For the first time, Derek Chauvin, the cop seen on video with his knee in the neck of George Floyd and killing him, is scheduled to appear in court on Friday (September 11). According to ABC, the other officers on the scene, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Chauvin are all asking for separate trials and blaming each other for the death of Floyd.
ABC reports, “Attorneys for Lane and Kueng have argued that their clients were rookies, who were following Chauvin’s lead. Thao’s attorney, Bob Paule, has said that his client’s role was ‘absolutely distinct’ from the others, because he was on crowd control and was securing the scene– while the other three restrained Floyd.”
Chauvin’s lawyers are pointing fingers at Lane and Kueng because they “initiated contact with Floyd before Chauvin and Thao arrived.”
All four of the former police officers are asking for separate trials because “evidence against one officer could negatively impact another's right to a fair trial.”
However, the prosecution is claiming four separate trials will be too painful for the Floyd family.
On May 29, Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges. On June 3, his charges were upgraded to second-degree murder by the state’s attorney general Keith Ellison.
Lane, Thao, and Kueng were also arrested and charged with aiding and abetting on June 3.
A trial date for the four officers has tentatively been scheduled for March 8, 2021.
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HENNEPIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE