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Floyd’s death trial will not be moved; a 13th juror will be chosen.

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Floyd's death trial will not be moved; a 13th juror will be chosen.
Floyd's death trial will not be moved; a 13th juror will be chosen.

Floyd’s death trial will not be moved; a 13th juror will be chosen.

 

A judge said Friday that he would not postpone or move the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the death of George Floyd because a $27 million payout for Floyd’s family could taint the jury pool, but he will accept minimal evidence from a 2019 arrest.

After attorneys seated only one more juror on Friday, the jury selection in Derek Chauvin’s trial will begin for a third week. The 13th juror is a woman who claims she has only seen snippets of the footage of Floyd’s arrest and wants to hear more about what happened before he was arrested.

Judge Pete Cahill of Hennepin County said court will resume Monday to select two more jurors, bringing the total number of jurors to 15, which is one more than anticipated. When asked about the apparent inconsistency, a court spokesman quoted Cahill’s November order, which stated that up to 16 jurors would be seated — 12 to deliberate and four alternates.

When the Minneapolis City Council revealed last week that it had overwhelmingly accepted the huge settlement to settle a civil rights lawsuit over Floyd’s death, seven jurors had been selected. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, then filed a motion to halt or move the proceedings, claiming that the timing of the deal was profoundly upsetting and jeopardized Chauvin’s right to a fair trial. Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges.

However, Cahill, who called the timing “unfortunate,” believes that delaying the trial will do little to alleviate the issue of pre-trial publicity, which he claims has reached every corner of Minnesota.

The judge ruled in favor of the defense, allowing the jury to hear evidence from Floyd’s arrest in 2019, but only details about the cause of his death in 2020. Floyd swallowed drugs after police approached him, he said, and there were some parallels between the two encounters.

The judge had previously ruled that the earlier arrest could not be admitted, but he changed his mind after narcotics were discovered in January during a second search of the police SUV in which the four officers tried to place Floyd last year. Floyd’s drug use, according to the prosecution, led to his death.

Cahill claimed that he will accept medical proof of Floyd’s physical responses, such as his dangerously high blood pressure when he was checked by a paramedic in 2019, as well as a brief clip from an officer’s body camera footage. Floyd’s “emotional acts,” such as calling out to his mother, he said, would not be tolerated.

However, Cahill stated that he would not allow a forensic psychiatrist to testify for the prosecution. Before the fatal incident last year, Floyd said he had claustrophobia and refused to get into the police car, and the state required Dr. Sarah Vinson to testify that his acts were consistent with a normal person experiencing extreme stress, rather than faking or resisting arrest.

The judge said he could reconsider allowing her to testify as a rebuttal witness if the defense opens the door, but allowing her to testify might cause all of the evidence from Floyd’s arrest in 2019 to be admitted.

“Clearly, there is a cause of death question here, and it is hotly contested,” Cahill said, adding that Floyd’s heart issues and substance use were involved in both arrests.

Floyd’s death was originally reported as a homicide by the county medical examiner, who claimed that he “had a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by police.” Floyd was pronounced dead 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from where he was detained at a hospital.

He died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” according to the full study. Fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use were classified as “other serious conditions” but not as “cause of death” in a summary study.

According to Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, the earlier arrest adds more weight to the prosecution proposal to argue that Floyd put his life in danger by swallowing drugs again, and that this, along with his health issues, caused his death.

“Jurors are not meant to be swayed by that kind of thing,” Sampsell-Jones explained.

Floyd, a Black man, was pronounced dead on May 25 after Chauvin, a white man, jammed his knee against his neck for nine minutes while handcuffed and pleading that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death, which was caught on camera by a bystander, sparked weeks of often violent demonstrations around the country and prompted a national reckoning on racial justice.

According to the court, the 13 jurors seated through Friday are separated by race: seven are white, four are black, and two are multiracial.

It’s unknown who will serve as substitute jurors. Legal scholars say it’s almost always the last people selected, but the court says that won’t be the case in Chauvin’s case. Kyle Christopherson, a spokesman for the company, said alternates could be selected in “many different ways,” but declined to elaborate.

“You can see why (Cahill) may want to do something different in this situation, like draw numbers from a hat,” Sampsell-Jones said. He claimed that the judge wants all jurors to pay attention and that he does not want the media to hear that they are alternates.

The woman picked Friday — a white woman in her 50s — said she’s never seen police officers use more force with Black people or minorities than with white people, and that there’s nothing to fear from police if people cooperate and comply with commands. She stopped short of suggesting that anyone who refuses to cooperate is deserving of harm.

“Obviously, something more has to happen to remedy the situation if you’re not listening to the commands,” she said of the officers’ conduct. “I’m not sure how far the steps can go.”

Several possible jurors were dismissed on Friday, including a college student who participated in demonstrations calling for Chauvin and the other officers to be shot and convicted, and a man who said he wouldn’t trust the testimony of Minneapolis police officers because he feels they’re trying to hide something.

If the jury is full, opening statements will be held on March 29.

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20 things we learned in Miami Dolphins’ 33-10 win over to Carolina Panthers

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20 things we learned in Miami Dolphins’ 33-10 win over to Carolina Panthers

Where has this Miami Dolphins team been all season?

The Dolphins (5-7), who began the season 1-7, had been warming up lately. But Miami played its first complete game of the season on Sunday, dominating the Carolina Panthers in all phases of a 33-10 win.

Miami’s defense was stingy, and made Cam Newton look like a quarterback who just came out of retirement. And the offense was efficient with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, delivering his fourth 100-plus passer rating game of the 2021 season.

Here are some more takeaways from the Dolphins’ victory on Sunday:

Fourth straight win gets Miami to respectable

The Dolphins’ win over the Panthers put Miami at five wins with five games left in the season. A win over the New York Giants (4-7) next Sunday could get the Dolphins in the mix for a wild-card playoff berth in the AFC, which was unfathomable considering the 1-7 start Miami had. No matter how you slice it, four consecutive wins in the NFL is impressive. — Omar Kelly

Jaelan Phillips continues to heat up

The former University of Miami standout the Dolphins selected with the 18th pick in the 2021 NFL draft delivered his first three-sack game of his young career, bringing his season total to 6.5 sacks with five games left to go. What’s interesting about Phillips’ hot streak is that he’s used as a pass-rushing specialist instead of an every-down linebacker, which means his opportunities have been limited.

Brian Flores proving he’s a good second-half-of-season coach

The Dolphins have annually gotten off to a slow start in Flores’ three seasons, then picked up steam in the second half of the year. Miami won 5 of the final 9 games in 2019. The Dolphins got off to a 1-3 start in 2020 and then won five straight before finishing the season 10-6. This season, the Dolphins have rebounded from a 1-7 start to win four games in a row.

Duke Riley continues to make his presence felt

Riley, an offseason singing who had primarily played on special teams earlier this season, has been utilized in the defensive game plan the past month and has been making positive plays for the Dolphins. Riley, who is used in a three inside linebacker package the Dolphins created specifically for scrambling quarterbacks, contributed three tackles against Carolina. He also blocked the punt Justin Coleman recovered and scored on for the game’s first score.

Dolphins rush for 100 yards again

The Dolphins delivered the season’s fourth 100-plus rushing yard performance against the Panthers, gaining 112 rushing yards on 39 carries. And it was Miami’s second straight game of rushing for more than 100 yards considering the Dolphins put up 115 on the ground against the Jets.

Jaylen Waddle delivers 100-yard half

Waddle had been having a steadily productive rookie season, but the Dolphins’ 2021 first-round pick hadn’t delivered a breakout game until Sunday when he caught nine passes for 137 yards and scored one touchdown. Waddle contributed 101 of those yards in the first half and is proving that he should be in the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Phillip Lindsay contributes in his first game as a Dolphin

Lindsay, a former Pro Bowl talent the Dolphins claimed off the waiver wire this past week, participated in one walkthrough and one practice with the Dolphins before playing in Sunday’s game, contributing 42 yards on 12 carries. Most of it came in mop-up duty when the Dolphins were trying to run out the clock, but overall it’s a good start for the impending free agent who is trying to impress a future employer.

Xavien Howard leads NFL in interceptions since joining league

The first half interception Howard pulled down and returned for 16-yards made him the fastest NFL player to record 25 interceptions by games played (67) since 1990. Marcus Peters was the previous record-holder, getting his 25th pick in his 68th career game.

Dolphins’ defense makes Cam Newton look washed up

The Dolphins defense ended Newton’s honeymoon with the Panthers. Newton was 5 of 21 for 92 yards with two interceptions in his three quarters of work, and eventually got replaced by former XFL standout P.J. Walker in the fourth quarter. Newton finished the game with a 5.8 passer rating, which was the fifth-worst passer rating against the Dolphins since 1970.

Justin Coleman scores his fourth career touchdown

Coleman had a rough start to his tenure as a Dolphin, but the cornerback has been playing well lately. The dime package cornerback didn’t pull down an interception this week, but he took a blocked punt return in for a touchdown. It was the fourth time this defender has scored a touchdown in his seven-year career.

Well now, who is the top-performing rookie-first-round-pick pass rusher from UM?

After a blazing start where he had three sacks, an interception, four tackles for loss (TFL) and three quarterback hits (QBH) in Buffalo’s 4-1 start, defensive end Greg Rousseau, who was selected 30th in the 2021 draft out of the University of Miami, has cooled down. Meanwhile, Jaelan Phillips, a ‘Canes alum picked 18th by Miami, is on fire after getting situational duty in his first two career games. In the 10 games since then, Phillips has terrorized offenses for 6.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and five tackles for loss. Rousseau still has those three sacks, albeit in one fewer game played by the Bills. — Steve Svekis

Emmanuel Ogbah’s eye-popping pass-bat streak continues

Ogbah extended his amazing streak of games with a batted pass to seven with a third-quarter deflection of a Cam Newton pass in the end zone. He has eight bats to lead the NFL and it matches his league-leading number of 2018. For context regarding the streak, during J.J. Watt’s monster 2012, where he had 15 bats, the longest streak he had was three games. Ogbah did have company on Sunday, with fellow pass rushers Phillips, Zach Sieler and Adam Butler getting their hands on a pass.

A healthy Raekwon Davis and the run defense have hit their stride

The Dolphins have allowed 84.4 rushing yards per game in the past seven. In that time frame, the most run yards Miami has allowed in a game has been 102 (Jets and Bills). How stout is that 84.4 figure? Over the entire season, the NFL’s top two run defenses have been the Buccaneers, allowing a microscopic 78.4 rushing yards per game, and the Ravens at 88.6. And suddenly, the Dolphins have the ninth-best run defense in the NFL at 104.9 yards allowed per game.

Catching up with the talented 2021 draft’s top-10-pick receivers

Tua Tagovailoa was brilliant as he led the offense to 26 points, with the most exciting aspect being his continued one-mindedness with Jaylen Waddle, including a beautiful pass to hit his fellow Alabama teammate in stride for a 57-yard electric gain. The rookie is right in the midst of the race for best rookie WR in the NFL this year. He still trails No. 5 pick JaMarr Chase, who has 50 receptions, eight touchdowns and a yards-per-catch of over 18 yards for the Bengals. But Waddle is piling up a huge rookie season, even when accounting for the pass-happy nature of today’s NFL, and he has pulled away from his former Alabama teammate DeVonta Smith, with 77 receptions for 759 yards and four touchdowns. Smith has 48 catches for 686 yards and also four scores in Philadelphia with the Eagles.

Tua got a positive stock-market correction in the second quarter

Tagovailoa came into the Panthers game with a solid 94.1 passer rating in his first quarters and excellent 105.5 and 105.0 ratings in the third and fourth quarters respectively. However, the second quarter had been his Bermuda Triangle, with a 67.4 coming into the game. Against Carolina, though, he was on fire in the second 15 minutes, completing 11-of-14 passes for 126 yards and his touchdown pass. That 128.0 passer rating Sunday lifted his season number for the second quarter to a much-more-healthy 79.5.

The pass rush was a half-beat late the first half of the season, but not now

When the Dolphins were 1-7, they had a lot of pressures but only 12 sacks. Then, the switch flicked, with a whopping 16 sacks during the win streak. The have lifted their per-game sack rate from 1.50 after those first eight games to 2.33 per game now. The Dolphins will be in the top half of the league in that stat after having been bottom-three after the game at Buffalo.

It seems heavy risk vs. minimal reward to have Jaylen Waddle or Jevon Holland returning punts

The New York Giants tried this folly with their young standout cornerback Jason Sehorn in an exhibition game in 1998. He was tackled returning a kickoff and blew out his knee. Is there that much of a benefit in the return game to risk Waddle or Holland, who average under 7 yards per return. Protect those and get a reliable — but less valuable — ball-catcher back there.

Dolphins 2022 opponents update

The Dolphins are pretty safely ensconced at third-place team in the AFC East, so let’s get the latest look at the three variable matchups for 2022. At home and the road, Miami will face its annual troika against the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Jets. Of the eight other established matchups for next season, the Dolphins get home games against the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, three of those four being 2020 playoff teams who could be starting a new full-time quarterback. The eighth home games will be against the AFC South team with the corresponding finish to the Dolphins’ in the East. That team will either be the Houston Texans or Jacksonville Jaguars, each owning 2-9 records. Houston owns the tiebreaker, but the teams still have a game in Jacksonville among their remaining seven.

On the road, the Dolphins will play nine games total (they likely wasted the benefit of nine home games this year), with set-in-stone contests against the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. The two variable matchups (again, based on corresponding division finish to Miami’s) will be against the AFC West and NFC West. The AFC West is tighter that a drum, with Kansas City on their bye week leading at 7-4, with the Los Angeles Chargers at 6-4, Las Vegas Raiders 6-5 and Denver Broncos 5-5. So, as of the 4 p.m. window Sunday, the Dolphins would be making a trip to Vegas for a third straight year, but there is a ton of movement to come there still. The NFC West’s third-place team is the San Francisco 49ers, two games behind second place and two games ahead of fourth.

Will Eagles — with Miami’s pick — be picking higher in the first round than Miami?

The win on Sunday by the Dolphins shoved the Eagles-owned Miami 2022 first-rounder — which had briefly represented the first pick in the draft — down to 10th. The 49ers played Minnesota in the 4 p.m. window. A loss to the Vikings could put the Dolphins-possessed 49ers pick to as high as 13. If the Vikings win Sunday and Washington wins Monday, the those positions could shimmy up to ninth and 12th. The 49ers travel to face the Bengals, Titans, Rams and Seahawks on the road, where the Dolphins play the Saints and Titans on the road. San Francisco has upcoming home contests against the Texans and Atlanta Falcons, while Miami has a home-tilting remaining schedule (and a week off), playing the Giants, Jets and Patriots.

On deck: New York Giants, Hard Rock Stadium, Sunday, 1 p.m.

In a season where the Dolphins will play the six teams against whom they have the fewest wins (Saints: 6, Jaguars: 5, Buccaneers: 5, Panthers: 4, Texans: 2, Giants: 2), the Giants represent the opponent against whom having only two wins is most mystifying. The Dolphins have played nine games against the G-Men (winning 22.2% of the games), and the series started with a 23-13 victory during the undefeated season of 1972, but that was the only matchup in Miami’s first 24 years in the league. The only other Dolphins win came in 2003.

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WATCH: Broncos’ Pat Surtain II intercepts Chargers’ Justin Herbert in the end zone

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WATCH: Broncos’ Pat Surtain II intercepts Chargers’ Justin Herbert in the end zone

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Sharks place forward Evander Kane on waivers

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Evander Kane suspended 21 games by NHL for COVID violations

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks have placed forward Evander Kane on waivers and plan to send him to the AHL if he isn’t claimed by another team.

Assistant general manager Joe Will said Sunday that Kane has been placed on waivers before his 21-game suspension for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card ends. Kane was eligible to return to play Tuesday against New Jersey.

If Kane clears waivers, he is expected to report to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL on Tuesday. It is uncertain when he will be ready to play.

“Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing Evander’s return to San Jose,” Kane’s agent, Don Milstein, said in a statement. “We were not surprised by the Sharks’ decision to put him on waivers and, if he does clear, he will report to the Barracuda. Evander is looking forward to resuming his NHL career this season.”

Will, filling in while general manager Doug Wilson is on medical leave, said putting Kane on waivers gives the team flexibility before determining what they want to do with him going forward.

Will said Kane is now fully vaccinated.

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