Judge Peter Cahill has upheld the decision to livestream the trial of four police officers charged with killing George Floyd.
He reportedly dismissed prosecutors’ arguments that claimed the decision could scare witnesses away or violate court rules.
Cahill confirmed his ruling and said that cameras would be allowed because of the immense global interest in the case. The ruling is also to protect the defendants’ Sixth Amendment rights and the media and public’s First Amendment rights.
Last month, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office asked that the judge rescind his previous ruling and argued that recording visuals and audio of the trial would scare away witnesses and violate court rules.
Cahill reaffirmed his ruling and wrote that even though he had granted more video coverage than allowed, he is permitted to change the rules “in any case to prevent manifest injustice,” according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“Without question, deprivation of the constitutional rights that are the hallmarks of a public criminal trial would be a “manifest injustice,”” he wrote.
Cahill continued: “The only real issue then, is whether there is a reasonable alternative to televising the trial that would vindicate the defendants’ Sixth Amendment rights and the First Amendment rights of the public and the press…
“The Court concludes that televising the trial is the only reasonable and meaningful method to safeguard the Sixth and First Amendment rights implicated in these cases.”
The trial of Derek Chauvin. 44, Tou Thao, 34, Alexander Kueng, 26, and Thomas Lane, 37, is scheduled for March 2021.
Chauvin faces manslaughter and second-degree unintentional charges. Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
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