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Opening arguments in the federal trial of three former Minneapolis officers, who were present when their fellow officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck that ultimately killed him in May 2020, are expected to begin on Monday.
There are 10 women and eight men chosen for the jury duty — 16 appeared to be white and two were Asian, Associated Press reported.
Paul Magnuson, the federal judge told jurors on Thursday that they will “have to have to decide this case based upon the evidence that is presented in this case, and the law as the court will instruct you in this case.”
He also emphasised that Chauvin’s conviction on state murder charges should not influence the proceedings.
Three former Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — have been charged with violating Floyd’s civil rights by failing to provide him with medical aid during the encounter.
Mr Thao and Mr Kueng are also charged with failing to stop Chauvin’s use of force.
Who is expected in the courtroom as the federal trial begins?
As cameras are not allowed in the federal courtroom — the trial is being held at the Warren E Burger Federal Building and US Courthouse in downtown St Paul — the following people are expected to be in the courtroom:
US District Court Judge Paul Magnuson; former officers J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao; defence attorneys Robert Paule, Earl Gray and Thomas Plunkett; attorneys from the US Attorney’s Office; jurors; witnesses; court reporter; four pool media reporters and a sketch artist.
George Floyd, 46, died in May 2020 after Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck even as Floyd kept saying that he couldn’t breathe.
Two other former Minneapolis police officers — J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — helped restrain Floyd while another, now-former officer with the Minneapolis police Tou Thao held back bystanders.
Attorney says former officers had ‘different levels of involvement’ as opening arguments begin today
The prosecutors with the US Attorney’s Office are expected to take a total of 30 to 40 minutes to present their opening statements today.
Defence attorney, Mike Bryant — who is not involved in the trial — told Fox9 News that “my expectation is there will be a combination of argument and videos to start showing the video to show what each of these officers did wrong in depriving George Floyd of his rights.”
He added that “they all have different levels of involvement. You’ve got different levels of experience. You have different levels of what they did. So there is a possibility you may see one or two of them argue in a different manner than the third.”
Who is Thomas Lane?
One of the three former Minneapolis police officers, Thomas Lane faces charges of violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights by failing to provide medical aid to him in May 200 when their fellow officer Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck.
Mr Lane joined the Minneapolis Police Department in early 2019.
Three generations of men on his mother’s side of the family also served in the department, including his great-great-grandfather Michael Mealey, who was chief from 1911 to 1912, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Read more about Thomas Lane here:
Who is J Alexander Kueng?
The former Minneapolis officer, J Alexander Kueng, is accused of violating George Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and failing to render medical aid.
Know more about him here:
J Alexander Kueng thomas lane trial
Who is Tou Thao?
Opening arguments in the federal jury trial against three former Minneapolis officers is set to begin on Monday. Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — are guilty of violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights for failing to provide medical aid during the encounter in May 2020, which ultimately led to Floyd’s death.
Know more about Tou Thao below:
Now-former officer kept bystanders away from the scene as George Floyd called for help
Former federal prosecutor calls the trial ‘unique’
A former federal prosecutor, Mark Osler said that the trial of three former Minneapolis officers in the George Floyd killing is “unique.”
A law professor at the University of St Thomas, Mr Osler told Minneapolis Public Radio that “this trial is really unique and important because it does present the question of the duty of officers on what they didn’t do, as opposed to reviewing actions themselves.”
Three former officers – Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane – will stand trial in federal court on charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights for failing to provide him with medical aid during the encounter.
Mr Thao and Mr Kueng are also charged with failing to stop fellow officer Chauvin’s use of force against Floyd. Opening arguments in the federal trial are expected to begin on Monday.
Hello and welcome to the Independent’s live blog on the federal trial of three former officers over the George Floyd killing.