Lawyers for the four Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s death argued that their clients should be hearing a separate trial, while prosecutors said Friday should try to bring them together, so that Floyd’s loved ones To be saved from further and unnecessary trauma.
For the first time on Friday, Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, j. Alexander Kueng and Tu Thao appeared in court together.
Chovin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter after pressing below the knee against Fluid’s neck because the Black 46-year-old said he could not breathe before becoming motionless on May 25. Lane, Kueng and Thao have been charged with second-degree murder and both support and kidnapping of murder.
The request to dismiss the charges will not be addressed on Friday. A trial is scheduled for March.
At the court hearing, the defense moved a motion to move the trial out of Minneapolis. The judge also discussed the extent to which the jury could be indexed or anonymized.
The state on Friday presented several arguments for a joint trial.
The evidence and allegations are similar, the state said, and witnesses will likely remain the same, but may not be available for multiple trials that may last for years. Four trials will delay justice and tax the court, the state said. And the first trial decision will likely affect the next three.
Prosecutor Neil Katial said that “the family forces the victims and eyewitnesses to go through not only one, two, three but four … … relieving trauma.”
“I’ve seen a lot in my life, I can barely watch these videos,” Katyal recounted several videos showing almost all angles of minutes and seconds, Floyd’s last breaths.
A joint trial would also allow the public to absorb and react to the verdict all together, the state said.
Defense attorneys want the tests set aside for all four officers to try to prosecute each officer on their own evidence, arguing that the evidence against one officer over another’s right to a fair trial Can affect.
A lawyer for Floyd’s family accused defense lawyers of seeking a new location to gain a more remunerative jury pool.
Out-of-court lawyer Jeff Storms said, “The goal in people trying to change the venue is not to try to find as many jurors as they appear.”
He is being sued by lawyers under Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman was helping several prosecutors, before Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill disqualified four of Freeman’s staff attorneys Friday from joining the case.
Medical examiners were interviewed by the county prosecutors without any other witnesses, calling those attorneys as witnesses by the defense. Cahill called that “sloppy” work.
Floyd’s death sparked protests across the country and the world, calling for police reform and racial justice.
A few dozen protesters gathered outside the courthouse on Friday morning, chanting “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name … George Floyd”.
Associated Press and David K. Lee has contributed.