Lawyers for four former Minneapolis officials charged with the death of George Floyd say each client should pursue their case, as officers try to reduce their role in the arrest of a black man by pointing a finger at each other.
MINNEAPOLIS – Lawyers for the four former Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd say each client should undergo his own trial, as officers try to reduce their role in the arrest of a black man by pointing a finger at each other.
Prosecutors say that all four officers should be tried together because the nature of the allegations and evidence are the same and that “it is impossible to evaluate a person’s defendant’s conduct in a vacuum.”
The former officers are scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a hearing on a range of issues, including the prosecution’s request for joint prosecution. Other issues that will be debated include the removal of the trial from Minneapolis and the defense request to sequence the jury and keep the jurors anonymous.
On May 25, Floyd, who was in handcuffs, pressed his knee against his neck as Floyd stated that he could not breathe and relaxed. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Thomas Lane, j. Kuong and Tu Thao are accused of supporting and abducting second-degree murder and murders.
The defense request to dismiss the charges will not be addressed at Friday’s hearing. A trial is scheduled for March.
Chuvain is expected to appear in court for the first time at Friday’s hearing. He is in state custody and has attended the previous hearing via videoconference.
Prosecutors say the case should proceed with a trial because the evidence – including witness statements, body-camera videos and the police department’s policy on the use of force – is the same for each officer. Prosecutors say officers also acted in concerts closely.
“Here, all four defendants worked together to assassinate Floyd: Chowin, Kueng, and Lane confronted Floyd, while Thao stopped the crowd from intervening, helping the other defendants maintain their position. Prosecutors discussed and coordinated their actions during the incident, “prosecutors filed in court.
Prosecutors also say that witnesses and Floyd’s family members would likely be subject to multiple trials, and that it would be more efficient to take an action and in the interest of justice.
But defense attorneys are pushing for separate lawsuits, saying they are likely to offer an “adversary” defense, and that evidence against one officer negatively affects another’s right to a fair trial Can.
Attempts to point fingers are already prevalent in court-court cases. Lawyers for Lane and Kueng have argued that their clients were crooks who were headed by Chauvin. Thao’s lawyer Bob Paule has said that his client’s role was “completely different” from the others, as he was on crowd control and securing the scene – while the other three stopped Floyd.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, also wrote that his client’s case is different. Nelson said prosecutors would have to prove their intent to assault Floyd, but they would also have to show that other officers knew Chauvin’s intent before it happened. As a result, he said, Chovin would have to defend himself differently.
“The other defendants are clearly stating that, if a crime was committed, they neither knew of it nor assisted in it,” Nelson wrote. “He blames Chauvin.”
But Chauvin also points fingers at others. Nelson wrote that Lane and Kueng – the officers who responded to the forgery – initiated contact with Floyd before Chowin and Thao arrived, and Chowin believes Floyd was overdosing on the final. Nelson wrote that Lane and Kueng made the call for a paramilitary and believed that Floyd was “onto something”, that they did not extend the call to a greater solicitation or seek medical help.
Nelson wrote, “Instead, he struggled to subdue Mr. Floyd and hoped to add him to his team.”
“If EMS was to arrive three minutes early, Mr. Floyd could have survived. If Kueng and Lane had chosen to de-escalate rather than clash, Mr. Floyd might have survived. If Nangen wrote that Kueng and Lane recognized the obvious signs of an opioid overdose and the help provided, such as controlling naloxone, Min. Floyd may survive.
Lawyers for all four men also said the trial had been moved from Minneapolis, saying pretrial publicity made it impossible for them to get a fair trial.
Thao’s lawyer Bob Paule said in a petition filed in court that the state had tainted the jury pool, citing Floyd’s death as “murder”. Paule also cited opposing millions of dollars in damages in Minneapolis, saying that an impartial jury in Hennepin County could not be found because the gamblers “weighed the weight of their decision causing further riot and destruction.”