State court panel weighs allowing more video trial coverage

A man sits behind a desk.
A view of the courtroom during the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (sitting far right) in April. A state court advisory committee is discussing whether to allow more video coverage of criminal proceedings in Minnesota.
Screenshot of Court TV video

A state court advisory committee met Friday to discuss whether to allow more video coverage of criminal proceedings in Minnesota.

Chief Justice Lorie Gildea directed the panel to study the issue in June after coverage of the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd got widespread national viewership.

"While the decision to allow camera coverage of this trial was based on the unprecedented public health restrictions in place during the pandemic, it would be a mistake for us not to reflect on the lessons learned and experiences gained through this process," the chief justice said at the time.

The panel, which is in the early stages of its work, is due to report its recommendations by next July.

The advisory committee meeting comes just days after a judge reversed her earlier decision and agreed to allow video coverage of the upcoming trial of ex-Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter in the death of Daunte Wright.

Under Minnesota court rules, audio and video coverage of a criminal trial is usually barred unless all parties consent. The rules are looser for sentencings. The judge presiding over the Chauvin case made an exception and allowed gavel-to-gavel electronic coverage to ensure safe public and media access amid the pandemic.

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