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Federal trial for three other ex-officers indicted in the murder of George Floyd in August


The three men – who were helping former officer Derek Chauvin, who buried his knee in Floyd’s neck, ultimately killing him – will be brought to justice on July 14 where they will be asked to plead the charges.

As Chauvin knelt on top of Floyd on May 25, Kueng held down Floyd’s torso, Lane held up his legs, and Thao blocked viewers from intervening, videos and testimony from that day.

Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Chauvin, Thao, 35; Kueng, 27 years old; and Lane, 38, in Floyd’s death, alleging officers violated his constitutional rights, according to court documents filed in Minnesota federal court.

Thao, Kueng and Lane are accused of “willful disregard for his serious medical needs”, according to the indictment.

Thao and Kueng were charged as defendants who “willfully failed to intervene to prevent defendant Chauvin from using unreasonable force.”

Chauvin will be judged separately. No federal hearing date has yet been announced for him.

Thao, Kueng and Lane appeared in federal court last Friday via video conference, and all three were released on $ 25,000 unsecured bonds, meaning they did not have to post collateral.

The federal trial will take place months before the trial of the three men in the state. It has been postponed to March 7 so the federal trial can take place first, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said Thursday, according to a pool reporter in court.

Kueng, Lane and Thao are accused by state prosecutors of aiding and abetting second degree murder and of aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter. They pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors also appealed to reinstate a third degree murder charge against each of them.

Their roles in Floyd’s death

The actions of the three ex-officers on May 25, 2020 were shown in detail during Chauvin’s trial in videos of passers-by, police cameras and surveillance footage.

Lane and Kueng were the first officers to respond to the scene when the Cup Foods store called police about a man using an alleged fake $ 20 bill. The two officers then proceeded to a vehicle with Floyd seated in the driver’s seat. Lane drew his gun and pointed it at Floyd, yelling at the 46-year-old black man to show his hands, according to their body camera footage.

Lane pulled Floyd out of the vehicle and handcuffed him, and after a sidewalk conversation, officers moved to put Floyd in the back of their squad car. Floyd resisted entering the cramped vehicle, saying he was claustrophobic, and officers physically fought him and tried to force him in, the videos show.

Federal trial for three other ex-officers indicted in the murder of George Floyd in August

Chauvin and Thao arrived in a separate group car and tried to help get Floyd into the vehicle. Chauvin then got Floyd out of the vehicle and placed him on his stomach in the street, the videos show. He rested his knees on Floyd’s neck and back, while Kueng held down Floyd’s chest and Lane held his legs.

Floyd remained in that position, handcuffed and lying on the ground, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, prosecutors said during Chauvin’s trial, even as he kept repeating “I can’t breathe” and calling his “mum”. He eventually stopped breathing, passed out, and lost his pulse.

As Chauvin, Kueng, and Lane restrained Floyd, Thao stood nearby and prevented worried onlookers from getting closer, repeatedly raising his voice and arguing with them.

During the restraint, Lane is heard asking, “Should we roll him to the side?” and Chauvin replied, “No, by staying where we got it,” according to body camera videos. A few minutes later, Lane said again, “Do you want to roll him to the side?” the videos show. Kueng checked Floyd’s pulse but could not find one. Officers at no time moved Floyd to a side recovery position to help him breathe.

The four policemen were fired after the viewer video was released, and they were arrested and charged a few days later.

The background of the officers

Kueng and Lane were rookie officers with little experience.

Kueng was hired as a policeman with the Minneapolis Police Department in December 2019. He had joined the department as an officer cadet in February 2019. He had no previous complaints.

Lane also joined the police department as a cadet in February 2019. He had no history of complaints.

Thao had been a police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department since 2012. He had six internal affairs complaints, one of which was still open, according to a public summary of the Minneapolis Police Department’s internal affairs. The other five were closed without discipline.

CNN’s Steve Almasy, Harmeet Kaur and Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.

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