Trial of 3 ex-officers in Floyd death won’t be livestreamed

Apr 25, 2022, 7:28 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2022, 8:59 am
FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file image from video, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill addresses...

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file image from video, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill addresses the court April 19, 2021 in Minneapolis. Cahill has ruled that the trial of three fired Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's killing will not be livestreamed. (Court TV via AP, Pool File)

(Court TV via AP, Pool File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has ruled that the trial of three fired Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting George Floyd’s killing will not be livestreamed.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who cited the threat of COVID-19 to allow livestreaming of last year’s murder trial of Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death, wrote in an order filed Monday evening that the pandemic has receded to the point that he cannot override the other three officers’ objections to live audiovisual coverage.

The trial for former Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng is set to begin with motions on June 13. Jury selection begins June 14 with opening statements set for July 5. Cahill said he expects the evidence phase to take four or five weeks, meaning the trial could last into early August.

Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back, Lane held his legs and Thao kept bystanders back as Chauvin, who is white, used his knee to pin Floyd, a Black man, to the pavement for 9 1/2 minutes on May 25, 2020, in a case that sparked protests around the world and a national reckoning on race.

Thao, Lane and Kueng were convicted in a separate trial in federal court in February of violating Floyd’s civil rights. Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights. Sentencing dates have not been set in those cases, which were not televised due to federal court rules.

Last year, Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in the murder case, which was viewed around the world. Prosecutors disclosed during a hearing two weeks ago that the other three former officers had rejected plea deals that would have averted the upcoming trial.

Prosecutors and a coalition of media organizations including The Associated Press had argued for allowing live televised coverage again, citing the continued intense public and media interest in the case, and the potential resurgence of the coronavirus.

But Cahill wrote that the “unusual and compelling circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic” at the time of the Chauvin trial have substantially abated, and court system rules in force at the time that mandated social distancing have been lifted. So, he said, he’s bound by Minnesota’s normal court rules, which allow cameras during most of a trial only if all parties consent.

“It is deeply disappointing that thousands of people interested in this important trial won’t be able to watch it,” said Leita Walker, an attorney for the media coalition, who noted in an email that an advisory committee to the Minnesota Supreme Court is considering whether the state court system should ease its restrictions on cameras. “Our Supreme Court needs to change the rule. They are working on it. I wish they could have worked faster.”

Cahill wrote that he agreed with prosecutors that livestreaming Chauvin’s trial “inspired public confidence in the proceedings and helped ensure calm in Minneapolis and across the country.” And he noted that he recommended to the committee that judges should have discretion to allow audiovisual coverage even if a party objects. But he said he has “no unfettered mandate” to ignore existing rules in the absence of compelling circumstances needed to prevent a “manifest injustice.”

News organizations will have to cover the upcoming proceedings mostly from a closed-circuit feed in one of at least three overflow courtrooms. Only two pool reporters can be present in the main courtroom. Only four members of the Floyd family and two members from each defendant’s family at a time may be in the courtroom. The general public can watch only from an overflow courtroom.

Cahill also ruled that the jury won’t be sequestered except for deliberations, but with security restrictions, similar to how he conducted Chauvin’s trial.


Find AP’s full coverage of the killing of George Floyd at:


The story has been updated to correct that the order was filed Monday evening.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


File - People shop at an Apple store in the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jerse...
Associated Press

A key inflation gauge tracked by the Fed slowed in February

The Federal Reserve's favored inflation gauge slowed sharply last month, an encouraging sign in the Fed's yearlong effort to cool price pressures through steadily higher interest rates.
1 day ago
FILE - The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output fr...
Associated Press

Musk, scientists call for halt to AI race sparked by ChatGPT

Are tech companies moving too fast in rolling out powerful artificial intelligence technology that could one day outsmart humans?
2 days ago
Associated Press

Starbucks leader grilled by Senate over anti-union actions

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz faced sharp questioning Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
3 days ago
FILE - The overdose-reversal drug Narcan is displayed during training for employees of the Public H...
Associated Press

FDA approves over-the-counter Narcan; here’s what it means

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling naloxone without a prescription, the first over-the-counter opioid treatment.
3 days ago
FILE - A Seattle police officer walks past tents used by people experiencing homelessness, March 11...
Associated Press

Seattle, feds seek to end most oversight of city’s police

  SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department and Seattle officials asked a judge Tuesday to end most federal oversight of the city’s police department, saying its sustained, decade-long reform efforts are a model for other cities whose law enforcement agencies face federal civil rights investigations. Seattle has overhauled virtually all aspects of its police […]
4 days ago
capital gains tax budgets...
Associated Press

Washington moves to end child sex abuse lawsuit time limits

People who were sexually abused as children in Washington state may soon be able to bring lawsuits against the state, schools or other institutions for failing to stop the abuse, no matter when it happened.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Trial of 3 ex-officers in Floyd death won’t be livestreamed