Judge weighs cameras in next trial over George Floyd’s death

A Minnesota judge will hear arguments Monday on whether to allow live video coverage of the upcoming trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged in the murder of George Floyd. Judge James Cahill allowed it for ex-Officer Derek Chauvin’s trial last year.

Judge Cahill made an exception to Minnesota’s normal rules, citing the need to balance safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic against a public trial. Now he must decide whether to allow the same sort of access for the trial set to begin in June for three other former officers, who are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

According to Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP, the defense has previously asked Judge Peter Cahill to deny the use of cameras during the trial, and so far, the judge has struck down those requests. Prosecuting attorneys say they support video coverage of the state trial.

Documents filed last week show the state says the trial should be run similar to the Derek Chauvin case, which included audio and video streaming, and the jury was partially sequestered.

Prosecutors say what the court did the first time worked, so they’d like to follow the same, proven procedures in the second trial.

Chauvin’s murder trial was the first case in Minnesota to allow cameras in the courtroom.

At the time, Judge Cahill cited COVID-19 concerns and high public interest as the reason for allowing cameras.

Prosecutors noted that the federal trial for the three former officers – Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane – was interrupted because one of the defendants tested positive for COVID-19.

The three officers were all convicted on federal charges for depriving George Floyd of his civil rights during that trial. They face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter – on the state level.

Judge Cahill is expected to issue a decision Monday night on cameras, as well as other frameworks, for the trial.

Meanwhile, jury selection is scheduled to begin on June 13.