Prosecutors in the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers accused of civil rights violations by George Floyd on Monday accused the men who stood by as colleague Derek Chauvin “of having given up. from killing George Floyd right in front of them.”
ST. Paul, Minn. (AP) – Prosecutors in the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers accused of violating George Floyd’s civil rights on Monday charged the men with Derek Chauvin. slowly killing George Floyd right in front of them.”
But a defense attorney countered that Chauvin referred to “all shots” as a senior officer at the scene, and criticized the Minneapolis Police Department for doing too little to train officers to intervene when colleagues were arrested. stop.
Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are accused of broadly depriving Floyd of his citizenship while acting under the authority of the government. Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 and a half minutes while the 46-year-old black man was face down, handcuffed and gasping for air.
Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held him back. Thao prevented bystanders from meddling in the videotaped murder that sparked worldwide protests and re-examined racism and policing. Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in state court last year.
Prosecutor Samantha Trepel, prosecutor Samantha Trepel, who works for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said: “Second after minute, minute after minute, the three defendants were trained in CPR training. This man stood or knelt beside Officer Chauvin as he slowly killed George Floyd right in front of them.” told the jury during the opening remarks. “They chose not to protect George Floyd, the man they handcuffed and held.”
Tom Plunkett, Kueng’s attorney, highlighted the rookie status of his client and Lane, and said they both held off on Chauvin and called him “sir.”
“You’ll see and hear cop Chauvin call all the shots,” said Plunkett, who also criticized what he called the Minneapolis Police Department’s lack of training, including anti-use interventions. unreasonable force.
Plunkett noted that Chauvin was on Kueng’s field coaching staff, and that had a “significant effect” on his future. He also said that Kueng and Lane were not trained in the department’s policy on strangulation.
He also said that according to department policy, Lane should really be held accountable, because he was the most senior officer in the first car to arrive on the scene. Lane and Kueng were answering a 911 call alleging Floyd used a fake $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. Thao and Chauvin responded as a backup.
Previously, Thao’s attorney, Robert Paule, said Floyd’s death was a tragedy, “however, tragedy is not a crime”. He also said a video repeatedly viewed by outsiders of the arrest did not show all that had come before, including Floyd struggling with officers who were trying to get him into the vehicle. cop.
Kueng, black man; Lane, who is white; and Thao, an American of Hmong descent, were both charged with failing to provide medical care to Floyd. Thao and Kueng face some additional points for failing to stop Chauvin, who is white. Both charges allege the actions of officers led to Floyd’s death.
“We will ask you to hold these men accountable for choosing to do nothing and watch a man die,” Trepel said.
Attorneys for both Kueng and Thao noted that prosecutors must prove Kueng, Lane and Thao knowingly violated Floyd’s constitutional rights.
It is a high legal standard; essentially, prosecutors have to prove that officers know what they’re doing is wrong, but still do it.
Trepel said the video will show Thao standing right next to Chauvin, but instead of intervening, he mocks Floyd for using drugs, telling those around him that “Here’s why you don’t” use it. drug.
She said Kueng “never once” told Chauvin to leave Floyd, even after Floyd stopped struggling and Kueng twice couldn’t find his pulse. Instead, she said, Keung remained kneeling over Floyd.
Plunkett said Kueng told Chauvin he couldn’t detect a pulse – and told him he wasn’t checking the artery in Floyd’s neck because Chauvin was in the best position to do so.
Lane asked if they should roll Floyd over to him – which all officers are trained to do – but Kueng refused Lane’s questions and said, “No, just let him go, ” and Chauvin agreed, Trepel said.
Last week, 18 people were quickly selected to the Jury; 12 will consider and six will replace. Two of the jurors – one slated to weigh in and one surrogate – appear to be of Asian descent. The rest seems to be white. The court declined to provide demographic information.
US District Judge Paul Magnuson told jurors the trial could last four weeks. It is unknown if any of the three officers will testify. It’s also unclear whether Chauvin will testify, although many experts who spoke to the Associated Press believe he will not testify.
Lane, Kueng and Thao also face a separate state trial in June on charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.
Associated Press writer Tammy Webber contributes from Fenton, Michigan.
Find the full AP report on the killing of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
Kueng’s spelling has been corrected in all references. The quote’s note, “however, a tragedy is not a crime,” has been corrected.
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https://wtop.com/national/2022/01/trial-to-begin-for-cops-accused-of-violating-floyds-rights/ Defensive: Chauvin called ‘all shots’ as Floyd killed