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The three ex-cops accused of aiding convicted murderer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd nearly a year ago will not go to trial until 2022, a judge said this week.
Former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng will now go to trial in March 2022, Judge Peter Cahill announced on Thursday. The three indicted officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for their roles in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.
The trial date was pushed back so that a federal case against the trio can move forward. Cahill said. The state trial will now be distanced from the massive national attention surrounding Chauvin’s April murder conviction.
Last week, all four former cops were indicted by a federal grand jury of willfully violating Floyd’s constitutional rights as he was restrained face-down on the pavement, pleading for help and gasping for air, as a horrified crowd of onlookers was kept away by the officers.
Chauvin, Thao and Kueng were all charged in the federal case with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer. Thao and Kueng are accused of not intervening to stop the Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd's neck.
All four of the former officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.
In April, a jury convicted Chauvin of all three charges against him — unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — for kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died.
At a Thursday hearing, attorneys for the officers requested that prosecutors be sanctioned for media leaks this winter that Chauvin planned on pleading guilty to third-degree murder — which was nixed by then-Attorney General William Barr. It was requested that prosecutors submit sworn affidavits that they were not responsible for the leaks.
The allegations were called "bizarre" and “false" in a court filing by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank. Judge Cahill said that he believes the leak came from the Department of Justice but asked for prosecutors to provide proof and sign affidavits that they didn’t leak the details about Chauvin, ABC News reported.
A hearing on that motion is set for August.
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