UPDATED 5/13, 11:50 a.m. ET: The trial of former police officers Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in the case of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Derek Chauvin has been significantly delayed.
The three were set to be tried on Aug. 23 of this year “on charges they aided and abetted both murder and manslaughter,” the Associated Press writes. The trial for Lane, Kueng, and Thao will now be held in March 2022.
“Judge Peter Cahill said he changed the date so the federal case can go forward first,” the AP reports. “He also said he felt the need to put some distance between the three officers’ trial and Chauvin’s due to all the publicity around the case.”
Derek Chauvin’s verdict was given in April, finding him guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter, and second-degree unintentional murder. His sentencing happens June 25.
See original story below.
The indictment from a federal grand jury in Minnesota, per the Justice Department, accuses the officers of having “willfully deprived Mr. Floyd of his constitutional rights” while acting “under color of law,” which is a legal way of saying they did so while on the job as cops. Named in the federal indictment are Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao.
Count One of the first indictment says Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck until his body became unresponsive, arguing that his actions violated Floyd’s constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force and resulted in his death. The second count charges that Thao and Kueng “willfully failed to intervene” to stop Chauvin, while the third count names all four officers as having “willfully failed” to provide aid to Floyd despite him being in “clear need of medical care.”
A second indictment, also announced Friday, is connected with a separate violent incident involving Chauvin that occurred in 2017. This two-count indictment charges Chauvin with willfully depriving a Minneapolis teenager, who was 14 at the time, of their constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force.
Count One of the second indictment alleges Chauvin held the teen “by the throat” and struck them multiple times with a flashlight, which the indictment argues was an example of an officer using a dangerous weapon. The second count of the separate Chauvin indictment also charges that the now-former Minneapolis cop held his knee on the neck and upper back of the teen even after they were cuffed and not resisting.
Chauvin was found guilty in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. This week, Chauvin’s defense attorney asked for a new trial and requested a hearing to have his client’s verdict impeached.