Judge to decide on broadcast of former officers' trial in George Floyd death at later time | KSTP.com

Judge to decide on broadcast of former officers' trial in George Floyd death at later time

From left: Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. From left: Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao

KSTP
Updated: September 02, 2021 06:40 PM
Created: September 02, 2021 10:00 AM

After hearing arguments over whether to allow cameras during the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd, a judge is set to review and make a decision at a later time.

Attorneys for all former officers — Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — are asking Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill to bar their upcoming trial from being livestreamed.

Attorney Thomas Plunkett, representing Kueng, told Cahill some witnesses won't testify in their trial if the cameras are rolling. He echoed in court what he wrote in this court filing, saying, "cameras in the [Derek] Chauvin courtroom brought us to the dangerous pass where people are deterred from testifying for the defense because they fear the wrath of the crowd."

The request is opposed by prosecutors and by news media outlets, including KSTP-TV.

"We think there is a First Amendment right to have cameras in trials, especially a trial this large, where it's this important, where there's this much public interest and there's no courtroom large enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend," said Leita Walker, attorney for the media coalition.

KSTP's Eric Chaloux reported Judge Peter Cahill will review Thursday's arguments.

Meanwhile, Chaloux reported that a federal trial date has not yet been set.

An earlier version of this report appears below.


Thursday, a judge will hear arguments over whether to allow cameras during the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd.

Attorneys for two of the former officers are asking a judge to bar their upcoming trial from being livestreamed, saying some witnesses won’t testify if proceedings are broadcast.

Attorneys representing both former officers filed motions to prohibit any live video or audio coverage, stating that both have now withdrawn their consent. 

The request from attorneys for Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng is being opposed by prosecutors and by news media outlets, including KSTP-TV.

It’s among a few issues expected to be argued at a Thursday hearing.

Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao are scheduled to face trial next March on charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s May 2020 death.

Their co-defendant, Derek Chauvin, is already sentenced to 22 1/2 years for murder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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