Minnesota Judge Peter Cahill denied motions for continuance and change of venue on Friday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the man charged with the murder of George Floyd. In its memorandum to the court, the defense argued that “a fair trial cannot be had for Mr. Chauvin in Hennepin or Ramsey counties.” However, Judge Cahill stated in his rejection, “I do not think [a change of venue] would give the defendant any kind of a fair trial beyond what we are doing [in Hennepin County] today. I don’t think there is any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.”
The defense further argued that “the notoriety surrounding the present proceedings far eclipses anything” which has been tried in the state of Minnesota. It stated, “[D]aily prejudicial media reports numbering in the thousands have been published since the date of the incident and continue to be published during jury selection.”
To the motion for a continuance, Judge Cahill responded, “I think the pre-trial publicity, in this case, will continue no matter how long we continue it. Perhaps some of it may, with time, be forgotten by people.”
The court’s ruling follows a unanimous vote by the Minneapolis City Council to award George Floyd’s family with a $27 million settlement.
The court has seated 13 jurors, and following its seating of two more alternates, opening statements are scheduled to begin on March 29.