Minneapolis City Officials decision to announce a settlement in the Floyd case prejudices the defendant

Once again, we call for a change of venue

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Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney asked the court Monday to delay Chauvin’s criminal trial and move the venue in the wake of a $27 million civil settlement between Minneapolis and George Floyd’s family.

In a hearing Monday, the lawyer said he is “gravely concerned” by the announcement, calling it “incredibly prejudicial.”

“It’s amazing to me, they had a press conference on Friday, where the mayor of Minneapolis is on stage with the city council, and they’re using very, what I would say very well-designed terminology. ‘The unanimous decision of the city council,’ for example.

It just goes straight to the heart of the dangers of pretrial publicity in this case,” the lawyer said; he said the court should “strongly consider” their request to delay the trial and move it outside of Hennepin County. He also asked for extra peremptory strikes and re-questioning of jurors who had been selected. Source: CNN

We agree that the trial should be moved to a different venue. We suggested that a change of venue was proper long before Minneapolis City Officials incompetently announced the settlement during the jury selection process. The city’s agreement implies the defendant’s guilt and bolsters claims of pretrial publicity.

The delay and venue change will cost the state more money for security and other trial costs, but that is the price to be paid for a fair trial, and the city has themselves to blame. Judicial inconvenience should never outweigh a defendant’s right to due process and fairness.

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