Court Battles

Judge limits courtroom to one George Floyd family member at a time during Chauvin trial

A judge ruled on Tuesday that only one member of George Floyd's family at a time will be allowed at the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in his death.

NBC News reported that Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said different members of Floyd's family can rotate throughout the trial. The same rule applies to Chauvin's family.

Other rules require that those in attendance abide by COVID-19 guidelines, including practicing social distancing and wearing masks, according to NBC.

Floyd family attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said in a statement that many of Floyd's family members intended to witness the trial in the courtroom.

"While they understand the judge's reasons to limit attendance in the courtroom, the family is understandably disappointed by this ruling," they said. "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."

Chauvin's trial on second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges is set to begin Monday. In video of Floyd's May death that went viral and reignited the Black Lives Matter movement, the former officer can be seen kneeling on Floyd's neck as he repeatedly says, "I can't breathe." 

The three other officers involved in Floyd's death - J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao - have been charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter and will be tried separately from Chauvin. They are set to be tried on Aug. 23.

All four were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department soon after Floyd's death.

The city of Minneapolis is beefing up security ahead of Chauvin's trial, with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) activating the National Guard.

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