MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The four officers who are federally charged in the death of George Floyd will be tried together, after a motion was denied to sever three of the officers from Derek Chauvin, who has already been convicted of murder in Floyd's death.
A federal grand jury indicted Chauvin, Kueng, Thao and Lane in May, alleging they violated Floyd's rights while acting under government authority as Floyd was restrained face-down, handcuffed and not resisting.
In August, attorneys for J. Kueng and Tou Thao argued that their clients would be unfairly prejudiced if they went to trial alongside Chauvin. An attorney for Thomas Lane filed a motion asking to join in his co-defendants' request.
Keung's attorney, Tom Plunkett, said evidence against Chauvin would confuse the jury and deprive Kueng of his right to a fair trial. He also said there is a conflict of interest due to Chauvin's level of culpability in Floyd's death, saying "the jurors will not be able to follow the Court's instructions and compartmentalize the evidence as it related to Mr. Kueng."
Floyd's death sparked worldwide protest and a reckoning with racism and policing. Floyd, 46, repeatedly said he couldn't breathe as Chauvin pinned him to the ground on May 25, 2020. Kueng and Lane helped restrain Floyd; Kueng knelt on Floyd's back, and Lane held Floyd's legs. Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening during the 9 1/2-minute restraint that was captured on bystander video.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison. The other three former officers face state trial next March on aiding and abetting counts. Thao and Kueng are charged with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure by not intervening to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd's neck. All four officers are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.
Chauvin is also charged in a separate federal indictment alleging he violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy in 2017.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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