March 21, 2023



State, cops search to bar proof in trial over Floyd killing

5 min read

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors and protection attorneys for 2 former Minneapolis law enforcement officials charged within the killing of George Floyd have filed greater than 100 motions to restrict testimony or proof at trial — with many requests relying closely on what occurred on the earlier two trials in Floyd’s dying.

J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter. With jury choice to start Oct. 24, either side are utilizing what they discovered within the prior trials to attempt to form the continuing of their favor. Hearings on the motions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Protection lawyer Mike Brandt, who isn’t related to the case, mentioned it’s typical pretrial maneuvering for the 2 sides to guess what the opposite will introduce and attempt to achieve a bonus. Kueng and Thao “have a greater crystal ball,“ he mentioned.

Kueng, Thao and Thomas Lane have been working with Derek Chauvin on Might 25, 2020, when Chauvin, who’s white, used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the pavement for greater than 9 minutes because the 46-year-old Black man mentioned he couldn’t breathe and finally grew nonetheless. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s again, Lane held his legs and Thao saved bystanders again.

Floyd’s killing was captured in bystander video and sparked worldwide protests as a part of a reckoning over racial injustice.

Most of the requests stem from what’s already occurred in courtroom. Tom Plunkett, Kueng’s lawyer, desires the decide to bar the state’s witnesses from addressing jurors instantly and from asking them to take actions as a part of an illustration, resembling asking them to look at their very own necks.

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That comes after one knowledgeable in Chauvin’s trial, lung and demanding care specialist Dr. Martin Tobin, at one level loosened his tie, positioned his palms on his personal neck and inspired jurors to do the identical as he defined how he believed Floyd died. Jurors mentioned later that Tobin offered among the trial’s most compelling proof.

Tobin additionally narrated video of Floyd being held to the pavement and pinpointed what he mentioned was the second Floyd died. And paramedic Derek Smith testified that after checking for a pulse and never discovering one: “In layman’s phrases? I believed he was lifeless.” Bob Paule, an lawyer for Thao, desires witnesses barred from referring to Floyd as lifeless till the time at which he was formally pronounced lifeless at a hospital. And Plunkett is asking that each one non-physician testimony be restricted to therapies and observations, to not Floyd’s reason for dying or characterization about whether or not he was lifeless or alive.

The state, in the meantime, desires to bar the protection from introducing proof concerning the males’s characters and households. That request comes after the federal trial, wherein the defendants or their relations talked about their backgrounds, their volunteerism, and the way they overcame hardship – all proof the state known as irrelevant.

The state additionally seeks to bar proof about whether or not Chauvin was certified to be a subject coaching officer – after questions on that have been raised throughout the federal trial as a part of a protection technique to blame the officers’ coaching for his or her actions that day.

The protection desires witnesses barred from testifying in uniform until they’re testifying as a part of their job. That comes after Genevieve Hansen, a firefighter who was off responsibility when she came across Floyd’s arrest, testified in uniform at Chauvin’s trial. Paule mentioned Hansen will likely be testifying as a bystander, and that having an individual testify below oath whereas in uniform may lead a jury to improperly discover them extra reliable.

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The protection additionally desires an order barring witnesses from carrying signage, after one other state witness, Donald Williams, wore a T-shirt below his costume shirt that mentioned “Black Excellence,” in line with the protection, and was seen to not less than one juror. Paule additionally desires prosecutors to be barred from questioning Williams about his martial arts coaching and his understanding of a “blood choke” and the way it impacts respiratory, saying Williams has no medical coaching.

The protection desires to bar the state from questions that elicit emotional responses, as prosecutors did throughout Chauvin’s trial, they usually wish to bar prosecutors from calling juvenile bystanders as witnesses, together with a lady who was 9 on the time.

The protection says calling the kid would additional traumatize her, provoke feelings from the jury, and that her testimony has repeated what different bystanders mentioned. The state has countered that the testimony of a number of bystanders is important, and that the various folks on the road – an older man, youngsters and a younger woman – present it was not the harmful crowd the protection tried to painting in Chauvin’s trial.

Additionally they mentioned the truth that a 9-year-old woman knew Floyd was in misery demonstrates simply how unreasonable the officers’ use of power was.

Kueng, Thao and Lane have been convicted in federal courtroom earlier this 12 months of depriving Floyd of his proper to medical care. Thao and Kueng have been convicted of a second rely for failing to intervene and cease Chauvin.

In July, U.S. District Decide Paul Magnuson sentenced Kueng to 3 years in jail and Thao to three 1/2 years on the federal counts. They reported to federal custody on Tuesday: Thao, who’s Hmong American, is being held in Lexington, Kentucky, and Kueng, who’s Black, is in Lisbon, Ohio.

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Lane, who’s white, prevented a state trial by pleading responsible in Might to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to 3 years on the state conviction, and a couple of 1/2 years on the federal conviction. He’s serving each sentences concurrently at a low-security federal jail camp in Littleton, Colorado.

Chauvin was convicted of homicide and manslaughter and was given a 22 1/2-year state sentence in 2021. He additionally pleaded responsible to a federal rely of violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced to 21 years on the federal cost. He’s serving the sentences on the similar time on the Federal Correctional Establishment in Tucson, Arizona.


Discover AP’s full protection of the killing of George Floyd at:


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