The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be held in person instead of virtually despite the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS Minnesota reported.
A court order from Chief Judge Toddrick Barnette determined that there are “exceptional circumstances to support” holding the March 8 hearing in person after consultations over the Pandemic In-Person Hearing Request, the court order says.All court proceedings in Minnesota were required to be held virtually unless an exception was granted, CBS Minnesota reported.
Chauvin pressed his knee against George Floyd, killing him on May 25 while police were investigating whether Floyd used a counterfeit bill at a nearby store.
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Former officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. The other three former officers will be tried in August.
In late January, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill ruled that Floyd’s arrest from May 2019 during a traffic stop and an aggravated robbery conviction from Texas could not be introduced as evidence during the trials. (RELATED: Judge Rejects Former Minneapolis Police Officers’ Motion To Include Evidence From George Floyd’s Prior Arrest)
The defense teams argued that Floyd swallowed pills in the 2019 encounter and was taken to the hospital, which is relevant to the case because Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system during the fatal encounter, the Star Tribune reported.
Cahill also issued a decision that was a setback for the prosecution, which wanted evidence from 8 incidents involving Chauvin to be introduced at trial. Cahill ordered that prosecutors could introduce about two cases from Chauvin’s past. One involved a 2015 response by Chauvin and other offices to a suicidal and intoxicated man, when other officers used a stun gun and placed the man in a “side-recovery position.”
The other incident occurred in 2017, when Chauvin placed his knee on a woman’s neck while she lay on the ground, according to the Star Tribune.