Judge threatens to move George Floyd murder trial out of Minneapolis

The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd and the three other officers accused of aiding and abetting in his death appeared in...

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 6:38 AM
Updated: Jun 29, 2020 9:30 PM

The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd and the three other officers accused of aiding and abetting in his death appeared in court on Monday for a pretrial hearing.

Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder in Floyd's death on May 25, appeared remotely via video, wearing an orange uniform and a mask.

J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane, who are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, appeared in person.

Much of the hearing centered on public comments that have been made about the state's criminal investigation by government officials since the arrest of the four former officers, that defense lawyers say could prevent them from having a fair trial.

Robert Paule, the attorney for Thao, criticized President Donald Trump, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the state's attorney general, and Minneapolis city officials over their public statements about the ongoing criminal investigation, claiming publicity by government officials has been prejudicial against his client.

Paule also made an allegation against the Floyd family's legal team, indicating they had leaked information to the press that had been privately briefed to them by the Minnesota attorney general's office.

Asked about the allegations Monday evening on CNN's 'Erin Burnett Out Front,' Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, denied Paule's claims of media leaks.

'I don't believe anybody on our legal team has leaked any information,' Crump said, but he defended the public disclosure of details in the case sought by the media and others.

'The truth of the matter is that there is so much information that has been divulged on this case that everybody, Erin, you all at CNN and all the other media companies are trying to get information,' Crump said. 'It is important to be transparent. If you're not transparent, and we don't have accountability, we continue to have mistrust. ... At the end of the day, I'm sorry, Black people are losing our lives and everybody else is trying to play technicalities. No, we can't accept that.'

At Monday's hearing, Judge Peter Cahill said he did not want attorneys or officials to make comments about the merits of the case, possible evidence, or guilt or innocence in public, although he did not issue a formal gag order.

Cahill admonished both the prosecution and the defense to ensure anyone they have sway over cease any further improper public comment.

The judge also offered a stern warning, indicating that any further inappropriate public statements about the case could result in a change of venue to a location other than Minneapolis.

Cahill said they are targeting the dates of September 11 to hold another hearing and March 8, 2021 to begin trial.

Chauvin's bail was set at $1.25 million or $1 million under certain conditions, while bail for Kueng, Thao and Lane was set at $1 million each or $750,000 under certain conditions. Chauvin, 44, and Thao, 34, remain in custody, and Lane, 37, and Kueng, 26, have been released on conditional bond.

The hearing comes more than a month after Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis. Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground and pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd pleaded 'I can't breathe.' Lane and Kueng helped restrain Floyd, while Thao stood nearby.

Autopsies by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office and by an independent autopsy commissioned by the family both concluded Floyd's death was a homicide, although they differ on what caused it.

The police killing, captured on bystander video, sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality as part of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, and about two-thirds of Americans say they support the protests.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo fired all four officers and has called Floyd's death 'murder.'

'Mr. George Floyd's tragic death was not due to a lack of training -- the training was there. Chauvin knew what he was doing,' Arradondo said in a statement.

'The officers knew what was happening -- one intentionally caused it and the others failed to prevent it. This was murder -- it wasn't a lack of training,' he said.

Chauvin had been a police officer with Minneapolis Police Department for nearly 19 years. Kueng was on his third shift as an officer, Lane had been on the police force for four days and Thao had been an MPD officer since 2012.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 97638

Reported Deaths: 2067
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Hennepin27372932
Ramsey11088322
Dakota7635126
Anoka6238137
Stearns407724
Washington388355
Scott262533
Olmsted251928
Nobles197716
Blue Earth17266
Wright16957
St. Louis165941
Carver14377
Clay141741
Rice13438
Mower13425
Sherburne116914
Kandiyohi10552
Winona91318
Lyon7224
Waseca6898
Benton5603
Crow Wing55518
Steele5552
Freeborn5464
Nicollet54517
Watonwan5304
Chisago5131
Todd5042
McLeod5012
Le Sueur4744
Otter Tail4624
Beltrami4505
Martin43010
Goodhue3829
Itasca34715
Pine3430
Douglas3372
Polk3224
Isanti3151
Becker2812
Carlton2761
Morrison2682
Dodge2570
Pipestone23210
Cottonwood2280
Chippewa2231
Meeker2132
Wabasha2020
Sibley1993
Brown1962
Yellow Medicine1902
Cass1844
Redwood1773
Rock1760
Murray1722
Mille Lacs1693
Renville1578
Unassigned15452
Jackson1491
Faribault1470
Swift1441
Fillmore1330
Houston1280
Kanabec1278
Roseau1250
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Hubbard1171
Lincoln1160
Stevens1041
Pope990
Aitkin831
Big Stone830
Wadena720
Wilkin703
Lac qui Parle651
Grant634
Lake600
Norman540
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse340
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 86860

Reported Deaths: 1315
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16010262
Woodbury555467
Johnson517027
Black Hawk450990
Linn4101113
Story346217
Dubuque333241
Scott304528
Dallas280738
Pottawattamie215939
Buena Vista199912
Marshall179134
Sioux16803
Wapello134057
Webster128014
Plymouth116121
Clinton113021
Muscatine112155
Crawford11005
Cerro Gordo105921
Warren9666
Jasper86432
Des Moines8008
Marion7697
Henry7554
Tama73932
Carroll6855
Lee6437
Wright5961
Dickinson5306
Boone5178
Bremer5027
Washington47211
Louisa43115
Delaware4233
Mahaska41519
Floyd3543
Jackson3523
Franklin35118
Lyon3514
Winneshiek3406
Clay3344
Hamilton3323
Benton3281
Winnebago31713
Hardin3071
Poweshiek3078
Buchanan2861
Jones2843
Kossuth2800
Butler2752
Emmet27010
Clarke2683
Shelby2681
Allamakee2666
Chickasaw2661
Sac2650
Clayton2633
Cherokee2552
Cedar2521
Guthrie2527
Harrison2523
Fayette2312
Madison2272
Grundy2243
Iowa2161
Palo Alto2050
Hancock1952
Howard1927
Humboldt1913
Mitchell1910
Calhoun1873
Mills1831
Page1710
Cass1692
Osceola1690
Pocahontas1652
Monona1601
Monroe16011
Lucas1566
Appanoose1423
Jefferson1391
Union1383
Taylor1321
Davis1274
Ida1261
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Van Buren1151
Keokuk1141
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