On January 20 and 21, 2022, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota’s Judge Paul Magnuson conducted the final hearings before the criminal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers (Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao) over their allegedly depriving George Floyd of his liberty without due process and failed to provide the medical attention he so obviously needed.
In the first day, a jury of 12 Minnesota citizens were chosen as jurors along with six others as alternates from a pool of 67. Of the 12 set to decide the case, five are white men, six are white women and one appeared to be an Asian woman. Of the alternates, three are white women, two are white men and one appeared to be an Asian man. The only black man in the jury pool said he could not be fair and was excused.
Among the 12 main jurors, three are from Hennepin County, two each from Ramsey and Washington Counties and one each from Anoka, Blue Earth, Olmstead, Jackson and Scott Counties. Two of the alternates are from Ramsey County while the others come from Anoka, Hennepin, Nicollet and Olmstead Counties.
All of this was accomplished in only one day because Judge Magnuson conducted all of the questioning of the jury candidates and ruled on objections by counsel for the parties. The Judge started with general statements and questions, including whether the prospective jurors could be fair, impartial and believed in the presumption of innocence. He advised them that Chauvin’s convictions had nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the three defendants, saying their actions were “totally separate.” The Judge also advised the potential jurors that community difficulties and “anarchy in the streets” may have an impact, but “fear cannot control in a courtroom” and that the case has “unequivocally nothing to do with race … religion … or national origin.”
Cancelled Hearing on Other Issues
On January 21, the Court had planned a closed hearing on defense objections to some of the prosecution’s proposed evidence, including still images from the videos of the May 25, 2020 killing of Mr. Floyd, side-by-side exhibits that will play two videos at once and dispatch and 911 calls.
But after the prosecution and the Media Coalition objected to the closing of the hearing, the Judge cancelled the hearing.
The Judge also increased the seats in the courtroom for journalists from two to four.
On Monday (January 24), the trial is scheduled to commence with the attorneys’ opening statements.
 Mannix, Federal Trial for 3 ex-officers in George Floyd death will differ from Derek Chauvin’s state trial, StarTribune (1/20/22); Olson & Xiong, Jury is seated in federal trial for the other officers in George Floyd death, StarTribune (1/20/22); Bailey, Another trial in the killing of George Floyd for other officers at the scene, Wash. Post (1/20/22).
 Karnowski & Forliti (AP), Access again an issue at federal trial in Floyd’s killing, StarTribune (1/21/22).
 Mannix & DeLong, What you need to know about the federal trial of three ex-Minneapolis police officers in George Floyd’s death, StarTribune (1/21/22). See also posts listed in the “Federal Criminal Cases Against Ex-Minneapolis Policemen Over the Killing of George Floyd and Against Derek Chauvin Over Excess Force Against Teenager” section of List of Posts to dwkcommentaries—Topical: George Floyd Killing.