The judge overseeing Derek Chauvin’s murder trial made history last year when he said he would allow television cameras to stream the trial live, a first in Minnesota history. But on Monday afternoon, the feed failed, bringing an abrupt end to the first day of one of the most anticipated criminal trials in recent memory.
The television feed is provided to news outlets by Court TV, which won approval from the judge to exclusively operate the cameras inside the courtroom by noting its history of doing so in other trials. For several weeks of jury selection, the broadcast largely went on without a problem, but at about 4:30 p.m. Central on Monday, the stream showed only multicolored bars and played a loud beeping sound.
Judge Peter A. Cahill adjourned the trial early, saying that there had been a “major technical glitch” and that it was important for the trial not to proceed until the cameras were working, in part because Covid precautions had forced there to be fewer people — including family members of George Floyd and Mr. Chauvin — in the courtroom itself.
Witness testimony will resume at 9:30 Central on Tuesday morning with Donald Williams II, the mixed martial arts fighter who witnessed George Floyd’s arrest and who was testifying when the feed cut out.
“Have a good night and don’t watch the news,” Judge Cahill told the jurors before he adjourned.