Prosecutors’ request to delay Derek Chauvin trial dismissed by appeals court
The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed a request to delay the March trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with killing George Floyd, after prosecutors cited COVID-19 safety concerns, NBC News reports.
Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges for pressing his knee against Floyd, a Black resident of Minneapolis, for an extended period of time, ultimately leading to his death on May 25.
Prosecutors filed their motion for a three-month trial delay in January, which would allow the trial to start June 7, arguing it would appropriately balance “the need to protect public health with the need to ensure that this case is resolved expeditiously.”
Pushing back the trial would “substantially reduce the risks to trial participants from COVID-19, and thereby reduce the risk that this trial is delayed or disrupted by a COVID-19 outbreak among the trial participants,” they added.
The state also petitioned to have Chauvin tried alongside the two other Minneapolis police officers involved in the incident. A Minnesota judge denied that request, as well, ruling on Jan. 12 that Chauvin would stand trial alone beginning March 8.
The trial for officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao, all charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter, is slated to being on Aug. 23.
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