A Hennepin County judge on Friday denied a request by former police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd to allow media outlets to broadcast audio and video of pretrial hearings in the case.
In his order, Judge Peter A. Cahill wrote that broadcasting pretrial proceedings would “risk tainting a potential Hennepin County jury pool” and that not all sides agree as rules require.
In an unusual request filed late Thursday, an attorney representing one of the former officers said broadcasting the cases to the public was crucial to ensuring a fair trial during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited public access.
“The defendants argue that this relief is necessary to provide the defendants with a fair trial,” wrote Thomas Plunkett, who is representing former officer J. Alexander Kueng “and to assure an open hearing in light of the ongoing pandemic.”
Plunkett said in the filing that he’s consulted with the other officers’ attorneys, and they indicated their consent for audio and visual coverage of all four cases. He added that prosecutors have not responded with their position.
Plunkett added that state and local officials have made “inappropriate comments” about the case, including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo calling the killing a “murder.”
Several media outlets have filed requests for audio and visual coverage of the cases involving the former officers.
Cahill wrote in his order that he will decide later whether the trial itself can be broadcast.