Judge Orders Single Trial For All Four Former Minneapolis Cops In

Judge Orders Single Trial For All Four Former Minneapolis Cops In George Floyd Murder Case (Update)

A Minnesota judge who is overseeing the trial of the four former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the killing of George Floyd has ruled today that all four men will stand trial together. The legal case would also, in fact, remain in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter A. Cahill decided on the trial after the officers’ legal teams requested they undergo separate trials months earlier in September at a hearing. The lawyers representing — Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane — argued that their clients might get a fairer trial if they were done separately outside of Hennepin County, according to Fox News and the Associated Press.

Defense lawyers also argued that because of the high-profile case, witnesses could be intimidated, along with jurors. Also, lawyers argued that the former officers should face separate trials due to each officer trying to diminish each other’s character by finger-pointing the role of Floyd’s arrest and death.

Judge Peter A. Cahill rejected those notions saying, the complications of separate trials were too great and that trying the officers together would “ensure that the jury understands … all of the evidence and the complete picture of Floyd’s death.”

While in police custody, George’s May 25 death sparked a national call on racial injustice, bringing several protests and civil unrest demanding police reform. Derek Chauvin was charged with unintentional second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other former officers present during George’s death -Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao have also been charged with aiding and abetting.

Ben Crump, the attorney representing Floyd’s family, and his co-counsel, Antonio Romanucci, released a statement following Judge Peter A. Cahill’s decision. “We applaud Judge Cahill’s decision today to keep the trial of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and to try all of the former officers together. Trying these officers together will give the jury a complete picture of what happened on the day that George was murdered.”

The statement continued, “Each of these men played a role that ultimately led to his death- whether it was a knee to the neck or denying any intervention as George and onlookers begged for his life. “The judge’s decision to keep the trial in Minneapolis is the right one. We never see Black defendants get a change of venue to increase the fairness of their trials, and the White officers involved in the death of George Floyd should rightly face a jury of their peers in the city where this tragedy took place.”

All four former officers are scheduled to stand trial in March 2021.

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