Judge turns down cameras for ex-police hearings of Floyd’s death

Judge turns down cameras for ex-police hearings of Floyd's death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota judge on Friday dismissed allowing cameras in court for the pre-trial investigation of four former Minneapolis police officers accused of the death of George Floyd.

Both news media organizations and lawyers had requested the audio and visual recordings. But Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected the request, noting that the prosecution had raised objections.

Minnesota rules allow the judge, prosecutors or attorneys to veto camera coverage before a conviction during criminal proceedings. The judge will later decide whether cameras are admitted to the hearing.

A defense lawyer lodged a motion on behalf of the ex-officers on Thursday to allow the inclusion of all pre- and litigation procedures. The motion states that the shootings are necessary to ensure a fair trial of the officers in light of what the defense calls “multiple and inappropriate public comments” by prosecutors and other officials.

“The behavior of the state has made a fair and unbiased trial extremely unlikely, and the defendants are seeking video and audio coverage to shed a clear light on this proceeding. Otherwise, these government officials will mess up the Constitution, ”wrote attorney Thomas Plunkett, who represented J. Kueng, one of four fired officers charged with Floyd’s death.

The motion notes that Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo recently called Floyd’s death “murder.” Floyd died May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee to the black man’s cuffed neck for nearly eight minutes. Chauvin is charged with first degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are tasked with helping and supporting Chauvin. All four officers were fired after Floyd’s death.

In a statement Friday, the Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, whose office is prosecuting, that allowing cameras in the courtroom “will cause more problems than it would solve,” by changing the way lawyers provide evidence. and potentially intimidate witnesses.

“In short, the chances of creating more sensation than understanding are very high” if cameras were allowed during the trial, Ellison said.

All four ex-officers are due in court on Monday for hearings on issues such as bail release. Chauvin remains in custody with a $ 1 million bail on conditions, while Thao’s conditional bail is $ 750,000. Lane and Kueng are free on bond.

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