State Files Motion to Join All Four Cases in George Floyd Killing

Officers

(Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The State of Minnesota filed a motion Wednesday to join the cases of the four Minneapolis police officers charged in the police killing of George Floyd into one prosecution. The move means there would be one trial for all the officers, rather than four separate trials.

Floyd died on May 25 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers. The four officers involved were fired and are now charged in his death.

Derek Chauvin, the officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck in a bystander video, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

In the filing, the prosecutors argue the following four factors strongly support the motion to join the four cases:

  • The charges and evidence against all four defendants are similar 
  • Eyewitnesses and family members are likely to be traumatized by multiple trials 
  • Defendants will not be prejudiced by joining the cases because their defenses are not antagonistic
  • Separate trials would cause delay and burden the state, the court and witnesses and publicity related to the jury’s verdict may run the risk of prejudicing the jury pool in subsequent trials 

The next hearing, in this case, is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

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