Posted on September 11, 2020

Officers Charged in George Floyd Killing Seek to Place Blame on One Another

News Wires, The Guardian, September 11, 2020

Attorneys for four former Minneapolis officers charged in the killing of George Floyd say that each client should get his own trial, as the officers try to diminish their roles in the Black man’s death by pointing fingers at one another.

Prosecutors say all four officers should be tried together {snip}

The former officers are scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a hearing on several issues, including the prosecution’s request to hold a joint trial. Other issues that will be argued include defense requests to move the trial away from Minneapolis and to sequester the jury and keep jurors anonymous.


Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Thomas Lane, J Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter.


But defense attorneys are pushing for separate trials, saying they are likely to offer “antagonistic” defenses, and evidence against one officer could negatively affect another’s right to a fair trial.

Attempts at finger-pointing are already prevalent throughout court filings in the case. Attorneys for Lane and Kueng have argued that their clients were new officers, who were following Chauvin’s lead.

Thao’s attorney, Bob Paule, has said that his client’s role was “absolutely distinct” from the others, because he was on crowd control and was securing the scene – while the other three restrained Floyd.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, also wrote that his client’s case is different. Nelson said prosecutors must prove Chauvin intended to assault Floyd, but they must also show that the other officers knew of Chauvin’s intent before it happened.


{snip} Chauvin also points fingers at the others. Nelson wrote that Lane and Kueng, the officers who responded to the initial call from a shop owner who suspected Floyd of trying to use forged money, initiated contact with Floyd before Chauvin and Thao arrived, and that Chauvin believes Floyd was overdosing on fentanyl.

Nelson wrote that while Lane and Kueng called for a paramedic and believed Floyd was “on something” they did not elevate the call to one of more urgency or give medical assistance.