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Patteeu Memorial Political Forum>*****Official George Floyd/MPLS Police dep trial*****
displacedinMN 09:47 AM 01-12-2021
Under Special Request-Shortened to help out

What happened --

Results and riots




I will update things as I can-I have full RedStarTrib access.

Live tweets from Red Star

KARE 11 Live Stream with experts.
displacedinMN 08:09 PM 02-02-2021
Just hitting the paper now.

Video on the link

Originally Posted by :
Three weeks before he planted his knee on George Floyd's neck, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin responded to a report of a woman being held hostage by armed men in a South Side apartment.

Along with officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Luis Realivasquez, Chauvin marched into the building as a Black man named Adrian Drakeford walked out. Drakeford was carrying an object the officers later said they thought to be a knife. Without a word, they tackled him to the ground outside the apartment building.

His brother, Lee Drakeford, started recording with his cellphone as he and Adrian's girlfriend, Kamaria Layton, pleaded that the officers were making a mistake.

"He didn't do nothing!" cried Layton.

Chauvin watched calmly and silently, tapping an object against his leg, as Kueng and Lane worked the handcuffs onto Adrian's wrists. Realivasquez eyed the crowd starting to amass and pulled a can of chemical irritant from his utility belt.

"Back up!" he ordered, shaking the can.

The video from May 3, 2020, obtained by the Star Tribune, bears striking similarities to footage showing three of the same officers — Chauvin, Lane and Kueng — aggressively detaining Floyd. As the officers handcuffed Adrian, bystanders begged them to show mercy. As with Floyd, the officers ignored the pleas. A few weeks later, Chauvin, Lane and Kueng would be fired and criminally charged in Floyd's death, bringing an abrupt end to Chauvin's history of rough encounters with civilians.

Adrian Drakeford was no hostage taker. The 27-year-old had no connection to the 911 call, other than living across the hall from where the woman said she was being held.

The policemen never found the 911 caller or determined whether she was still in danger. Instead, they detained Adrian and arrested one of his brothers, Terrance, who arrived on the scene and protested their treatment of Adrian. Lee — the one recording — ran away when they tried to detain him too.

Adrian was released with no charges. Terrance was charged with obstructing the legal process. After reviewing the case, the Minneapolis City Attorney dropped the misdemeanor "in the interest of justice."

"It's not the style of policing you want to see any law enforcement practice," said Andrew Gordon, Deputy Director for Community Legal Services at Minneapolis nonprofit Legal Rights Center, who represented Terrance. "Their interest is not necessarily about investigating a crime ... Their interest is to put these kids in their place."

Kueng and Lane were in the first few months on the force.

This was part of their field training.

The video
When the video begins, Lane and Kueng have already pinned Adrian to the ground in front of the apartment in the 2400 block of Oakland Avenue.

"Ya'll see this? He literally walked out the door," shouted a bystander.

"Y'all are honestly throwing men to the ground?" another chimed in.

In an interview, Adrian said the officers tackled him from behind. He thought he was being attacked or robbed at first and struggled to breathe when they held him down.

The officers later acknowledged the object in his pants was a knife sharpener, not a knife. Adrian said in an interview his car had been broken into the night before, and he'd called 911 to report it.

"He been calling all day!" said Lee.

Lane and Kueng pulled Adrian to his feet. Chauvin looked on and walked with them to the squad. Lee continued to ask the officers for their badge numbers.

"He came out with a knife, dude," said Realivasquez.

"I didn't come out with no knife!" retorted Adrian as the officers pushed him into the squad.

"He didn't come out with no knife! I was watching," said Lee. "Ya'll just snatched him up."

Lee asked the officers why they had come, and they said they'd been called to "apartment number one." Adrian lived in unit three.

Adrian's other brother, Terrance Drakeford, pulled up to the apartment with his girlfriend. There is no video to explain why the officers arrested Terrance, but in their reports, the officers say they "assisted [Terrance] down to the ground" after he shouted "foul language" and asked if they were "here to kill more Black people." "When he said this I observed that there were children in the area and was [sic] listening to his foul language," the report states.

In an interview, Terrance said he was protesting the officers' treatment of his brother, but that he was walking away when they arrested him.

A group of neighbors had gathered and were shouting at the officers. Among them, said Terrance, was the man who lived in the apartment the police had come to investigate."They took me to jail and they didn't even investigate the guy they were there for," said Terrance.

The officers eventually released Adrian, acknowledging in reports he'd committed no crime: "After further investigation it was determined that Adrian Drakeford was not involved in this call. This whole call was unfounded because everyone on scene at this address was uncooperative."

Terrance, the only one charged with a crime, was released from jail on bail a couple hours later. The Minneapolis City Attorney's Office dropped the charges on May 12.

Twelve days later, Chauvin pinned Floyd down for more than nine minutes while Kueng and Lane held down his legs. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death; Kueng, Lane and Officer Tou Thao face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Realivasquez was not involved in the Floyd incident. An MPD spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

"The timeline here is troubling," said Gordon. "The same officers are involved in the murder of George Floyd, using some of the same techniques and the need and desire to control people."

Gordon wonders why the wrongful detainment of the Drakefords and failure to investigate the 911 report — in addition to the litany of misconduct complaints leveled against Chauvin throughout his career — didn't raise red flags and lead to someone in a position of power to intervene on how these officers approached their jobs.

"This is not the first decision point where someone could have done something," said Gordon. "This was maybe the last one."

Andy Mannix • 612-673-4036

displacedinMN 08:03 PM 02-04-2021
Prosecutors sought Thursday to add third-degree murder charges against the four former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd because of an appellate court ruling this week in the case of another ex-officer convicted in the 2017 death of an Australian woman.

In the case of Derek Chauvin, prosecutors want to reinstate the third-degree murder charge that was dismissed in October by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. In the cases of the three other officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, prosecutors want to add the charge to their complaints.

Prosecutor Matthew Frank, acting on behalf of Attorney General Keith Ellison's office, cited a precedential state Court of Appeals ruling against Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis police officer, that was published Tuesday.

Noor is serving a 12 1/2-year sentence for a third-degree murder conviction in 2019 for shooting Justine Ruszczyk Damond from the passenger seat in his patrol vehicle as he and his partner responded to Damond's 911 call of a possible sexual assault.

On appeal, Noor's lawyer argued in part that he couldn't be convicted of third-degree murder because his actions were aimed at a specific person, rather than "eminently dangerous" to others. Until now, the third-degree murder charge in Minnesota had generally been used against drug dealers in overdose deaths.

A three-judge panel was split 2-1 on the ruling. Judges Louise Dovre Bjorkman and Michelle Larkin found that a third-degree murder conviction can be upheld when the conduct is directed at a single person.

In a detailed dissent, Judge Matthew Johnson said he would have reversed Noor's murder conviction and sent his case for sentencing on the lesser second-degree manslaughter charge.

As was the case for Noor, a conviction of third-degree murder could lead to longer sentences for the former officers involved in Floyd's arrest, especially the three accused accomplices. In Noor's case, had he been convicted of second-degree manslaughter, he likely would have faced a sentence of about four years, about a third of what he is serving now.

Frank said Cahill now has clear guidance on the elements of third-degree murder and he asked the judge to reinstate the charge against Chauvin and allow the state to add the charge against the other three.

Chauvin is currently charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter.

When Cahill dismissed the third-degree charge against Chauvin last fall, he cited state law saying that "a third-degree murder charge can be sustained only in situations in which the defendant's actions . . . were not specifically directed at the particular person whose death occurred."

Frank acknowledged there are differences between Noor's case, in which he fired a gun out a window, and those against the four officers who restrained Floyd.

"Noor's actions arguably put others at risk in addition to the victim, whereas Chauvin's conduct only directly endangered Floyd," Frank wrote. "But this distinction made no difference to the Court of Appeals. That court has now clarified that it is immaterial whether the death-causing conduct in Noor may have been directed at, or may have endangered, others."

The Court of Appeals ruling may not be the final word on what constitutes third-degree murder.

Noor's attorney Thomas Plunkett said he will ask the state Supreme Court to consider the case. But the Supreme Court could refuse, which would allow the appellate decision to stand. If the higher court takes up the Noor case, a decision would be unlikely to come this year.

Chauvin's trial is set to begin March 8, although Frank is seeking to postpone the starting date. The other former officers are scheduled to go to trial together in August.

Chauvin's lawyer Eric Nelson and Lane's lawyer Earl Gray declined to comment. Plunkett, who represents Kueng, also declined to comment. Bob Paule, who represents Thao, didn't immediately return a call.
displacedinMN 08:23 PM 02-05-2021
Originally Posted by :
Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Friday that will activate the Minnesota National Guard ahead of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in March.

The preparation of the National Guard is one of many steps the state is taking in anticipation of potential unrest around the trial, which is set to start March 8. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death last May.

Walz's order allows the Guard to start preparing and coordinating to assist during the trial.

State officials have been preparing for months for Chauvin's trial, along with the trial of the three other former Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd's death, who are scheduled to be tried together in August.

Walz noted this week that in addition to peaceful protests, the trials will be a "magnet" for people who want to do more than just express their First Amendment rights.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Wednesday described how he started that day talking with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force about trial preparation, then met with Black church leaders in north Minneapolis about what they can do to protect their congregations and churches. He said he followed that with a conference call with 213 chief law enforcement officers about how the state and dozens of local law enforcement agencies will work together to block crime during the trial.

The state's plan is different from how they handled civil unrest last summer, Harrington said, and they aren't asking officers from around the state to be riot police. He said his message to outside agencies was: "If we do this the right way, you are going to come in and prevent crime and you are going to prevent disorder."

Harrington said apart from when the Twin Cities hosted the 2008 Republican National Convention, Super Bowl LII and 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, "It's never happened in my 40-plus year career where we've had to pull together this kind of multi-jurisdictional effort to keep the peace. This is an exceptional time."

Walz has been pushing to create a $35 million fund that would be used, in part, to help reimburse local law enforcement agencies that send staff to assist in the Twin Cities during the trial. The idea has gotten push back from Republican legislators who say Minneapolis should cover such bills.

The state's coordination of hundreds of law enforcement officers from different agencies comes as Minneapolis's police force is down by about 200 officers. The department reported it had 877 police at the start of last year, and now has just 638 available to work.

Walz noted earlier this week that when he puts National Guard troops on the streets of Minneapolis, they need to be accompanied by other law enforcement. He stressed that they must have a sufficient number of law enforcement partnering with them during the trial.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey submitted a request last year asking that the Minnesota National Guard provide support around the March trial, Frey's spokesman Mychal Vlatkovich said.

"[Frey's] office has been participating in regular planning meetings with law enforcement agencies to help ensure strong and persistent lines of communication are open with all relevant partners," Vlatkovich said in a statement. "At the same time, our team has been working alongside community to establish key outreach strategies before, during, and after the trial."

Jessie Van Berkel • 651-925-5044

vailpass 08:59 PM 02-05-2021
Racist muzzie AG Ellison and a kangaroo court. C’mon Minnesota, do better.
displacedinMN 09:06 PM 02-05-2021
Originally Posted by vailpass:
Racist muzzie AG Ellison and a kangaroo court. C’mon Minnesota, do better.
that boat has left the dock
GloryDayz 09:07 PM 02-05-2021
As long as that motherfucking asshole's body is turning into goo inside that faux gold box the world is a much better place. Like the rest of the world, nobody misses that useless piece of shit.

God his mother is a cunt for having not aborted him!
vailpass 09:08 PM 02-05-2021
Originally Posted by displacedinMN:
that boat has left the dock
I appreciate your 10,000 lake phraseology.
displacedinMN 09:26 PM 02-05-2021
Originally Posted by vailpass:
I appreciate your 10,000 lake phraseology.
should have added a "dont cha know"
displacedinMN 04:49 PM 02-09-2021
just keeps on giving

Originally Posted by :
Eight minority corrections officers who were barred from guarding or having any other contact with former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during his stay at the Ramsey County jail last summer are suing their employer, alleging racial discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Chauvin was booked at the county jail on May 29, the same day he was charged in the death of George Floyd. He is expected to stand trial March 8 on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

As Chauvin arrived, all officers of color were ordered to a separate floor, and a supervisor forbid a Black sergeant from bringing Chauvin to his cell, solely because of their race, according to the 30-page lawsuit filed in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday morning.

The officers — who identify as Black, Hispanic and Pacific-Islander — said those orders by the white jail superintendent amounted to segregation and implied they could not be trusted around Chauvin because they are not white.

"Credibility is critical to maintaining safety in a jail environment," according to the lawsuit filed by Minneapolis attorney Lucas Kaster. The "segregation order tarnished [the officers'] credibility and reputation and prohibited them from completing their job duties professionally."

Two officers also alleged that they witnessed surveillance footage of Lt. Lugene Werner, who is white, be granted "special access" to Chauvin's cell, where she sat on his bunk and allowed him to use her cellphone — a significant policy violation.

Public records show that Werner is related to Chauvin's sister via marriage.

When reached by phone, Werner insisted that the claims were "unfounded" and declined to answer questions about her relationship with Chauvin and his family.

The lawsuit comes roughly eight months after the same group of officers filed discrimination charges with the state's Department of Human Rights about the incident. The charges were expected to automatically trigger a state investigation, but Kaster told the Star Tribune it never gained traction — and lawyers requested the agency close the administrative case so they could pursue legal action in state court.

A MDHR spokesman confirmed that the case was closed at the charging parties' request, before a determination was ever issued. He declined to say how far along the investigation had gotten or whether one was ever started.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Bob Fletcher began "voluntary mediation" with the officers and their counsel last July to resolve to claims, but "the parties were unable to achieve a settlement," county spokesman John Siqveland said in a statement.

Fletcher could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last June — after initially denying that such a segregation order ever took place — a spokesman for the sheriff's office acknowledged the decision and announced that the superintendent had been temporarily demoted while the agency conducted an internal investigation. It's not immediately clear what that investigation found.

In explaining his actions, jail Superintendent Steve Lydon later told superiors that he was informed Chauvin would be arriving in 10 minutes, and made a call "to protect and support" minority employees by shielding them from Chauvin.

"Out of care and concern, and without the comfort of time, I made a decision to limit exposure to employees of color to a murder suspect who could potentially aggravate those feelings," Lydon reportedly said in a statement given during the internal investigation and provided by the Sheriff's Office to the Star Tribune.

Attorneys for the officers said that rationale was never communicated to their clients, who continue to feel "deeply humiliated, distressed and negatively impacted" by his decision that day. The lawsuit alleges that Ramsey County has made no policy changes to prevent a similar incident happening in the future.

Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648

vailpass 04:57 PM 02-09-2021
Originally Posted by displacedinMN:
should have added a "dont cha know"
:-) Ya sure you betcha'
displacedinMN 06:31 PM 02-09-2021
Originally Posted by vailpass:
:-) Ya sure you betcha'
no, yeah, no
displacedinMN 06:33 PM 02-09-2021
more stuff

Originally Posted by :
An attorney representing one of the four ex-Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death wants to block Facebook videos of the incident from being played at his client's August trial.

Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett filed a motion late Monday regarding the videos in J. Alexander Kueng's case. It was made public Tuesday, and does not apply to the March 8 trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes.

Plunkett asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to prohibit prosecutors from "playing videos known as 'the Facebook videos' " because they are "irrelevant."

Bystander Darnella Frazier was 17 when she recorded and shared video of Floyd's May 25 arrest on Facebook, where it was viewed by millions.

Plunkett's motion did not specifically mention Frazier's video; it's unknown how many Facebook videos have been gathered as evidence. While police bodycam video showed at least one other bystander recording the incident, Frazier's video was the lightning rod for protests in Minnesota and across the world against police use-of-force.

"The videos are irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial because they do not show what Kueng and [ex-officer Thomas Lane] actually perceived and saw during Mr. Floyd's arrest and will have a tendency to distort what the officer perceptions were on those matters," Plunkett wrote in his motion without elaborating further on the origins or content of the videos in question.

Plunkett declined to comment Tuesday.

Kueng, Lane and ex-officer Tou Thao are scheduled to be tried in one trial Aug. 23. They are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

Chauvin is scheduled to stand trial March 8 on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

All four, who were fired, are out on bond. Attorneys for the other three defendants have not weighed in on whether the Facebook videos should be admitted as evidence in their client's trial.

Floyd's relatives and an attorney for the family did not return messages seeking comment.

Frazier's video has become the public image of Floyd's death, showing him begging for breath and calling out for his late mother while Chauvin knelt on his neck, and then going limp and silent. Out of the camera's view and obscured behind a squad car, Kueng knelt on Floyd's back while Lane knelt and held onto his legs. Thao controlled an angry crowd.

Frazier's attorney, Seth Cobin, said the video is integral to the case.

"A video that shows the murder is incredibly relevant to the murder itself," Cobin said. "It's an image that galvanized the entire planet."

Plunkett's motion was not a surprise, said Cobin, who is a criminal defense attorney.

"If you're a defense attorney," he said, "you're doing everything you can to bring up every single barrier you can because your client is looking at a long time in prison."

Last December, Frazier was awarded the Benenson Courage Award from PEN America for the video.

"With nothing more than a cellphone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police," PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said last year.

Last May, Frazier told the Star Tribune that she started recording "as soon as I heard him trying to fight for his life."

"It was like a natural instinct, honestly," said Frazier. "The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times."

Frazier said at the time that she hoped her video would bring about "peace and equality."

Her actions exemplify the power of technology in holding police accountable, Cobin said.

"This is a tool that people are using to fight back," he said. "The rest of the world woke up the next morning to see this [in] the headlines."

Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report. • 612-270-4708

BigRichard 01:57 PM 02-10-2021
Chauvin should have his lawyer demand trial by combat.
displacedinMN 07:59 PM 02-10-2021
just getting info on this..................Story from NYT

Originally Posted by :
Derek Chauvin agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder, but Attorney General Barr rejected deal, New York Times says
The federal government's approval was needed because Chauvin, who had asked to serve his time in a federal prison, wanted assurance that he would not face federal civil rights charges.
Originally Posted by :
MINNEAPOLIS - It was three days after George Floyd died in police custody last May, and businesses in the Twin Cities were on fire. Police officers were shooting rubber bullets and tear gas to hold back protesters, their anger fueled by a cellphone video of Floyd, a Black man, gasping for breath under the knee of a white officer.

As soldiers prepared to take to the streets, the officer, Derek Chauvin, believed that the case against him was so devastating that he agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder. As part of the deal, officials now say, he was willing to go to prison for more than 10 years. Local officials, scrambling to quell the community's swelling anger, scheduled a news conference to announce the deal.

But at the last minute, according to new details laid out by three law enforcement officials, the deal fell apart after William Barr, the attorney general at the time, rejected the arrangement. The deal was contingent on the federal government's approval because Chauvin, who had asked to serve his time in a federal prison, wanted assurance that he would not face federal civil rights charges.

An official said Barr worried that a plea deal, so early in the process and before a full investigation had concluded, would be perceived as too lenient by the growing number of protesters across America. At the same time, Barr wanted to allow state officials, who were about to take over the case from the county prosecutor who has had tense relations with Minneapolis's Black community, to make their own decisions about how to proceed.

Now, in the lead-up to Chauvin's trial, which is scheduled to begin with jury selection March 8, there is great uncertainty about the outcome and whether the proceedings could provoke more violence.

Some office workers in downtown Minneapolis have already been told not to come to work during the weekslong trial because of heavy security. The National Guard will be deployed, transforming the city center into a military zone, with Humvees and armed soldiers monitoring checkpoints. In his recent budget proposal, Gov. Tim Walz included a special $4.2 million item for security during the trial, as well as a $35 million fund to reimburse local law enforcement agencies that may be called upon to quell unrest.

"This is the most famous police brutality prosecution in the history of the United States," said Paul Butler, a former prosecutor and professor at Georgetown University and an authority on police brutality.

In a country whose criminal justice system rarely holds police officers accountable for killing on the job — not in Ferguson, Missouri, not in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, not in the case of Eric Garner in New York — the trial of Chauvin is seen as a test of whether anything has changed. Chauvin, in widely seen cellphone video captured by a bystander, kept his knee on the neck of Floyd for more than nine minutes until he took his last breaths pushed against, in the words of a court filing, "the unforgiving concrete of Chicago Avenue."

The trial may yet be delayed. The prosecution has asked an appeals court to put off the proceedings, citing the risk that the trial, with so many demonstrators likely to fill the streets, becomes a superspreader event during the coronavirus pandemic.

"This appeal involves a question of exceptional and unique importance in one of the highest-profile cases in our nation's history," reads the first sentence of the appellate brief filed by Keith Ellison, the state's attorney general, who is leading the prosecution.

The state is also appealing a decision by Judge Peter A. Cahill to separate the trial of Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — the initial charge of third-degree murder was dropped — from the trial of three other former officers involved in Floyd's death, two of whom were rookies with just a few days on the job.

The three ex-officers who were with Chauvin during Floyd's final minutes — Thomas Lane, who held Floyd's legs; J. Alexander Kueng, who was positioned on Floyd's back; and Tou Thao, who held off angry bystanders — are scheduled to face trial on aiding and abetting charges in August.

Legal experts, and lawyers involved in the case, say that Cahill's decision to hold separate trials could benefit Chauvin — whose lawyer had pushed for a separate trial — because he will no longer have to face the possibility of the other three men pointing the blame at him.

In fact, that has already been playing out behind the scenes: Defense attorneys for those former officers have shifted from crafting strategies built on establishing the culpability of Chauvin to offering their help to his defense. If Chauvin were acquitted — a possibility that many officials fear could lead to more upheaval and second-guessing about the failed plea deal — the other three officers would likely not face trial at all.

Floyd's death forced a reckoning with racial injustice and police brutality that many felt was long overdue. Not since the civil rights movement of the 1960s had so many Americans taken to the streets to demand justice and equality. That it happened in the middle of a pandemic only added to the sense of magnitude.

Floyd died on Memorial Day after a store clerk called the police on him for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. Soon, the impact of his death on the broader world will narrow — to a specially built courtroom, No. 1856, designed for social distancing at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis.

At trial, the central question will most likely be the exact cause of Floyd's death. The county medical examiner ruled the death a homicide caused by a combination of the officers' use of force, the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system and his underlying health conditions. But Chauvin's defense strategy, which has emerged in numerous court filings from his lawyer, Eric Nelson, is centered on presenting medical evidence that Floyd died of a drug overdose.

"A lot of the defense strategy will look like a trial of George Floyd's character," Butler, the Georgetown professor, said.

In a series of motions filed this week, Nelson asked the court to allow testimony about Floyd's drug use and to forbid anyone at trial from referring to Floyd as a victim.

Nelson declined to comment on the failed plea deal last year.

Lawyers and legal experts often bring up two of America's most famous trials involving race and the police when asked to place the criminal cases arising from Floyd's death in a historical context. One is the Rodney King case in Los Angeles in 1992, for its obvious parallels of white officers brutalizing a Black man. The other is the O.J. Simpson trial, which offers an example of how an emotional trial can become a televised spectacle.

Cahill, citing the immense interest in the Chauvin case and the pandemic restrictions that will limit public attendance, has ruled that cameras will be allowed in the courtroom, a first in Minnesota.

Ellison has objected to cameras in the court, writing in a motion that "an innocent bystander who saw George Floyd's murder does not deserve — absent his or her consent — to be rocketed onto the public stage."

There are also persistent fears that the trial could attract white supremacists or other right-wing extremist groups to the city. Already, during pretrial hearings, lawyers for the defendants have been harassed; one man was arrested after managing to get a gun inside the courthouse.

Earl Gray, Lane's lawyer, was in his office on a recent morning, explaining that Floyd's drug use will probably be at the center of the case, when his phone rang. It was another in a stream of harassing phone calls he has been receiving for months.

"It's a case where the politics are pretty tough," he said, matter-of-factly, after hanging up.

Jurors will remain anonymous during the trial, and possibly sequestered. A questionnaire has been mailed to prospective jurors, asking them a number of questions, including their opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement and the effort to "defund the police," a rallying cry of last summer's social unrest, and whether they participated in any protests.

Seating an impartial jury could be the most vexing challenge of the entire proceeding, and three weeks have been scheduled just for picking a jury. After all, many here ask, who has not heard of the case and formed an opinion about it? And how will last summer's unrest, and the expectation that an acquittal in the case would cause more demonstrations in their own city, weigh on the minds of jurors?

Aside from the snow on the ground and a naked Christmas tree, the only indication that almost a year has passed since Floyd was killed outside Cup Foods in south Minneapolis is a sign at the Speedway gas station across the street that changes each morning.

"GEORGE FLOYD, TRIAL IN 28 DAYS," it read on a recent day.

Eliza Wesley, known to the community around Cup Foods as "the gatekeeper" of George Floyd Square — anchored by a traffic roundabout transformed into a memorial with a raised fist sculpture jutting skyward — has for many months taken care of the area and greeted visitors.

The countdown sign, she said, "is so we know exactly how many days to the trial, so we can be prepared. We want it to be peaceful. We don't want white supremacists coming down here."

Wesley said she had no doubt about the trial's outcome, even as she worried that her city could once again be convulsed by unrest.

"I'm confident justice will be served," she said. "There's no way around that video. God allowed this to happen, so life can be changed and people can see what's going on. George Floyd died for a purpose."

After reading the headline-then reading the article....Barr did the right thing. Sound like more media bias
displacedinMN 07:17 PM 02-16-2021
MINNEAPOLIS — The attorney for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd is asking for those charges to be dropped, alleging that prosecutors leaked news of a proposed plea deal by co-defendant Derek Chauvin to the New York Times.

In a motion of dismissal filed in Hennepin County District Court, Robert Paule, defense counsel for Tou Thao, requests a hearing during which Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and prosecuting attorneys Matthew Frank and Neal Katyal are required to be present and face "sanctions against the State for its role – directly or indirectly – in the leaking of highly prejudicial information related to potential plea agreements of codefendants."

Thao's defense team is asking Judge Peter Cahill to schedule the hearing within the next week, before jury selection is scheduled to begin in Chauvin's trial March 8.

Paule alleges that a New York Times article published February 10 featured leaked information detailing a preliminary plea agreement between the state and co-defendant Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer captured on videotape kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. In the alleged deal, the Times reported Chauvin would have pleaded guilty to third degree murder in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence.

RELATED: Reports: Chauvin plea deal denied last year by then-Attorney General Barr

“But at the last minute," the Times printed, "according to new details laid out by three law enforcement officials, the deal fell apart after William P. Barr, the attorney general at the time, rejected the arrangement."

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death.

In his motion Paule and Thao argue that the information leaked is highly prejudicial, and could only have come from the prosecution team or someone associated with it.

"There are a finite number of people that would have had direct knowledge of the alleged plea agreement," Paule wrote. "The newspaper articles show that Mr. Chauvin’s team was not the source, nor were the federal prosecutors. Using deductive reasoning, the leak had to have come from the State."

"It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of this misconduct or its prejudicial effect on the defendants’ constitutional due process rights of a fair trial," Paule continues. "If this leak would have happened during trial, the Court would be required to declare a mistrial and dismiss the charges with prejudice."

Along with a dismissal of aiding and abetting second degree murder charges, Thao's defense team is seeking the following:

An order barring any person(s) who leaked information of Mr. Chauvin’s plea deal to the press from participating in any of the trials stemming from the death of George Floyd. This order would also bar any person(s) who knew of the source of the leak and failed to mitigate it, ratified it, or ordered it.
An order removing of all out-of-state/pro hac vice attorneys from the case of State v. Thao.
An order removing all “special attorney generals” for the case of State v. Thao.
A gag order preventing the State, prosecuting attorneys, staff, witnesses, and all other employees in its offices from speaking to the public or press until the end of trial in State v. Thao.
An order requiring the State to pay for the cost and fees associated with filing this motion.
An order requiring the State to pay for the cost and fees of any further delay of trial stemming from these articles or further publication on the plea deal.
An order preemptively removing all potential jurors from sitting on the jury if they acknowledge in voir dire they saw, read, or have knowledge of the cited articles.
An order increasing the amount of preemptive strikes each defense team has to counter this prejudicial effect of the misconduct.
In a statement to KARE 11, Attorney General Keith Ellison called Thao's motion "one convoluted conspiracy theory," noting that the Minnesota Attorney General's Office had not even taken over prosecution in the case at the time of the reported failed plea deal.

"[The motion] fantasizes that even before we took over the case we somehow knew what then-President Trump’s then-attorney general was thinking," Ellison said. "It's completely false and an outlandish attempt to disparage the prosecution for seeking justice in the death of George Floyd. Had we been contacted prior to its filing, we could have debunked this bizarre theory from the outset and avoided this waste of the court’s time.”

Michael Bryant, a legal expert and managing partner at Bradshaw and Bryant who is not involved in any of the cases, said motions like this are common to lay groundwork for future appeals.

“We’ve been seeing a motion about every week, for the last month and a half. So, it’s not surprising," Bryant said.

He also said he doesn’t buy the defense’s argument that the leak to the Times might taint a jury.

“Not compared to anything else, compared to the other stories or people seeing riots and seeing the response," Bryant said. "There’s so many other things that could prejudice the jury beyond this.”
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