Derek Chauvin Trial Provided Minnesotans Until Now Rare Inside-Courtroom Glimpse

23April 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For three weeks, we have been able to watch every moment of testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin. It was a rare glimpse into the courtroom that Minnesotans have only been able to experience before through Court TV.

Steve Johnson brought many of the most notorious TV trials to life — the Kennedy accused of rape, the brothers accused of killing their parents, the wife accused of cutting off … well, you already know what Lorena Bobbitt did.

“When said she was justified, that her husband deserved it,she just lost it,” Johnson said.

He was one of the first people at Court TV.

The first nationally televised murder trial in America was Ted Bundy in 1979. But nothing compared to O.J. Simpson in 1995 — 100 million viewers, spanning 11 months.

“Anyone who remembers watching remembers the moment with the glove. What a moment,” Johnson said. “Being an attorney, it’s one of those, ‘Oh my goodness gracious.’ When the prosecutor asked O.J. to put on the glove and he couldn’t, we were like, ‘What did he do? That’s going to be legendary.’”

The trial of Chauvin is our first criminal case with cameras in the courtroom. Johnson compares it to the Rodney King case in Los Angeles. LAPD officers were on trial after a video caught them beating King.

That was only a small sliver of tape compared to the hours and hours of videos introduced into evidence in the Chauvin trial. Asked why court cases continue to fascinate the country, Johnson had a theory.

“Trials are dramas. There’s a winner and a loser. There’s a verdict. There’s a decision,” Johnson said.

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Author: WCCO | CBS Minnesota

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