Trial for former officers charged in George Floyd's death delayed until March

Key Points
  • The trial for former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao has been delayed until March.
  • The trial had been scheduled for August.
  • Former cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death.
Former Minneapolis police officers (L to R) Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng

The trial of three former Minneapolis police officers who who assisted Derek Chauvin in the attempted arrest of George Floyd last May has been delayed until next year.

Judge Peter Cahill said during a hearing Thursday that the trial for the three former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, would begin in March, according to a pool reporter present in the courtroom. The trial had been scheduled for August.

Lane, Kueng and Thao were captured on video assisting Chauvin while the veteran police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck and back during the arrest, which led to Floyd's death.

Chauvin, who is white, continued for about nine minutes while Floyd, a Black man, cried out for a chunk of that time that he could not breathe. Floyd, who was apprehended on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill, died while in custody, and the footage of his killing sparked months of protests against racism in policing.

Cahill cited the likely publicity around Chauvin's sentencing on June 25 as a reason for the delay. The judge also cited new federal charges against Chauvin and the three officers, which could carry steeper penalties than the state charges.

It was revealed earlier this month that a federal grand jury charged all four former officers with violating Floyd's civil rights.

Chauvin was found guilty last month of Floyd's murder and is facing a potential sentence of more than a decade in prison.

On Wednesday, Cahill ruled that Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer and treated Floyd with particular cruelty, aggravating factors that could increase the length of his sentence considerably.

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The newly revealed federal indictment accused Thao and Kueng of failing to intervene while Chauvin used unreasonable force that led to Floyd's death. All four former officers were accused in the indictment of failing to provide Floyd with aid while he was "in clear need of medical care."

Attorneys for the three former officers agreed to the delay in the trial, The Associated Press reported. Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, a prosecutor in the case, opposed the move.

People hold placards after the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, found guilty of the death of George Floyd, in front of Hennepin County Government Center, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 20, 2021.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

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