Chauvin Attorney Fears Impact of $27 Million Settlement With Floyd’s Family

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Chauvin Attorney Fears Impact of $27 Million Settlement With Floyd’s Family” – below is their description.

An attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death said Monday that he’s “gravely concerned” that the announcement of a $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family makes it impossible for his client to get a fair trial.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked for a continuance and raised the possibility of renewing his previously unsuccessful motion to move Derek Chauvin’s trial to another city.

“I am gravely concerned with the news that broke on Friday,” Nelson said, adding that the settlement announcement “has incredible potential to taint the jury pool.”

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said the state had no control over Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council, who announced the settlement on Friday.

Absent a delay or change of venue, Nelson urged Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to consider giving both sides extra strikes to remove potential jurors who might be biased, and to recall the seven jurors already seated to ask them how the settlement affected their view of the case.

But Schleicher said the jurors selected promised they could decide the case based only on evidence presented at trial and he urged the court to “take a step back” and determine whether there’s an actual problem before deciding on solutions.

Judge Peter Cahill said he would take the request for a continuance under advisement, but that he didn’t think it would be appropriate to grant additional strikes to either side.

He said he would likely recall the seven previously seated jurors for further questioning.

The judge has already instructed members of the jury pool to avoid all news coverage about the case.

Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter.

Attorneys have been questioning potential jurors to settle on 12 who will deliberate and two to be alternates.

Floyd, a Black man, was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes.

Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. At least three weeks have been set aside for jury selection.

In the midst of jury selection, Minneapolis last week agreed to pay $27 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit from Floyd’s family over his death.

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