Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will be tried separately from three other ex-cops in the upcoming murder trial in the death of George Floyd, according to reports.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, citing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, said Chauvin will stand trial by himself in March, Fox News said Tuesday.
“The physical limitations of … the largest courtroom in the Hennepin County Government Center make it impossible to comply with COVID-19 physical restrictions in a joint trial involving all four defendants, given the number of lawyers and support personnel the parties have now advised the court are expected to be present during the trial,” Cahill ruled.
Chauvin is facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd’s May 25 police-custody death — a caught-on-video incident that sparked global Black Lives Matter protests.
Three other cops involved in the arrest — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter and will stand trial during the summer, the judge ruled.
Video of the encounter shows Floyd, a black man, handcuffed and face-down on the ground, with Chauvin, who is white, pressing his knee to his neck — despite Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
Floyd then stopped moving and was later declared dead.
All of the cops were fired the following day and later charged.
Ex-cop Derek Chauvin to be tried separately in George Floyd murder case The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.