Covering the Chauvin plea hearing

Derek Chauvin is to appear at a 9:00 a.m. hearing in St. Paul’s Warren E. Burger Federal Building this morning to change his plea in the federal civil rights charge brought against him in the Floyd case. Late yesterday afternoon I was advised by the court that I would be afforded a seat to cover the hearing from the Jury Assembly Room (JAR), which will include a livestream of the hearing before Judge Magnuson. Only three members of the press – one print, one broadcast, and one sketch artist – won the lottery to cover the hearing from inside the courtroom. I entered the lottery and came away with a ticket to the JAR.

Reporters may have more freedom to report from the JAR than from the courtroom. Inside the JAR reporters are permitted to use their cellphones to report on the proceedings. I’m not sure this is the case inside the courtroom. The court’s policy on the use of electronic devices is posted here.

For reasons that escape me, laptops are not allowed in the JAR (I assume laptops are not allowed in the courtroom either, though this is not spelled out in the email I received). Photos and video of the hearing are prohibited under standing rules.

Accordingly, I hope to use my cellphone to report on the hearing as it takes place this morning and certainly once I can use my laptop elsewhere after the hearing. Interested readers are invited to check back.

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