George Floyd: Chauvin trial delayed over possible new charge.
A US judge has delayed jury selection within the case of an ex-Minneapolis policeman accused of killing George Floyd, an unarmed Black man , last May.
Derek Chauvin faces murder charges for kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes during a widely-viewed video that sparked protests worldwide.
The delay came because the judge awaits an appellate court decision on whether a replacement murder indictment are often added.
Jury selection could resume on Tuesday morning at the earliest.
Mr Chauvin is accused of second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter within the 25 May death of Mr Floyd. the utmost sentence he faces thereon count is 40 years.
The less severe charge of third-degree murder was initially dismissed last year, but prosecutors have requested to reinstate it.
Legal experts say that adding a third-degree charge could make it easier for prosecutors to urge a conviction.
Jury selection is predicted to require about three weeks, with trial arguments thanks to begin on 29 March.
More than 370 potential witnesses might be called to testify.
What happened in court?
The judge’s decision followed prosecutors saying they might ask the appellate court to delay proceedings because the panel weighs whether the third-degree murder indictment are often brought against Mr Chauvin.
Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill said it had been unlikely the appeals panel would respond before Tuesday.
“So unless any of the parties object I’m getting to kick our jurors loose and begin everything tomorrow with jury selection,” the judge said.
Lawyers for Mr Chauvin said they might ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to review the court of appeals decision, which could lead on to further delays.
Mr Chauvin, who was fired from the Minneapolis police and is currently free on a $1m (£725,000) bail, wore a blue suit and tie to court, also as a black mask . He took notes on a yellow legal pad during the hearing.
How has the town been preparing?
The death of Mr Floyd sparked racial justice protests round the world.
The trial, which is that the fourth involving the killing of a civilian by a policeman in modern Minnesota history, has been highly anticipated.
Barricades, fencing and wire surround the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis as police brace for protests.
On Monday, some demonstrators gathered during a nearby park holding signs reading “a change is coming”. Marches also occurred over the weekend.
Three other ex-officers who were involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest are thanks to stand trial together later this year.
How is that the jury being selected?
A jury of 12 and 4 alternates are going to be selected by lawyers for every side from a pool of eligible local citizens.
Each potential juror has filled during a 16-page questionnaire, which asks about news viewing habits, what percentage times they watched the video of Mr Floyd’s arrest, belief within the US criminal justice system, and other questions associated with the case.
In cases involving issues like racism, the choice process are often seen as hugely important to the result of the trial and the way fair it’s perceived.
What happened to George Floyd?
The 46-year-old was arrested outside a shop on suspicion of employing a counterfeit $20 bill.
Officers arrived and handcuffed him, but once they tried to place him into the cruiser he resisted and a struggle ended with Mr Floyd face down on the road .
Mr Chauvin, 44, placed his left knee between Mr Floyd’s head and neck, and kept it there for seven minutes and 46 seconds, consistent with prosecutors. Two other officers helped pin him down, while another prevented witnesses from intervening.
Mr Floyd said he couldn’t breathe quite 20 times. The video shows him go limp and obtain over excited by police.
He was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later.