Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao were indicted in May by a federal grand jury for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights on May 25, 2020, while acting under government authority. Chauvin is currently serving a 22 1/2-year sentence for Floyd’s murder.
Roughly 40 pretrial motions took place Tuesday, according to NPR. Kueng and Thao asked if their federal trials could be separate from Chavin, and said they feel it would be prejudiced if it weren’t. Lane asked to join the request.
According to Keung’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, the jury could be confused by evidence against Chauvin, arguing that “the jurors will not be able to follow the Court’s instructions and compartmentalize the evidence as it related to Mr. Kueng.” Still, prosecutors argue that the four men should face trial together for the same event, which includes similar evidence.
Chauvin is alleged to have violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer, while according to state court evidence, Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back during the arrest, Lane held Floyd’s legs, and Thao held back bystanders. The three former officers still face state trial next March on aiding and abetting counts, NPR noted.