Judge Nixes Chambers in court for 4 Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd’s death

A Minnesota judge on Friday rejected requests from media organizations and defense attorneys to allow cameras in court during pre-trial hearings for four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said prosecutors also opposed the visual recordings. He will decide whether cameras will be allowed during the trial.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office runs the prosecution, said allowing cameras in the courtroom “to create more problems than it would solve.” He said it could alter the way lawyers present evidence and possibly intimidate witnesses.


This combination of photos provided by the Minnesota Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office shows Derek Chauvin, from left to right, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with the second-degree murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being held by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been accused of aiding and abetting Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office through AP)

Allowing cameras inside the courtroom could create “more feeling than understanding.”

Lawyers for the former police officers filed a motion to allow pre-trial and trial recordings, arguing that a fair trial needed to be guaranteed in light of comments made by prosecutors and other officials, according to the filing.

“State conduct has made a fair and impartial trial extremely unlikely and the Defendants seek video and audio coverage to let a clean light shine on these proceedings,” wrote attorney Thomas Plunkett, representing J. Kueng. , one of four fired officers charged in Floyd’s death. “Doing otherwise allows these public officials to marry the Constitution.”


The motion noted that Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called Floyd’s death “murder” on May 25. Floyd died after Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. He is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are accused of aiding and abetting Chauvin. All four were fired days after Floyd’s death. They are expected to appear in court on Monday.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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