Prosecutors in the case against the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd have asked the presiding judge to reconsider his order allowing their upcoming trial to be recorded and livestreamed.
In a two-page motion filed Monday, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to revisit his Nov. 4 order allowing audio and video coverage of trial scheduled for March. The state objected to such coverage in July, but did not provide an explanation.
Citing immense global interest in the case, limited courthouse space and restricted public movements because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cahill wrote in the historic order that the "only way to vindicate the defendants' constitutional right to a public trial and the media's and public's constitutional rights of access to criminal trials is to allow audio and video coverage of the trial."
The live broadcast of a high-profile trial in a Minnesota state court is without precedent and the decision was greeted with enthusiasm by the news media and First Amendment lawyers who say it is both welcome and overdue. Cameras are rarely allowed, even though many other states have permitted them for decades. Defense attorneys for Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao filed a joint motion in June requesting camera access at all pretrial hearings and at the trial or trials.