the time, according to the court order.