MINNEAPOLIS — The judge in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in George Floyd’s death, denied the defense’s request Monday to immediately sequester the jury following unrest in a nearby city.
Protests erupted Sunday night in Brooklyn Center, about 10 miles north of Minneapolis, after Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop. The city of Minneapolis declared a state of emergency and a 7 p.m. CDT curfew in response to the protests.
One juror in the Chauvin trial lives in the city, and others have “connections” to the area, defense attorney Eric Nelson said Monday morning, arguing the unrest could bias the jury’s decision in Chauvin’s case.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion. “This is a totally different case,” he said, adding, “That’s a separate issue, and (the jury) should treat it as such. It’d be a different story if it was civil unrest following a different verdict.”
Cahill told jurors he expected the defense to start presenting its case Tuesday, and for both sides to present closing arguments Monday. After that, the jury will be sequestered for deliberation. “Pack a bag,” Cahill said.
Where the trial stands: The prosecution was expected to rest its case Monday or Tuesday. Last week, experts and police officials testified for the prosecution about proper use of force, and medical professionals testified about how Floyd died. Prosecutors also asked experts to testify about the role of drugs found in Floyd’s system, trying to head off the defense’s argument that drugs played a key role in his death.