Judge Peter Cahill made several major decisions in a hearing Friday concerning the George Floyd murder trial. According to the Associated Press, Cahill denied motions to delay or move the trial, which stemmed from concerns that a $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family, which was reached last week, could taint the jury pool. Cahill reasoned that pretrial publicity “will continue” regardless of how long the trial is delayed. Further, he explained that he does not believe that moving the trial would give former police officer Derek Chauvin any more of a fair trial than what he will receive in Minneapolis.
Cahill did, however, change his tune when it came to permitting evidence from Floyd’s 2019 arrest in the trial. He will now permit use of evidence pertaining to Floyd’s health obtained by paramedics during the 2019 arrest and a brief clip from the arresting officer’s body camera. Though he previously said evidence from the earlier arrest could not be permitted, the judge stated that new findings caused him to reconsider. Investigators found drugs inside of the police SUV during a second search of the vehicle in January. The defense is arguing that Floyd’s drug use played a role in his death.
CDC Relaxes Classroom Social Distancing Measures
The CDC announced a revision to its guidelines concerning social distancing measures in the classroom, The Washington Post reports. New guidelines say that three feet between students should be enough to reduce the spread of coronavirus in schools that require the use of face masks. The adjusted regulation comes as the result of new research published by the agency, which found that schools that require masks but not necessarily six feet of distance had limited coronavirus transmission.
“CDC is committed to leading with science and updating our guidance as new evidence emerges,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement issued on Friday. “These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based roadmap to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction.”
Six feet of distance is still recommended between students and their teachers as well as between colleagues as a result of findings that most school-based transmissions are occurring between adults.
2020 Marked Second Deadliest Year for Police-Involved Killings
2020 was a deeply challenging year for more reasons than one. According to The Grio, Campaign Zero recently named 2020 as the second deadliest year for police-involved killings since the organization began tracking police killings in 2013.
Out of the 1,127 people killed by police officers in 2020, many of the victims were not guilty of crimes, and many of those who had committed crimes, committed crimes that were nonviolent in nature.
“The data demonstrates the need for comprehensive solutions to address the persistent and glaring lack of accountability for police violence in America,” Campaign Zero co-founder Samuel Sinyangwe said in a statement. “The pandemic and the lockdown did not change this pattern of police violence: more people were killed by police in 2020 than in 2019 and only 16 of these cases resulted in officers being charged with a crime.”