Derek Chauvin legal team requests trial delay following Floyd settlement
Eric Nelson told the court he's 'gravely concerned' the announcement of the $27 million settlement is 'incredibly prejudicial.'
In the wake of the announcement that the city of Minneapolis has settled the civil suit filed by the family of George Floyd, lawyers for former officer Derek Chauvin have asked for a trial delay.
Attorney Eric Nelson told the court he is “gravely concerned” that the announcement of the $27 million settlement is “incredibly prejudicial.”
“It’s amazing to me, they had a press conference on Friday, where the mayor of Minneapolis, on stage with city council, and they’re using very, what I would say very well-designed terminology. ‘The unanimous decision of the city council,’ for example. It just goes straight to the heart of the dangers of pretrial publicity,” he said in court.
Nelson asked for a delay of the trial or the opportunity to re-question jurors.
Judge Peter Cahill said he would call back the seven people already selected to serve on the jury to allow Nelson to question them about their opinion on the settlement.
“It’s unfortunate, and I wish they hadn’t done it, but I don’t sense any evil intent on the timing,” Cahill said, echoing the sentiment of the prosecution, which pushed back against the defense’s delay tactics.
The evidence that the settlement may have influenced potential jurors was evident Monday morning, when one juror said that she “almost gasped” when she heard the amount, according to a report by CNN.
A former chief public defender for Hennepin County told Fox News that the settlement was “awful for the state, and awful for the defense.”
During a press conference Friday, City Attorney Jim Rowander said Minneapolis was “trying to be very respectful of the criminal proceedings that are now underway, and we’re now in jury selection, and I think it wouldn’t be wise for all of us to comment on something that is ongoing.”
Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump said at a news conference Friday that “it’s going to be a long journey to justice.”
“This is just one step on the journey to justice,” Crump said. “This makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life mattered, and that by extension, Black lives matter.”