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Judge: Derek Chauvin trial will stay in Minneapolis

Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin is seen in this booking photo provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office on May 29, 2020. A judge denied a change of venue motion by his defense team Friday. Photo courtesy Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/UPI
Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin is seen in this booking photo provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office on May 29, 2020. A judge denied a change of venue motion by his defense team Friday. Photo courtesy Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/UPI | License Photo

March 19 (UPI) -- Derek Chauvin's trial in connection with the 2020 death of George Floyd will stay in Minneapolis as the court moved closer to seating a full jury Friday.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill declined defense motions to change venues because of the publicity surrounding the case. Floyd's death created a firestorm of police brutality and racial justice protests throughout the country and around the world.

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The city of Minneapolis' record $27 million settlement with Floyd's family also was a potential hurdle, but Cahill said the trial can proceed regardless.

"I don't think there's any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity in this case," Cahill said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "With that, we'll continue with jury selection in this case and in this county."

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Jury selection continued Friday with one juror needed for the 12 who will deliberate and two alternates.

In a statement, Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison said there is little reason for the case not to move forward.

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"The court correctly ruled against a continuance and change of venue," Ellison said in his statement. "The court has taken careful, considered steps to mitigate the effects of pre-trial publicity that make a continuance and change of venue unnecessary."

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In a small victory for the defense, Cahill said he will allow "some" testimony to a previous arrest of Floyd in 2019 into the case. He said he will allow some of the body camera video footage that shows Floyd's delay in compliance and him ingesting drugs. Cahill had initially denied evidence from that arrest to be permitted.

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