MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge said he won’t reconsider his decision to hold a March trial for the former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes even though the Black man said he couldn’t breathe, according to a ruling made public Thursday.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled this month that Derek Chauvin will stand trial in March, as scheduled, and will be tried separately from the other three former officers who are charged in Floyd’s death. Earlier this week, prosecutors asked the judge to reconsider both decisions and to try all four officers together this summer, citing COVID-19 concerns as a primary factor.
Cahill denied prosecutors’ request based on the facts and proceedings already in the court record.
Floyd died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed chest-down on the street. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the other three former officers are charged with aiding and abetting.
Cahill’s earlier decision to split the trials was based on limited courtroom space due to COVID-19 restrictions. He wrote in his Jan. 11 ruling that after learning the defendants would have additional lawyers and support personnel in court, the court decided it would be “impossible to comply with COVID-19 physical restrictions” if all four officers were tried together in March.
Chauvin’s trial is scheduled to being March 8. The other officers’ trial is set to start Aug. 23.