Judge denies audiovisual coverage of hearings for former officers charged in George Floyd killing

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Judge denies audiovisual coverage of hearings for former officers charged in George Floyd killing

Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. A Hennepin County judge on Friday rejected an unusual request to allow cameras in the courtroom filed by attorneys representing four former Minneapolis officers charged in the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill noted that Minnesota court rules require both the defense and prosecution to agree in order to allow cameras access to pretrial hearings. Prosecutors objected to the defense’s motion, he wrote in his order denying camera access.

“Given that this is a case that has already received substantial pretrial media coverage, the Court finds that audio or video coverage of the pretrial hearings in this case would not only violate [Minnesota court rules], but would risk tainting a potential Hennepin County jury pool,” Cahill wrote.

Attorneys representing Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao filed a motion late Thursday, which was made public Friday, granting permission to record both pretrial and trial proceedings regardless of objections from the prosecution.

“The Defendants argue that this relief is necessary to provide the Defendants with a fair trial in light of the State’s and other governmental actors multiple inappropriate comments and to assure an open hearing in light of the ongoing pandemic,” wrote Kueng’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, who filed the motion on behalf of the other defendants.

Cahill’s order said camera access at trial will be addressed at a later date. This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota […]

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