The three former police officers involved in George Floyd’s fatal arrest are demanding their upcoming trial not be filmed.
According to court documents obtained by Radar, the prosecutors taking on Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are objecting to their demand.
The state says the defendants are trying to exclude audio and visual recordings at the trial which starts in March. In their motion, the ex-officers argued the risk of COVID-19 should be enough to close the courtroom.
Prosecutors say allowing cameras inside Derek Chauvin’s trial allowed the public to watch without risking spreading the virus inside the court.
The defendants claim they will be denied a fair trial if cameras are allowed inside. Their lawyer argued that a witness might not be willing to take the stand if the media is present.
The state says this is absurd and point out the ex-officers have provided no concrete evidence that any witness “would actually testify for the defense but for the Court’s order to broadcast these events.”
Prosecutors say if the defendants are having trouble finding expert witnesses to take the stand for them, that has everything to do with their “overwhelming guilt” and not because cameras will be present.
The state says the defendants, "seek experts to advocate baseless claims—for example that George Floyd was resting comfortably on the pavement or that he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"To the extent professional scientists and scholars will not advance those claims, it is because neither facts nor science supports them. Prohibiting audio-visual coverage would not change that reality," they Former Minnesota Police Officers Facing Charges Over George Floyd’s Death Awarded $5,000 In Criminal Case .
The government says they are willing to work with any witness who is unwilling to testify due to cameras but nobody has said that yet.
The motion does point out, "Defendants do not claim that experts have refused to testify on their behalf because this case is being broadcasted. Instead, Defendants claim that some expert witnesses “do not want the notoriety that would come from this matter.”
Further, they say the court has strict procedures in place to keep everyone safe that is present in the court. A judge has yet to rule on the matter.