HENNEPIN COUNTY, Minn. — A Minnesota judge on Friday rejected requests from defense attorneys and media organizations to allow cameras in court during the pretrial hearings of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the custodial death of George Floyd.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill noted that prosecutors also objected to visual recordings. A ruling has not been made whether cameras will be allowed during trial, FOX News reported.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is leading the prosecution, said allowing cameras in the courtroom “will create more problems than it would solve.” He said it could alter how attorneys present evidence and possibly intimidate witnesses.
Furthermore, he claimed that allowing cameras inside the courtroom could possibly create “more sensation than understanding.”
However, this comes from the same side that has not allowed release of officers bodycam footage, leaving many to speculate the recordings contain exculpatory evidence.
Attorneys for the former officers filed a motion to allow pretrial and trial recordings, arguing it was necessary to guarantee a fair trial in light of comments made by prosecutors and other officials, the filing said.
“The State’s conduct has made a fair and unbiased trial extremely unlikely and the Defendants seek video and audio coverage to let a cleansing light shine on these proceedings,” wrote attorney Thomas Plunkett, representing J. Kueng, one of four fired officers charged in Floyd’s death. “Doing otherwise allows these public officials to geld the Constitution.”
Moreover, the defense motion noted that Chief Medaria Arradondo called Floyd’s May 25 death “murder.” Floyd died after Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while fentanyl and methamphetamine were in his system.
He is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin, reported APNews. All four were fired days after Floyd’s death. They are expected to appear in court Monday.