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Judge Rules May 2019 Body Camera Footage Of George Floyd Will Be Acccepted As Evidence

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill has ruled that body camera footage from a May 2019 police incident involving George Floyd will be accepted as evidence and available to the public.

Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. He was handcuffed at the time. Floyd’s death was captured in widely seen bystander video that set off protests around the world.

Chauvin and three other officers were fired. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter; Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Prosecutors in the case asked a Minnesota judge to restrict public access to new court filings for two days so the opposing side has a chance to ask for that information to be sealed. In their request, dated Monday and made public Tuesday, prosecutors said a temporary protective order is warranted when there’s a risk that pretrial publicity could sway potential jurors. They said a two-day wait would also ensure that potentially confidential or inadmissible information isn’t improperly released.

The prosecutors’ request was filed the same day that defense attorney Earl Gray submitted body camera videos and transcripts of a 2019 arrest of Floyd that he says shows Floyd was not the law-abiding citizen he has been portrayed to be. It also came as prosecutors filed additional documents, including a more detailed accounting of what Gray called the “alleged misdeeds” of three of the officers.

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In his documents, Gray said Floyd’s behavior on the night he died was “almost an exact replica” of how he acted during the arrest a year earlier. Floyd swallowed drugs, resisted police officers, ignored commands, acted erratically and cried and called out for his mother, Gray said. It should be admissible at trial because it shows Floyd’s modus operandi and counters prosecutors’ portrayal of Floyd as being scared, he said.

That video is expected to be processed and available to the public shortly.

Meanwhile, Monday’s court filings by prosecutors include their explanation of why they believe the four men should receive longer prison sentences if convicted. They also filed proposed jury questions about aggravating factors in the case, and a 44-page document that provides more detail about Chauvin’s prior use of neck or head and upper body restraints.

WCCO is part of the media coalition that challenged the judge to continue to make evidence public.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Source: CBS Minnesota

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