On Thursday, lawyers for the three former police officers charged in George Floyd’s death asked a Minnesota judge to prohibit the live-streaming of their state trial.
According to the Star Tribune, attorneys for Thomas Lane, 37, and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, asserted that live-streaming their clients’ joint trial jeopardizes their right to a fair trial. They also claimed that witnesses are scared to testify because two people who testified in Derek Chauvin’s defense were targeted by vandalism and professional reviews.
Last month, Lane and Kueng’s attorney formally filed motions to bar the live-streaming of the trial. Tou Thao’s attorney joined in on the motion during Thursday’s hearing, according to the Tribune.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said he will rule on the motion after he rules on an unrelated motion, filed by a media coalition, which seeks to publicize the names of the jurors who convicted Derek Chauvin in April. He is expected to rule on the first motion in 10 to 14 days, the Tribune also reported.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officers were filmed arresting Floyd, 46, on suspicion that he used a counterfeit bill at the Cup Foods supermarket. After police pulled Floyd out of his car and handcuffed him, Chauvin was filmed forcing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Floyd was heard gasping for air and saying he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and died.
On the state level, Thao, 34, Kueng, Lane are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin, who was convicted in state court of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder, was sentenced in June to 22.5 years.
In May of this year, a federal grand jury indicted Thao, Lane, Kueng, and Chauvin for violating Floyd’s civil rights while acting under government authority. Chauvin was also charged with violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy he allegedly struck with a flashlight, held by the throat, and knelt on for 17 minutes during a 2017 arrest.
Cahill delayed Thao, Kueng, and Lane’s state trials to March 2022, as he wanted the publicity surrounding Chauvin’s case to subside and to give priority to the four ex-officers’ federal trials.
Thao, Lane, and Kueng will be tried in federal court alongside Chauvin. Their arraignment is scheduled for September 14, but a trial has not yet been scheduled. In August, Thao, Lane, and Kueng asked to be tried separately from Chauvin.
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[Featured image: Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng, Tuo Thao/Hennepin County Jail]