A chair reserved for a visitor of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd, was removed from the courtroom during his trial because no one used it, a deputy said Monday.
The deputy told press that if someone does come for Chauvin, the chair will be returned.
A chair reserved for a member of Floyd’s family was filled on early Monday. Philonise Floyd, Floyd’s brother, was reported sitting in the seat reserved for their family this past week.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled last month that only one member each of both Floyd’s and Chauvin’s families would be able to attend the trial at a time. The judge also required those who do attend the trial to comply with coronavirus guidelines.
At the time, Floyd family attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said that while members of his family understood why attendance was limited in the courtroom amid the pandemic, they were “disappointed by this ruling.”
“The family is looking forward to the start of the trial as a critical milestone on the path to justice and a step toward closure in this dark chapter of their lives,” they said then.
Chauvin faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. The trial began last week.
Floyd, a Black man, died at the age of 46 last May after Chauvin, who is white, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest.
Viral footage of the arrest and Floyd’s death prompted months of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.