What is derek chauvin charged with innocent, update trial jury selection

The judge in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin will make crucial decisions on Friday.

Even as the jury of 12 was eventually seated Thursday in the murder trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis judge would make crucial decisions Friday that may change the case.

Due to the high-profile nature of the case, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill is expected to rule on Chauvin's lawyers' request to delay or shift the trial to another area.

Cahill will also determine if aspects of Floyd's earlier arrest in 2019 should be addressed in court, as well as whether prosecutors should call a psychiatrist to testify about Floyd's reaction when cops attempted to apprehend him.

Prosecutors argued that Dr. Sarah Vinson should be allowed to testify that Floyd's inability to cooperate with cops prior to his death on May 25 was due to understandable fear, not resistance.

Jerry Blackwell, a member of the state's legal team, told Cahill that the defense is conducting a full-fledged investigation of George Floyd, who is not on trial.

Protesters march around the Hennepin County Government Center in the snow.
Protesters march around the Hennepin County Government Center in the snow.
The trial's opening statements are set for March 29.

Attorney Eric Nelson for Chauvin has called for a change of venue and a postponement of the proceedings, claiming that the jury pool has been contaminated by the revelation last week that Minneapolis had agreed to a $27 million wrongful death settlement with Floyd's family.

In a press conference on Thursday, Minneapolis City Attorney Jim Rowader denied that the settlement news had affected the proceedings.

Rowander, who was joined by Mayor Jacob Frey, said, “There is no good timing to settle any case, especially one as involved and sensitive as this.”

“For example, there is no assurance the that offer will be available in two, four, six weeks, or six months,” Rowander said. “After it was said and done, we wanted to move on with the Floyd family.”

Meanwhile, amid the difficulty of empaneling jurors during the first week of jury selection, the case's lawyers selected three more on Thursday, including the panel's first black woman.

The dozen panelists required to proceed to trial are now complete, pending the selection of two alternates.

Three black men, two white men, four white women, two multi-racial women, and the black woman, a retired grandmother, are now on the jury, which was seated on Thursday.

In the case, Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter, sparking nationwide demonstrations against police violence and for racial justice.

Chauvin pushes his knee to Floyd's back for nearly nine minutes as Floyd is handcuffed on the ground at a Minneapolis intersection, according to a viral video of the incident.

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