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Judge Rejects Officers' Demands in George Floyd Trial

They will be tried together and in Minneapolis, and it will be televised
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2020 12:35 PM CST

(Newser) – A judge on Thursday rejected defense requests to move the trial of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death, and he also ordered that all four will be tried together instead of separately, per the AP. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled in another order that the trial can be televised and streamed live from the courtroom. Cahill ruled after defense attorneys argued that pretrial publicity made it impossible for the four men to get a fair trial in Minneapolis. But the judge said he was unpersuaded at the moment that moving the trial would remedy that, and he believes the jury can be protected from outside influences. "No corner of the State of Minnesota has been shielded from pretrial publicity regarding the death of George Floyd," he wrote.

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"Because of that pervasive media coverage, a change of venue is unlikely to cure the taint of potential prejudicial pretrial publicity." Cahill said he was willing to revisit the issue later if circumstances warrant. Moving the trial away from Minneapolis to a less diverse area of the state also likely would affect the makeup of the jury, though the judge didn't address that issue. In a separate order, the judge said the names of the jurors will be kept confidential. Defense attorneys had also argued that the men should face separate trials, as each has tried to diminish his own role in Floyd’s arrest by pointing fingers at the others. But Cahill rejected that, too, saying the complications of separate trials were too great and that trying the officers together would "ensure that the jury understands ... all of the evidence and the complete picture of Floyd's death."

(Read more George Floyd stories.)

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