Trial postponed for three United States ex-police charged in Floyd death

Lula Sharp
May 13, 2021

Chauvin, who is being held in solitary confinement at a Minnesota prison, is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.

Judge Cahill, who presided Chauvin's trial, reportedly issued his ruling postponing the state trial during a hearing on Thursday morning.

White ex-officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April of murdering African American Floyd past year in a case that prompted a national reckoning on racial injustice and police brutality.

Cahill said "it makes more sense" for the federal trial to go forward before before the three officers face state trial on March 7, 2022, according to a media pool report, because the penalties in the federal case are "much greater".

The three defendants and Chauvin are all also facing federal civil rights charges after they were indicted by a federal grand jury this month, charging them with depriving Floyd of his Constitutional rights while acting in their capacity as police officers. The former officers were not in court, but their defense attorneys all agreed to the postponement. Tom Plunkett, Kueng's attorney, echoed his statements.

Those federal charges will now jump the queue of the pending state trial against Thao, Kueng, and Lane, whom state authorities accused of aiding and abetting second degree murder and other charges previous year on June 3.

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Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, had no comment when asked for a response. With no criminal record, state guidelines recommend about 12 and a half years for each of the murder charges and up to four for the manslaughter charge. He committed the crime as part of a group with three other officers and did so with children present, Cahill ruled.

The defendants' attorneys want prosecutors to submit affidavits under oath that proclaim they weren't responsible for the media leaks.

Earl Gray, Lane's attorney, has a motion asking Judge Peter Cahill to compel the state to disclose all use-of-force reports over the past 50 years in which a Minneapolis police officer used force and another officer intervened verbally or physically.

Frank argued that the request was overly broad and should be denied; Cahill said he would take it under advisement. Paule alleged that the leaks came from the state, and asked that anyone who did so be barred from participating in the trial.

Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is prosecuting the officers, has said allegations that his office was involved in a leak are false. Thao's legal team claimed Baker had changed his findings to avoid controversy, and that prosecutors knew about it.

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