The four fired Minneapolis law enforcement officers criminally charged in the death of George Floyd appeared before a judge on Monday for a quick pre-trial hearing that was also participated in by Floyd’s aunt and uncle, who sat in the front row.
Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Kiernan Lane and Tou Thao stood for different, back-to-back pre-trial hearings in a courtroom in downtown Minneapolis.
Judge Peter Cahill instructed both prosecutors and defense lawyer to limit pre-trial promotion about the case.
Thao’s attorney, Robert Paule, stated in court that he is thinking about a movement for change of venue due to what he referred to as prejudicial pre-trial publicity. He noted that public comments already made about the case by President Donald Trump, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the Hennepin County lawyer’s office, Minneapolis Authorities Chief Medaria Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey could jeopardize a reasonable trial in Hennepin County.
” We are just as interested in a reasonable trial,” said Assistant Minnesota Attorney general of the United States Matthew Frank.
While Cahill stopped short of providing a gag order, he cautioned he might do so if his guidelines were not followed.
On Friday, Cahill barred news video cameras and audio equipment during pre-trial proceedings after revealing worries that publicity could taint the pool of potential jurors. He said he has yet to choose whether to enable news cams in the courtroom during the actual trial.
Chauvin, who stays in custody, appeared in court by means of video. Thao, who is also in custody, was physically in the courtroom, however stood inside a phone-booth-like wooden cubicle throughout the hearing.
Kueng and Lane, who have been launched on bail, were both in the courtroom for the procedures.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and murder in the death of Floyd. Lane, Kueng and Thao are all charged with second-degree assisting and abetting felony murder and second-degree helping and abetting manslaughter.
None of the previous officers has actually yet gotten in a plea. But court documents reveal Kueng plans to plead not guilty and will argue self-defense.
Frank informed the court that district attorneys have assembled about 8,000 pages of discovery product in the case.
Cahill set the offenders’ next court look for Sept. 11 and tentatively scheduled a trial date for March 8,2021 He asked Chauvin if it would be OK with him to extend the timeline for those dates given the abundant quantity of discovery evidence.
” Yes, your honor,” responded to Chauvin in the only declaration he made at the hearing.
Cahill has yet to decide if the guys will be tried individually or together.
Floyd, a Black male, was detained on May 25 outside a benefit store in Minneapolis and accused of using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes, according to police.
During the arrests, Chauvin, a 44- year-old white police officer, dug his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck. Floyd consistently called out, “I can’t breathe,” prior to he passed out, according to a criminal problem. Floyd was taken to a healthcare facility, where he was noticable dead.
Lane, 37, presumably held Floyd’s legs down while Kueng, 26, allegedly held Floyd’s back as Chauvin supposedly dug his knee into Floyd’s neck, the criminal complaint said. Thao, 34, allegedly viewed the entire event with his hands in his pockets, according to the complaint.
The arrest was recorded on citizen mobile phone video that was posted on Facebook and went viral, stimulating protests and violence in Minneapolis and across the country. The episode has likewise end up being a rallying cry against cops cruelty and the defunding of police.
Floyd’s death followed a long string of police-involved killings of Black individuals in the United States.
The 4 officers associated with Floyd’s fatal detained were fired from the authorities department. Two of the officers, Lane and Kueng, were novices.
In the courtroom on Monday were two members of Floyd’s household, his aunt, Angela Harrelson, and his uncle, Selwyn Jones. At one point, Cahill admonished Floyd’s relatives for reacting from the gallery throughout the hearing.
Outside the courthouse, Jones explained the emotions he felt during the hearing, saying, “Definitely crazy that I sat 6 feet far from the person who killed my nephew.”