Judge rules only one George Floyd family member can attend Chauvin trial

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Biba Adams
·3 min read
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Different kinfolk can rotate the slot, but only one will be let in court at a time — and the same applies to the accused’s family.

A Minnesota judge has ruled that only one member of George Floyd’s grieving family will be able to attend the pending trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing charges for killing Floyd, a death a bystander’s video captured.

Judge Peter Cahill has ruled that different family members can rotate the position, however, only one will be allowed in the courtroom at a time. The same applies to Chauvin’s family.

Paris Stevens and Angela Harrelson (left, right), the cousin and aunt of George Floyd, pose for a photo at a memorial site known as George Floyd Square. Only one member of Floyd’s grieving family will be able to attend the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin at a time. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Paris Stevens and Angela Harrelson (left, right), the cousin and aunt of George Floyd, pose for a photo at a memorial site known as George Floyd Square. Only one member of Floyd’s grieving family will be able to attend the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin at a time. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The order also references the court’s coronavirus restrictions, which include wearing a mask at all times. Judge Cahill also banned “any mask or article of clothing that contains any image, logo, letters or numbers that are visible.”

Chauvin’s trial is set to start this Monday, March 8.

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Floyd family attorneys Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying the past year had been a “deeply painful and emotional year for every member of the Floyd family, many of whom intended to be in the courtroom to witness this trial.”

“While they understand the judge’s reasons to limit attendance in the courtroom, the family is understandably disappointed by this ruling,” the lawyers contended in a statement. “The family is looking forward to the start of the trial as a critical milestone on the path to justice and a step toward closure in this dark chapter of their lives.”

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Chauvin is the only fired Minneapolis Police officer who was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in March. The three other fired officers involved in Floyd’s May 2020 death have been charged with aiding and abetting and will be tried together in August.

Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are expected to testify against Chauvin.

Floyd’s May 25 killing sparked a summer of protests for Black Lives Matter, compounded with the death of Breonna Taylor and the subsequent failure of Kentucky lawmakers to prosecute the officers involved in her killing.

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Since Floyd’s death, police reform bills have been promoted in many states, including support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that is currently making its way through Congress.

In a statement urging its passing, the White House said: “To make our communities safer, we must begin by rebuilding trust between law enforcement and the people they are entrusted to serve and protect. We cannot rebuild that trust if we do not hold police officers accountable for abuses of power and tackle systemic misconduct — and systemic racism — in police departments.”

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