George Floyd: Jurors to be picked as Derek Chauvin accused of murder

George Floyd: Jurors to be picked as Derek Chauvin accused of murder

But the beginning of the trial has been postponed for at least a day because Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the trial, wants to hear from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on whether a third degree murder charge should be added to the second degree murder and manslaughter charges.

A Minnesota court of appeals has not yet issued its ruling but Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, visibly impatient to get the trial going, chose to go ahead with jury selection anyway.

But Judge Peter Cahill said past year that moving the trial probably wouldn't cure the problem of a potentially tainted jury pool because "no corner of the State of Minnesota" has been shielded from pretrial publicity.

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, argued it would be impossible to find an impartial jury due to the pretrial publicity of the case.

Prosecutors and defence attorneys agreed to dismiss 16 of the first 50 jurors they reviewed "for cause" based on their answers to a lengthy questionnaire.

After headlines, we'll go to Minneapolis for the latest on Derek Chauvin's murder trial. A state appeals court on Friday ordered Cahill to reconsider the charge, which he had dropped last fall.

Legal experts say reinstating the charge would improve the odds of getting a conviction.

State prosecutors filed a motion Monday with the state Court of Appeals asking to stop the case until the Minnesota Supreme Court makes a decision on whether or not to reinstate a charge of third-degree murder.

Chauvin faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Recorded on bystanders' cellphones and police body-worn cameras, they show Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, pleads for his life before fading into stillness.

Chauvin, who is white, and three other police officers were fired the day after the deadly arrest on May 25 on suspicion that Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes at the Cup Foods grocery store.

Demonstrators carry a scroll listing the names of people killed by police during a march in honor of George Floyd on March 7, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

One speaker, DJ Hooker, took a microphone and decried the concrete barriers topped by chain-link fencing, barbed wire and razor wire set up around the courthouse, and ridiculed talk of the Chauvin trial as "the trial of the century", saying the jury simply must "do the right thing".

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With the world watching, the city has thrown up barricades around the courtroom and drafted in extra officers and National Guard soldiers in fear of renewed violence.

Cahill also ruled that prosecutors can tell jurors about a 2015 incident in which Chauvin saw other officers place a suicidal, intoxicated male in a side-recovery position after using a stun gun on him.

No one attended to support Mr Chauvin. They're going to try to attack the character of George Floyd.

"I hope to get to justice, but I don't know what to expect", said Allie Jacox, 36.

"I sat in the courthouse today and looked at the officer who took my brother's life", she said.

The jurors will be picked by residents of Hennepin County after extensive grilling about their views on police and the justice system.

The judge and lawyers then sent out the group and called potential jurors in one at a time for questioning about possible biases.

They were also asked about any contacts they have with police, whether they have protested against police brutality and whether they believe the justice system is fair. However, prosecutors said they would ask the Court of Appeals to intervene, which could put the case on hold.

Potential jurors will be questioned individually.

Cahill has been a judge since 2007 and has been chief judge.

Chauvin's lawyers have up to 15 peremptory challenges by which they can exclude a juror without having to cite a reason, while the prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general's office have nine.

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