George Floyd's murder by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin contributed to the eruption of protests all over the country against police brutality. Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder and is set to go to trial on March 8th. A Hennepin County judge has since ruled that Chauvin and his defense team will not be able to use George Floyd's arrest record to build their case.


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Judge Peter Cahil ruled on Tuesday (January 26) that Floyd's past interactions with the law were inadmissible in the trial. In the same ruling, he also selected which of Chauvin's prior excessive use of neck or head restraint on a civilian could be mentioned during his trial. Prosecutors were hoping to be able to use at least seven reports of Chauvin using restraint on the head and neck, four of which they found excessive. Cahil ruled that only one of the arrests could be used, an incident in 2017 where Chauvin knelt on a woman's neck in a similar manner to how he did Floyd.

Chauvin and the three other officers seemingly wanted to present Floyd as a menace as part of their defense strategy, a tactic often used by police departments after they kill civilians for minor offenses. The New York Times infamously referred to Michael Brown as "no angel" after he was shot in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri for shoplifting. 

Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson filed an affidavit on Tuesday claiming that prosecutors mishandled how they shared evidence with defense attorneys. "I spoke to Assistant Attorney General Matt Frank and expressed my absolute anger and frustration with the manner in which the State has conducted discovery and made its discovery in this matter," Nelson wrote.


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The trial date is set for March 8th. 

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