The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is set to continue, as a judge has declined to delay it or move it to a new location.
An attorney for Chauvin, the former police officer facing murder and manslaughter charges over the death of George Floyd in May 2020, had requested Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill delay and move the trial after it was announced that the city of Minneapolis had reached a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family. The attorney argued this news could “taint the jury pool.” But on Friday, Cahill denied the motion, NBC News reports.
The judge concluded that “the pretrial publicity in this case will continue no matter how long we continue it.” He also determined that “as far as change of venue, I do not think that that would give the defendant any kind of a fair trial beyond what we are doing here today,” as there isn’t “any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.”
Cahill, however, previously dismissed two jurors who had been seated, as they said hearing about the settlement would make it difficult for them to remain impartial. One juror told the judge, for example, that the “sticker price” of the settlement “obviously shocked me and kind of swayed me a little bit.”
The judge on Friday also ruled that the jury will be able to hear some evidence concerning Floyd’s 2019 arrest, though only as it pertains to his cause of death, The Associated Press reports.
According to NBC, 12 jurors have been selected for the case, and opening statements are set to begin on March 29.