Derek Chauvin To Be Tried Separately From Other Ex-Cops Charged In George Floyd's Death

Written by on January 12, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee to the neck of George Floyd for a number of minutes can be tried individually from three different former officers accused in his dying, in keeping with scheduling orders filed Tuesday.

Derek Chauvin will stand trial alone in March because of the coronavirus pandemic whereas the opposite three former officers can be tried collectively in the summertime, in keeping with the orders filed in Hennepin County District Court docket.

Decide Peter Cahill cited the restrictions of bodily house in the course of the coronavirus pandemic for his order to separate the defendants’ trials. It’s “unimaginable to adjust to COVID-19 bodily restrictions” given what number of legal professionals and assist personnel that 4 defendants say can be current, Cahill wrote.

Final week, prosecutors requested Cahill to postpone the March eight trial to June 7 to cut back public well being dangers related to COVID-19. In his order Tuesday, the decide wrote that whereas the pandemic state of affairs could also be enormously improved by June, “the Court docket will not be so optimistic given information studies detailing issues with the vaccine rollout.”

Cahill cited a request from Chief Decide Toddrick Barnette after final week’s listening to to rethink having all 4 defendants tried in March attributable to house considerations. Barnette wrote that in his view that the courtroom may deal with as much as three defendants without delay.

Floyd, a Black man, died Might 25 after Chauvin, who’s white, pressed his knee in opposition to Floyd’s neck whereas he was handcuffed face down on the road. Police had been investigating whether or not Floyd used a counterfeit invoice at a close-by retailer. In a video broadly seen on social media, Floyd may very well be heard pleading with officers for air, saying he couldn’t breathe.

Floyd’s dying sparked protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere and renewed requires an finish to police brutality and racial inequities.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s dying. Former officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are every charged with aiding and abetting second-degree homicide, in addition to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Protection attorneys had argued final 12 months that the officers needs to be tried individually, since every officer would possibly search to decrease their very own function in Floyd’s arrest and dying by pointing fingers on the different officers. Prosecutors had argued in opposition to dividing the trial, saying the proof in opposition to all 4 is analogous, the officers acted collectively and the general public and witnesses needs to be spared the trauma of a number of trials.

Thao, Kueng and Lane are actually scheduled to face trial collectively starting Aug. 23.

Related Press author Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

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