A Minnesota judge has decided that the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers accused of aiding and abiding George Floyd in his murder cannot be streamed live.

Peter Cahill, a Hennepin County judge, cited COVID-19 as a threat to allow livestreaming last year of the murder trial of Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death. He filed an order Monday evening stating that the pandemic had receded to the extent that he could not override objectionsto audiovisual coverage.

The trial of former officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng will begin on June 13 with motions. Jury selection starts June 14, with opening statements scheduled for July 5. Cahill stated that he anticipates that the evidence phase will take between four and five weeks. This could mean that the trial could extend into August.

Kueng placed Floyd on his back and Lane held his legs. Thao resisted as Chauvin, a white man, used his knee to pin Floyd to the sidewalk for 9 1/2 minutes . This case generated protests across the globe and a national reckoning about race.

In February , Thao, Lane, and Kueng were found guilty in a separate federal trial of violating Floyd’s civil rights. In December, Chauvin pleaded guilty to a federal offense for violating Floyd’s civil right. These cases were not televised because of federal court rules.

In the murder case, Chauvin was sentenced by Cahill last year to 22 1/2 years. The hearing was viewed worldwide. Two weeks ago, the prosecution revealed that three of the former officers had rejected plea agreements that would have prevented the upcoming trial.

The Associated Press and a group of media organizations, including the prosecution, had argued for live televised coverage of the case again. They cited the continuing intense public and media interest and the possibility of the coronavirus resurgence.

Cahill stated that the “unusual, compelling circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic at the Chauvin trial” have substantially abated and that court system rules that required social distancing at that time were lifted. He stated that he is bound by Minnesota’s standard court rules. These allow cameras to be used during the majority of a trial if consented by all parties.

Leita Walker, an attorney representing the media coalition, stated that it was deeply disappointing that the thousands of people who are interested in the important trial will not be able watch it. She also noted in an email that a committee to the Minnesota Supreme Court is looking into whether the state court system should loosen its restrictions on cameras. The rule needs to be changed by the Supreme Court. They are working on it. They could have done it faster.

Cahill stated that he was in agreement with the prosecutors that livestreaming Chauvin’s trial “inspired public trust in the proceedings and helped to ensure calm in Minneapolis, Minnesota and across the nation.” He also noted that he suggested to the committee that judges be allowed to grant audiovisual coverage to any party that objects. He said that he does not have an unfettered mandate to disregard existing rules if there are compelling circumstances to prevent “manifest injustice.”

The upcoming proceedings will be covered mostly by news organizations from closed-circuit feeds in at least three of the overflow courtrooms. Two pool reporters are allowed to be in the main courtroom. The courtroom can only accommodate four members of each defendant’s families and two members of the Floyd family. An overflow courtroom is available for public viewing.

Cahill also ruled the jury will not be sequestered for deliberations except with security restrictions similar to his conduct of Chauvin’s trial.