Police officer Derek Chauvin is scheduled to stand trial for killing George Floyd. Chauvin is charged with several counts, including manslaughter. Jury selection is currently underway although Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson have petitioned the court to delay proceedings. Nelson asked the presiding judge Peter Cahill to delay the trial and reconsider a motion to change venue.
Nelson is attempting to use the family of George Floyd’s $27 Million settlement reached last week as the basis for his request. Nelson said that he is concerned that last week’s civil settkement announcement by the Minneapolis City Council would taint the jury pool. City officials voted to approve the settlement and held a news conference announcing the settlement payout. Floyd’s family members and their attorney were in attendance. CNN.com reported that George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said he “would return the settlement millions if it meant he could see his brother again.”
Chauvin’s attorney have asked the judge to call back the jurors to question them and determine whether they can remain impartial. The judge sided with Chauvin’s attorney and agreed to call jurors back near the opening arguments which are scheduled on March 29. He said that he would consider other defense motions as well. Minnesota special assistant attorney general Steven Scheiler who is a member of the prosecution team also agreed with the Judge saying the settlement announcement was “unfortunate.”
There were troubling signs early on that Judge Cahill may not be willing to ensure justice for George Floyd. The judge appeared to show little regard for George Floyd’s family as he expressed concern over the $27 Million civil settlement announcement. Judge Cahill have allowed Chauvin’s attorney to make the Floyd family settlement the issue of concern. Regardless of the settlement amount, it should have no bearing on Chauvin’s criminal prosecution.
NNV News Blog Writer Sister Rose Morris