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George Floyd died: Judge ordered only four former police officers of Minneapolis, the case will stay in Minnesota



A judge on Thursday refused to relocate former Minneapolis policemen charged in connection with George Floyd’s death, and ruled that they would be tried under a single proceeding.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill issued the ruling after defense lawyers argued that going public before trial left four men unable to get a fair trial. They also cited a September 11 hearing in which men and their lawyers faced angry protesters outside of court, saying that it shows the organization of the proceeding. Chanting in the same area where Floyd died won’t be safe for those involved.

This composite of files, provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.  Chauvin was charged with the murder of Second Degree Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by him and other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with assisting and lend a hand to Chauvin.  (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP)

This composite of file photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin was charged with the murder of Second Degree Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by him and other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with assisting and lend a hand to Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

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The defense attorneys have argued that witnesses could be intimidated, and jurors could be influenced by echoes from outside crowds. Moving the trial out of Minneapolis to less diverse parts of the state would likely affect jury composition.

Cahill said he will review the verdict if needed.

The defense attorneys also argued that the men should face separate trials, as each officer tries to reduce their own role in Floyd’s arrest by pointing at the other. But Cahill also dismissed that, saying the complexity of individual trials was too great and that trying the policemen together would “ensure that the jury understands … all the evidence and the big picture. about Floyd’s death. ”

The decision came just two days after Election Day, and Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, earlier this week went to polling stations in Brooklyn to encourage people to vote.

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Viral videos recorded by an outsider showed George Floyd, a black man in handcuffs, gasping for breath while Derek Chauvin, the white man, pressed his knee to his neck for almost nine minutes. when he was detained on May 25, sparked a national speculation about racial injustice, incited widespread protests, civil unrest and called for police reform.

Chauvin was charged with intentional second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Three other former officers at the scene – Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao – were charged with assisting and assisting.

All four officers were fired. They are scheduled to appear in court in March.

“We welcome Judge Cahill’s decision today to keep the same trial of officers related to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and have all former officers together. Trying these officers together will give the jury a full picture of what happened on the day George was murdered, ”said Ben Crump, attorney for the Floyd family and co-advisors. he, Antonio Romanucci, said in a statement.

“Each of these men played a role that ultimately led to his death – whether it was a knee to his neck or refusing any interference when George and onlookers begged. live by him, “the statement said. “The judge’s decision to keep the trial in Minneapolis is correct. We never saw Black defendants relocated to increase the fairness of their trials, and the White policemen involved in the death of George Floyd face a jury immediately. group of their counterparts in the city where this tragedy took place. “

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The names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks – all killed by the police or the police – fueled this year’s Black Lives Matter movement and put race and justice at the center of it. vote.

The Floyd family helped Operation Biden get out of the vote. On Sunday, Terrence joined her sister Bridgett Floyd and other family members in a rally with Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, in Tallahassee, Fla. Last month, Bridgett appeared in an advertising campaign for Biden.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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