Judge denies motion to push back Derek Chauvin's trial

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill denied the state’s motion to push back the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with George Floyd’s murder, due to public health concerns. Chauvin’s trial remains scheduled for March 8. 

Earlier this week, prosecutors filed a motion asking Cahill to reconsider his ruling severing the trials of Chauvin and the other three former officers—Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane—charged in Floyd’s murder. They argued all four cases should be rejoined and one trial should be held later this summer. 

To make their case, they called upon University of Minnesota epidemiologist Dr. Mike Osterholm, who said in an affidavit that holding Chauvin’s trial in March could become a superspreader event and have "potentially catastrophic consequences for public health."

Last week, Cahill ordered Chauvin’s trial will begin on March 8, while the trial for Thao, Kueng and Lane will begin on Aug. 23 because the amount of lawyers and staff needed would make it "impossible" to follow COVID-19 social distancing restrictions if there was only one trial.

Floyd died on May 25, 2021 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers. The four officers involved—Chauvin, Thao, Lane and Kueng—were fired following his death. 

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Thao, Lane and Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.