George Floyd Murder Trial Significantly Delayed for Killer Ex-Cops

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Former Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao enters the Hennepin County Courthouse with his attorneys before a motions hearing in Minneapolis on July 21, 2020. Thao, who is charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights when the Black man was killed under fellow Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee took the stand in federal court Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, testifying about academy training that included handcuffing drills in which knees were used to restrain people.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao enters the Hennepin County Courthouse with his attorneys before a motions hearing in Minneapolis on July 21, 2020. Thao, who is charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights when the Black man was killed under fellow Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee took the stand in federal court Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, testifying about academy training that included handcuffing drills in which knees were used to restrain people.

The state trial for former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng has been rescheduled to January 2023, according to CNN. The two are facing charges for their alleged role in the killing George Floyd. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled to move the trial date on concerns of jury selection.

It truly doesn’t feel like it’s been two whole years since the world saw footage of George Floyd lose his life at the hands of Minneapolis police. The US has been encouraged to remember the incident for the outcry it caused against police brutality. Since then, policies have been passed including but not exclusive to Biden’s executive order on police reform. That is just the reason why jury selection in Thao and Kueng’s trial is so crucial.

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Per CNN’s report, Cahill ruled the trial must moved, citing from the recent federal convictions of the three former officers accused of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

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“These two events and the publicity surrounding them are significant in that they could make it difficult for jurors to presume Thao and Kueng innocent of the State charges,” Cahill wrote.

The judge also denied a request from defense attorneys for a change of venue in the ruling. Jury selection in the state trial for Thao and Kueng is now slated to begin January 9 with opening statements January 30.

Jury selection in the trial for Thao and Kueng, charged with aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, had been scheduled to begin next week. The two former officers have pleaded not guilty.

Another former officer, Thomas Lane, had pleaded guilty to the same aiding and abetting charges as part of a plea deal, CNN reported. His sentencing is anticipated for September. Even more recently, Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights and will see 20 to 25 years in prison.

There’s no telling if the delay to Thao and Kueng’s trial will help them or if the jury will be able to remain neutral given the ongoing dialogue around George Floyd’s death.