Trial postponed for three US ex-police charged in George Floyd death

14 Mai, 2021, 04:57 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • A mural of George Floyd on the side of a building in Houston Texas

Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of murdering Floyd, 46, by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, in a case that marked a milestone in America's fraught racial history and a rebuke of law enforcement's treatment of Black Americans.

The New York Times reported February 10 that Chauvin was ready to plead guilty to a third-degree murder charge previous year but that then-U.S. Atty.

As a first-time offender, Chauvin had potentially faced 12 and a half years in prison on that count under state sentencing guidelines.

Cahill, who presided over the trial, will also sentence Chauvin.

On May 26, 2020, Baker told prosecutors that the autopsy "revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation" and showed no signs of damage to his airways or thyroid, or brain bleeding, bone injuries, or internal bleeding.

Chauvin's three former co-workers - Tou Thao, 35, J. Alexander Kueng, 27, and Thomas Lane, 38 - who were involved in Floyd's fatal arrest, were to go on trial starting August 22 for being complicit in murder. "But [Chauvin] continued his restraint".

Attorneys for Floyd's family applauded Cahill's ruling.

The judge also sided with prosecutors on two other aggravating factors - that Chauvin committed the crime with the "active participation" of the three officers at the scene and that Floyd was killed in front of children, including a 9-year-old girl.

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But Cahill disagreed with prosecutors who argued that Floyd was "particularly vulnerable" because he was handcuffed and held facedown on the street.

"Restraining George Floyd in the prone position with the weight of three police officers on him for a prolonged period did not create a vulnerability that was exploited to cause death", Cahill wrote. "It was the actual mechanism causing death".

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank called the allegations "bizarre" and "false" in a court filing and said that the prosecution will soon file a complete response to the allegations. He claimed the state had not proved there was "gratuitous infliction of pain and cruelty" that is usually associated with second-degree murder - an argument that Cahill ultimately rejected. His office had no immediate comment on the allegations of coercion.

Nelson last week filed a motion for a new trial, alleging misconduct by the judge, prosecutors and jurors.

Chauvin has not entered a plea on the federal charges.

A United States judge on Thursday postponed the trial of three former Minneapolis policemen charged in the killing of George Floyd to March 2022 in order to let a federal prosecution against them go ahead first.

Thao, Kueng, and Lane were not present at Thursday's hearing, and no cameras were permitted in the courtroom.

"The application of justice in this case offers hope that we will see real change in the relationship between police and people of color by holding officers properly accountable for egregious behavior and for failing to honor the sanctity of all lives", the attorneys said in a statement.

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