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Trial date set for officers charged in George Floyd’s murder

Trial date set for three other officers charged in George Floyd


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Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

MINNEAPOLIS — Exactly one year after jury selection began in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the same process will begin for the three other former officers charged in George Floyd’s murder.

According to a scheduling order filed in Hennepin County Court, jury selection for the combined trial of Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng will begin at 9 a.m. on March 8, 2022.

The day before, on March 7, the court will hear any pre-trial motions from lawyers in the case.

Opening statements and witness testimony are scheduled to begin later in the month, on March 28, 2022.

On April 20, 2021, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. Bystander video viewed around the world, and multiple police body cameras, captured Chauvin kneeling on Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds in the street outside Cup Foods on May 25, 2020.

Thao, Lane and Kueng are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Also included in the scheduling order, instructions for the prosecution and defense to submit their proposed changes to the jury questionnaire used in Chauvin’s trial by Sept. 17, 2021.

The trial of the three former officers was to begin on August 23 of this year, but Judge Peter Cahill pushed it back to March 2022, saying there needs to be “space” from the publicity that is no doubt going to occur from Chauvin’s June 25 sentencing. 

At a motions hearing held last month, new federal charges were filed against the three former officers for allegedly depriving Floyd of his civil rights and could carry more serious penalties.

During the hearing, Earl Gray, counsel for defendant Thomas Lane, asked to receive all MPD use-of-force complaints to show that no other officer has ever intervened with force on another officer, as the state says Lane, Thao and King should have done with Derek Chauvin.

Judge Peter Cahill did not rule on the matter, but asked prosecutors to determine what the volume of 10 years of use-of-force reports would be, and the number of reports generated in five years, to help guide his decision. 

The final motion presented to Judge Cahill concerned alleged leaks by state prosecutors to the New York Times regarding a plea deal with Chauvin that reportedly fell apart. The judge scheduled an evidentiary hearing for August so the issue can be discussed in greater depth.


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