Derek Chauvin trial lawyers following Friday’s announcement that the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to award George Floyd’s family a record $27 million to settle their wrongful death civil lawsuit, moved for the cop charged with killing Floyd are asking for a delay, implying that the timing of the settlement is “suspicious.” Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder after the former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd neck for nearly nine minutes – until the unarmed man was dead.
To add salt to the wound, Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson has also requested that the court call back jurors who have already been selected for the trial to determine if news of the settlement has compromised their impartiality. Jury selection has been arduous process as the case has received so much national and worldwide attention. The judge in the case, Peter Cahill, has agreed and is recalling the seven jurors which have been selected.
“It’s amazing to me, they had a press conference on Friday, where the mayor of Minneapolis, on stage with city council, and they’re using very, what I would say, very well-designed terminology. ‘The unanimous decision of the city council,’ for example. It just goes straight to the heart of the dangers of pretrial publicity,” Nelson said.
Nelson is also asking that the trial be moved out of Hennepin County, Minnesota, an option that the presiding judge had floated last year when he warned attorneys in the case to refrain from making public comments that could prejudice a jury. Cahill has yet to rule on this request.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey joined the Floyd family and their attorney Ben Crump at a press conference on Friday, March 12, to announce the historic settlement from the city in the Derek Chauvin trial in a civil suit. The $27 million is the largest payout for police misconduct Minneapolis has ever made.
Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in the death of Floyd. The trial of three other former Minneapolis officers — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao — for their role in Floyd’s death, is scheduled to take place in August.