June 29 (UPI) — The four officers charged in the death of George Floyd appeared in court on Monday as a judge set a tentative date for their trial and asked attorneys and officials to refrain from discussing the case publicly.
Fourth Judicial District Judge Peter Cahill said the court plans to hold another hearing on the case on Sept. 11 and begin the trial on March 8, 2021.
Derek Chauvin appeared in court via video. Chauvin is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and has unconditional bail set at $1.25 million.
J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane, who were each charged with aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and have each been held on $1 million unconditional bail, appeared in person.
Cahill refrained from issuing a gag order in the case but said one would be likely if public statements continue, adding he would also consider granting a change-of-venue motion.
“The court is not going to be happy about hearing about the case in the areas of media, evidence and guilt or innocence,” he said.
The announcement of the potential trial date comes about a month after Floyd was killed May 25 while in police custody after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded that he was unable to breathe.
Floyd’s death has prompted ongoing protests throughout the United States and the rest of the world calling for policing to be reformed, as well as calls for police institutions to be defunded or abolished.