Defense attorney Eric Nelson, representing the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, asked the judge Monday, to delay the trial because the announcement last Friday of a record $27m settlement for Floyd’s family could make a fair trial impossible. Nelson followed this up with a statement saying he would be looking into renewing his previously unsuccessful motion to move Chauvin’s trial to another city as well.
The timing of Friday’s civil settlement announcement when the criminal trial is still going through jury selection, was unprecedented. In the OJ Simpson trial, for example, the civil trial occurred years following the criminal case. Nelson said in court Monday, “I am gravely concerned with the news that broke on Friday that has incredible potential to taint the jury pool.”
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over pretrial motions, prior to continuing jury selection, Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis/Photo: Court TV
The Judge was also frustrated, stating “I wish city officials would stop talking about this case so much.” Though he followed this up by acknowledging that he did not “find any evil intent that they are trying to tamper with the criminal case.” He then asked the prosecution whether they agreed that the timing of the city’s $27 million settlement and corresponding reporting was “unfortunate.” Matthew Frank for the Prosecution, said, “It’s certainly not my preference, your honor. I don’t even know which way that cuts. If that cuts for us if that cuts against us.” The Judge said he would recall the seven jurors seated last week to ask them if they had seen news of the settlement,