Three former cops involved in the murder of George Floyd are offered no plea deals before their prosecutors as their trials are about to start next week in U.S. district court. All three officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with civil rights violations of George Floyd that then led to his death by the hands of Chauvin.
Federal prosecutor, LeeAnn Bell, told during a Tuesday hearing all discussions of initial plea bargains were rejected by the defense attorneys representing the former officers. While their trial is about to start, their former colleague Chauvin was convicted in April of last year, on state charges of murdering George Floyd when he pleaded guilty to his crime.
Chauvin was seen on video holding his knee down on the neck of Floyd, blocking his airflow, during an attempt to arrest the black man outside a grocery store, in May, 2020. This continued for almost nine minutes, all the while George Floyd kept saying he couldn’t breathe, until he went completely unconscious, and died on the spot. The video footage shows Lane and Kueng helping Chauvin keep Floyd down, while Thao was seen keeping on-lookers away.
All three of those charged with using unreasonable force while acting under government authority violating George Floyd’s right to be free from the use of unreasonable force, have pleaded not guilty so far. They are collectively liable to Floyd’s death because they failed to intercede and interfere when Chauvin was using excessive force on the man, failed in providing him timely medical assistance that could have saved his life.
The U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson already allowed the defense to not let the prosecutors use a 10-year-old girl’s witness account of the incident during the pretrial hearing in St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday. Earl Gray, the defense attorney on behalf of Lane said the child’s testimony could be used to invoke “sympathy”.
She was already one of the witnesses to take stand during Chauvin’s state trial where she bravely told the court her account of the incident, along with several other witnesses, “I was sad and kind of mad. Because it felt like [Chauvin] was stopping [Floyd’s] breathing, and it was kind of, like, hurting him.”