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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Media dispute restrictions on civil rights lawsuit of three former officers over Floyd’s death

A coalition of media groups say restrictions on access to a federal civil rights trial of three former Minneapolis cops charged in the death of George Floyd amount to an unconstitutional courtroom closure.

Citing the risks of the pandemic, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has limited the number of people who can be in his St. Paul courtroom for the trial against To Tao, J. Alexander Quang and Thomas Lane on charges that they stripped Floyd of his rights. . operating under the authority of the government. Jury selection begins on Thursday. Magnuson also limited how much can be seen in the closed-door broadcast of the meeting, which will be broadcast to crowded rooms where only a limited number of journalists and members of the public can watch.

Under long-standing federal court rules, the trial will not be broadcast live or broadcast to the public, unlike last year’s state court murder trial of Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis officer who pinned Floyd to the sidewalk with his knee. neck of a black man, despite Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe. A Hennepin County judge in this case made an exception to the state’s usual restrictions on cameras, citing the need for public access amid the pandemic.

“We do not need to explain to this court the seriousness of the trial, the impact of Mr. Floyd’s death on the Twin Cities and the world, or the ongoing and intense public concern about how the criminal justice system is treating those accused of murder. him,” the letter from news outlets, including the Associated Press, said Monday. “As a result, keeping the trial … open to the press and the public is imperative.”

During jury selection, four members of the media must be allowed into the courtroom; on Tuesday, the judge, without explanation, increased the number from the originally planned two. But the media coalition indicated that no members of the public would be allowed in at that stage, not even members of the defendants’ families or Floyd’s family.

During the trial itself, only four reporters and a sketch artist will be admitted, as well as a few family members, but none from the general public. Seats in the Media and Public Supplementary Rooms will be limited to approximately 40 seats. Spectators in additional rooms will watch through monitors that provide only a limited view. Trial exhibits will not be made public immediately.

“It is in everyone’s interest that media coverage of this trial be fair and accurate, and promote a better public understanding of the federal judicial system, including understanding how juries reach their verdicts,” the groups wrote. “The best way to ensure that coverage is to give the media unhindered access to the trial and the evidence it involves.”

Magnuson “tried to accommodate the interests of the media and the public, but as the letter says, he needs to try even harder,” said Jane Kirtley, director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota. , which is one of the 18 groups that signed the letter.

Kirtley said the state’s recent trials of Chauvin and former Brooklyn Center employee Kim Potter in the Daunte Wright shooting case showed that the cameras do not interfere with the case or violate the privacy interests of witnesses or jurors.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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