6.30.2020

Judge warns of possible pass of trial in George Floyd death


A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he’s likely to move the trials of four former police officers charged in George Floyd’s dying out of Minneapolis if public officials, attorneys and family members dont stop speaking about the case.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped brief of issuing a gag order in opposition to lawyers on each sides, however he stated he probable will if public statements continue that make it tough to find an impartial jury. Cahill said that might also make him in all likelihood to a change-of-venue motion if one is filed, as he anticipates.

“The court isn'tgoing to be glad about hearing comments on these 3 areas: merits, evidence and guilt or innocence,” Cahill said.

It became the second pretrial hearing for the officers, who have been fired after Floyd’s May 25 demise. Derek Chauvin, 44, is charged with second-degree homicide and different counts, while Thomas Lane, 37, J. Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, are charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin.


Floyd died after Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee against the handcuffed 46-year-vintage Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes. The officers had been responding to a call a about a man who was trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby store. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the world.


Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule, stated feedback from varieties of public officials pronouncing they thought the officers were responsible, Including President Donald Trump, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Mayor Jacob Frey.


Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called George Floyd’s death “murder” and said Chauvin knew what he became doing due to his training. Gov. Tim Walz and Frey also called it a murder.


Cahill requested Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank to use his influence to keep the public officials silent, caution that if they continue to speak about it publicly, he likely will have to pull the trials out of Hennepin County and they need to know that.




He also requested he wants defense attorney and George floyd family members to stay out of the press.




Cahill set a March 8 trial date for the former officers if they are tried together, though he said he expects motions to be filed to separate their trials. If they’re tried separately, those still in custody — currently Chauvin and Thao — would most likely go first. The next court date is Sept. 11.

The defendants have no longer entered pleas. Chauvin’s lawyer has no longer commented publicly on the charges, even as Lane’s and Kueng’s attorneys have sought to minimize their clients’ roles and deflect blame to the greater senior Chauvin in Floyd’s death. Kueng’s lawyer stated in a courtroom filing Monday that he intends to plead not guilty and that he will argue it was self-defense, an reasonable use of pressure and an authorized use of force.





Chauvin stays in custody on $1 million bail and Thao is being held on $750,000 bail. Lane and Kueng are loose on bond.




Cahill rejected a protection request to rethink his earlier decision to prohibit cameras in the courtroom at some stage in pretrial proceedings. Defense lawyers asked for the cameras, announcing it would help stability what the general public has heard about the case, however prosecutors objected. The judge has not ruled on whether to allow cameras for the trial itself, but has said he is open to it.


The charges against Chauvin are unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter. Second-degree homicide carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, third-degree homicide carries up to 25 years and manslaughter up to 10.

The other three former officials are charged with helping and abetting both second-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter. Those charges are legally tantamount to the counts against Chauvin and convey the same penalties.


After the hearings, Selwyn Jones, Floyd’s uncle, stated he determined it “absolutely hideous” that Lane and Kueng made bail, even as “my nephew will by no means have a chance to be loose ever again. ... I’m not mad at anybody,I just think we need to fix the system. Racism needs to go, police brutality definitely needs to go, and we need to find some kind of equality and care for each other.”

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