Judge Restricts General Public and Most Media from Trial Of Officers Charged In George Floyd’s Killing

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The upcoming federal civil rights trial where three former Minneapolis police officers were charged with violating the civil rights of George Floyd leading to his death in 2020, has restricted public and media access ordered by U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson. Beginning on Thursday, only two media members will be allowed in the courtroom for jury selection for the upcoming trial of Tou Thao, K. Kueng, and Thomas Lane.  

Several media outlets have requested a change in restrictions regarding this decision, stating that they're concerned it violates the First Amendment, according to the Associated Press who is a part of the group requesting the change. On Monday, the media group sent in a letter objecting that no members of Floyd’s and the defendants' families will be allowed in the room for this trial. According to the Associated Press, the letter read “We do not need to explain to this Court the gravity of the trial, the impact Mr. Floyd’s death had on the Twin Cities and the world, or the public’s ongoing and intense concern for how the criminal justice system deals with those accused of killing him. As a result, ensuring the trial… Is open to the press and public is imperative.” 

Four media members, a sketch artist, and some family members will be allowed in the courtroom during the trial, according to the letter written by Leita Walker, an attorney representing the coalition. The public will not be allowed in the courtroom for the trial.  

The trial will also be streamed to two rooms that hold about 40 people each, these rooms will hold the media and family members. However, the footage sent to the rooms will not cover the entire trial, instead, the feeds to the outside rooms will be from cameras focused on the witness stand, Magnuson’s bench, lawyers, and the evidence presented in the trial. 


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