Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office through AP File
MINNEAPOLIS — Four former Minneapolis law enforcement officials charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights pleaded not responsible Tuesday to the federal costs in opposition to them.
A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in May for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights whereas appearing beneath authorities authority on May 25, 2020, as Floyd, 46, was held face-down, handcuffed and never resisting in a restraint that was captured on bystander video. His loss of life led to worldwide protests and requires change in policing.
All 4 of the boys appeared on the listening to remotely through videoconference. Chauvin appeared from a room within the state’s most safety jail, the place he’s serving a 22 1/2-year sentence for homicide in Floyd’s loss of life. The different three males appeared remotely alongside their attorneys.
Prosecutors and attorneys for the previous officers are additionally arguing their positions on about 40 pretrial motions Tuesday.
Among them, Kueng and Thao have requested that their federal trials be separated from Chauvin’s, saying they’d be unfairly prejudiced in the event that they went to trial alongside him. Lane requested to hitch that request, which is being opposed by prosecutors. U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung stated he would take oral arguments on that movement.
Keung’s legal professional, Tom Plunkett, wrote in court docket paperwork that proof in opposition to Chauvin would confuse the jury and deprive Kueng of his proper to a good trial. He additionally stated there’s a battle of curiosity as a consequence of Chauvin’s degree of culpability in Floyd’s loss of life, saying “the jurors will not be able to follow the Court’s instructions and compartmentalize the evidence as it related to Mr. Kueng.”
Prosecutors have stated in court docket paperwork that the 4 former officers ought to face trial collectively, as a result of the costs stem from the identical occasion and the proof is comparable.
The federal indictment alleges Chauvin violated Floyd’s proper to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable pressure by a police officer. Thao and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd’s proper to be free from unreasonable seizure by not intervening to cease Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. All 4 officers are additionally charged with depriving Floyd of his rights after they failed to offer him with medical care.
During Floyd’s arrest, he repeatedly stated he could not breathe as Chauvin pinned him to the bottom. Kueng and Lane helped restrain Floyd; Kueng knelt on Floyd’s again, and Lane held Floyd’s legs, in response to proof in state court docket. Thao held again bystanders and stored them from intervening throughout the 9 1/2-minute restraint.
The 4 officers had been additionally charged in state court docket, the place Chauvin’s trial was finally separated from the others as a consequence of area restrictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Chauvin was convicted in April of homicide and manslaughter and was sentenced to 22 1/2 years. The different three former officers face state trial subsequent March on aiding and abetting counts.
Chauvin can be charged in a separate federal indictment alleging he violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.
Meanwhile, the federal authorities is investigating policing practices in Minneapolis. The investigation generally known as a “pattern or practice” — analyzing whether or not there’s a sample or observe of unconstitutional or illegal policing — features a sweeping overview of the complete police division. It could lead to main modifications to policing within the Minnesota metropolis.