"It's pretty rare that a trial will be moved," said local longtime defense attorney Blake Hankey of Hankey Law in Grand Forks.
In his 16 years as a defense attorney, including a number of high-profile cases in small towns, only once has he seen a trial moved.
He says the issue boils down to finding fair and impartial jurors.
He thinks that may be easier to find in Hennepin County, where there are more than a million people to select from compared to 60,000 in Clay County. Hankey also points out the judge will take into consideration the trial could last months.
The judge is from Hennepen County, the prosecutor is from Hennepin County and the defense attorneys are from the Minneapolis area, so to pick up and move to Clay County or another venue would be an inconvenience to everybody, explained Hankey.
Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said the Clay County Courthouse would be a poor choice for many reasons, including that it's directly across from an elementary school. He also noted the media circus would create major safety concerns in the metro as protests are expected.
"I think it would be a tremendous nightmare with the amount of people this is going to bring in here," said Empting.
Hankey also points out no matter where the trial ends up, the community is already familiar with the name of George Floyd.
"Where could you transfer it to where someone wouldn't have knowledge of the case, who wouldn't have seen the video of the officer kneeling on his neck, know the back story — I don't know why Clay County would be better than Hennepin County given the national scope of the publicity of this case," said Hankey.