Judge Delays Trial for Other Officers Charged in Killing of George Floyd

MINNEAPOLIS — The trial of three former Minneapolis cops charged in the demise of George Floyd has been delayed a number of months to permit for a federal case in opposition to the officers to maneuver ahead.

The resolution was introduced Thursday by Judge Peter A. Cahill throughout a pretrial listening to for the three officers, and comes weeks after one other officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of two counts of homicide and one of manslaughter for kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for greater than 9 minutes.

The three different officers, who had been scheduled to face trial on Aug. 23, will now be tried in March, Judge Cahill stated. The three officers face prices of aiding and abetting second-degree homicide and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Two of the officers, all of whom had been fired shortly after Mr. Floyd died final May, had been rookies: J. Alexander Kueng, 27, who was positioned on Mr. Floyd’s again, and Thomas Lane, 38, who held Mr. Floyd’s legs down. Another officer, Thou Tao, 35, a veteran police officer, was positioned close by and saved bystanders, who grew more and more offended as they watched Mr. Floyd repeatedly say he couldn’t breathe, from intervening.

All 4 officers had been seen in a broadly circulated cellphone video taken by a bystander that captured Mr. Floyd’s final moments and reverberated around the globe, prompting weeks of social unrest in American cities.

The delay in the second trial could have the impact of each permitting a just lately introduced federal case to maneuver ahead, whereas additionally placing a ways between the second trial and the big publicity generated by Mr. Chauvin’s trial, which was live-streamed and proven on tv networks around the globe.

“What this trial needs is some distance from all the press that has occurred and is going to occur this summer,” Judge Cahill stated in court docket Thursday.

Mr. Chauvin’s conviction was handed down April 20, and about two weeks later the Department of Justice introduced indictments in opposition to the 4 officers on federal felony prices of violating Mr. Floyd’s civil rights. The indictments weren’t a shock, however they had been uncommon, partly as a result of Mr. Chauvin had already been convicted of homicide in Minnesota.

In comparable instances, the federal authorities has typically solely filed prices if officers consider that justice was not served on the state stage. For occasion, after 4 officers accused in the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles in the early 1990s had been acquitted, they had been indicted on federal prices.

At the identical time, federal prices typically solely come after the conclusion of state instances, so some authorized consultants had been stunned to see that the three different officers had been indicted by a federal grand jury earlier than their case went to trial in Minnesota.

Still, although Judge Cahill cited the federal case as a purpose for delaying the trial in Minneapolis, it’s unsure {that a} federal trial would occur earlier than March 7, when the three officers are actually scheduled to go on trial in state court docket. A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice in Minneapolis stated Thursday that no date has been set for a federal trial of any of the officers.

Mr. Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced on the very best cost for which he was convicted — second-degree homicide — on June 25. Judge Cahill dominated this week that Mr. Chauvin may obtain a higher sentence than the 15-year most that Minnesota’s sentencing tips name for in a case much like Mr. Chauvin’s. Judge Cahill dominated that Mr. Chauvin was “particularly cruel” in killing Mr. Floyd. He additionally discovered that a number of different so-called aggravating elements apply and will justify a better sentence: that he dedicated the crime in entrance of youngsters, abused his authority and did so with the participation of not less than three different folks.

Legal consultants say Judge Cahill is prone to sentence Mr. Chauvin to as much as 30 years in jail, though the utmost sentence doable is 40 years.

The trial of Mr. Chauvin was deeply traumatic for the town of Minneapolis, particularly its Black neighborhood, with the harrowing video being proven repeatedly and emotional testimony from bystanders who witnessed Mr. Floyd’s homicide. At its conclusion, the town virtually instantly started bracing for the second trial of the opposite officers.

But now that the trial is delayed, some activists stated it will have been higher maintain the subsequent trial on time, somewhat than push it off to permit for the publicity generated by Mr. Chauvin’s trial to subside.

“I think we they should have just moved forward,” stated Nekima Levy Armstrong, a lawyer and outstanding civil rights activist in Minneapolis.

She added, “I don’t think it helps our community in a positive way to have to wait about another year.”

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