The three former Minneapolis police officers who were charged with aiding the death of George Floyd were offered plea deals by prosecuting attorneys, but all three declined, according to the Associated Press.
Prosecutors claimed the officers did nothing to stop former officer Derek Chauvin from putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes on May 25, 2020, before his death.
The officers, J. Alexander Keung, the only Black officer on the scene, Tou Thou, an officer of Asian descent who is seen on bystander videos preventing witnesses from helping Floyd, and Thomas Lane, a white officer who asked Derek Chauvin if Floyd should be repositioned but did nothing to stop Chauvin from kneeling on Floyd’s neck, are all awaiting trial in June.
Judge Peter Cahill held a hearing with the ex-officers to consider whether he’d allow live video coverage of their trial.
From the Associated Press:
Lead prosecutor Matthew Frank did not disclose details of the plea offers in open court but said they were identical and were made March 22 after a jury convicted the three in a separate trial in February on federal civil rights charges stemming from Floyd’s death, according to pool reports from inside the courtroom.
Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said it was hard for the defense to negotiate when the three still don’t know what their federal sentences will be. The judge in that case has not set a sentencing date, and all three remain free on bail.
Cahill told Frank to file the offers for the record after the jury is seated for the upcoming trial, which is expected to take around eight weeks, including three for jury selection.
Judge Cahill made an exception to the normal rules of Minnesota courts and allowed live audiovisual coverage in the Chauvin murder trial last year, where he was also the presiding judge, according to the Associated Press.
Now that the coronavirus is not as severe as it was a year ago, Judge Cahill has to decide if he will allow the same kind of media access for the trial of Thao, Lane and Kueng. However, Cahill won’t decide until a panel of leading judges and court administrators meet to discuss media access for the comingJune, according to the Associated Press.