The prosecutor told jurors in the rights case that police watched “minute by minute” as Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.
Three former Minneapolis police officers accused of violating George Floyd’s civil rights did nothing to intervene when his colleague Derek Chauvin pushed a black man’s door into the street, a prosecutor told jurors Monday when the federal trial began.
“Second by second, minute by minute, these three CPR-trained defendants stood and knelt beside Chauvin as he killed George Floyd right in front of them,” Federal Prosecutor Samantha Trepel said in an introductory statement beginning with the officers. “Federal process.
J Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are widely accused of depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government. All three are accused of failing to provide Floyd with medical care. Tao and Kueng face additional charges of failing to stop Chauvin, who was convicted of murder and manslaughter in a state court last year.
Trepel, of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, said the defendants violated their oath with a senseless indifference to Floyd. She said the video showed Kueng at times looking busier with a little gravel stuck in the tire of a nearby police car than the man below him, who repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”
Defense attorneys said the three defendants had the right and obligation to arrest Floyd on suspicion of using a counterfeit $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes and that they were not responsible for Chauvin’s behavior.
“Mr Floyd’s death is truly a tragedy,” Tao’s lawyer, Robert Paul, said in an introductory statement Monday. “But tragedy is not a crime.”
Legal experts say prosecutors must prove that Queng, Lane and Tao deliberately violated Floyd’s constitutional rights, while defense attorneys are likely to blame Chauvin for Floyd’s assassination, which was recorded and sparked protests around the world, violence and a review. of racism and the police.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pressed him to the ground with a knee on Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes while Floyd was face down, handcuffed and out of breath. Queng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs. Tao prevented passers-by from interfering.
Lawyers for the Floyd family said that the video of passers-by showed that the three police officers “directly contributed to [Floyd’s] death and failed to intervene to stop the senseless murder. “
Last week, 18 people were quickly selected to the jury; 12 will discuss, and six will be deputies. Two of the jurors – one expected to meet and one alternate – appear to be of Asian descent. The others look white. Jurors include people from the Twin Cities, suburbs and southern Minnesota. The court refused to provide demographic information.
Federal prosecution of employees involved in service killings is rare. Prosecutors face a high legal standard to show that an official has deliberately deprived someone of their constitutional rights. In essence, prosecutors need to prove that officers knew what they were doing was wrong, but they did it nonetheless.
The prosecution accuses Tao, who is an American Hmong; Lane, who is white; and Queng, who is Black, deliberately depriving Floyd of the right to be free from the officer’s deliberate indifference to his medical needs. The indictment says that the three men saw that Floyd obviously needed medical help and did not help him.
Tao and Queng are charged with a second charge, allegedly for intentionally violating Floyd’s right to be released from unjustified detention by not stopping Chauvin while he knelt on Floyd’s neck. It is not clear why Lane was not mentioned in this census, but evidence shows that he asked twice if Floyd should be transferred to his side.
Both charges allege that the actions of the police led to Floyd’s death.
U.S. District Judge Magnusson told jurors that the trial could take four weeks. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. It is also unclear whether Chauvin will testify, although many experts who spoke to the Associated Press believe he would not.
Lane, Queng and Tao also faced a separate state trial in June on charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.