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A Minnesota judge will hear arguments Monday on whether to allow live video coverage of the upcoming trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill took the rare step of allowing live audiovisual coverage of ex-Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial last year, making an exception to the normal rules of Minnesota courts. He cited the need to balance protecting participants from COVID-19 against the constitutional requirement for a public trial.

Now that the U.S. has entered a new phase of living with the coronavirus, Cahill must decide whether to allow the same sort of access for the trial set to begin in June for former Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng.

A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, said in a brief filed Friday that it understood that Cahill planned to prohibit video coverage, including livestreaming. The coalition said it presumed the reasons included defense objections and the judge’s belief that his hands are tied by the normal court rules “absent the extenuating circumstances caused by the pandemic.”

Thao, Lane and Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting both manslaughter and murder when Chauvin used his knee to pin Floyd, a Black man, to the pavement for 9 1/2 minutes on May 25, 2020. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back, Lane held his legs and Thao kept bystanders back. The killing, which was recorded on video, sparked protests around the world and a national reckoning on race.

Defense attorneys have raised concerns about the willingness of witnesses to testify. Minnesota court rules generally require the consent of all parties for audiovisual coverage of trials, with fewer restrictions for sentencings. Chauvin’s trial was the first in Minnesota to be entirely televised, from jury selection to his murder conviction to his sentencing to 22 1/2 years in prison. People worldwide tuned into the livestreams.

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