The judge in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing murder charges for the deadly arrest of George Floyd, said he will call back the seven seated jurors so that they can be questioned in light of the city’s $27 million civil settlement with Floyd’s family, CBS station WCCO-TV reports.
In a motions hearing Monday morning, Eric Nelson, the attorney for Chauvin, said the defense found last Friday’s press conference regarding the settlement “profoundly disturbing.” He said that Mayor Jacob Frey is a lawyer and should “know better” than to hold such a press conference in the middle of jury selection in the biggest criminal case in Minnesota history.
“The goal of this system is to provide a fair trial, and this is not fair,” Nelson said.
Nelson requested that the seven jurors be called back for more questions. He also pushed for a continuance, a change of venue and more juror strikes for the defense.
Judge Peter Cahill said he would call back the seven jurors, but denied the strikes. He is taking the motion for the continuance under advisement.
Prosecutors in the case argued that they have no control over the civil suit, the Minneapolis City Council or what the media chooses to cover.
“You would agree that this is unfortunate, wouldn’t you?” the judge asked prosecutors. “That we have this reported all over the media when we’re in the midst of jury selection?”
On Friday, the city council voted 13-0 to approve the $27 million settlement, which also directs $500,000 to be used to benefit the George Floyd Memorial site at 38th and Chicago.
Of the seven jurors that have been seated in the case so far, five are men, two are women; four are white, one is mixed race, one is Black and one is Hispanic. They range in ages from their 20s to their 50s.
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