MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The State of Minnesota is asking for the trial in George Floyd’s death to be pushed from March to June 7, in order to better prepare for COVID-19.
The state argues that, even with COVID-19 protocols put into place, there could be serious disruptions to the trial given the scope. Four now-fired Minneapolis officers — Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — are all facing charges in Floyd’s May death in south Minneapolis.
The state’s legal team offered a doctor affadavit, and added that they were ready to start on March 8 as originally planned, but requested the delay to June for safety reasons.
Earlier in the month, Chauvin’s attorney Erik Nelson requested for the trial to be delayed, arguing the state’s presentation of the evidence has been unorganized and delayed.
A new request from the attorney of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, asks the court for more time to prepare for next year’s trial. The attorney for Thao, who is also charged in the case, made a similar argument earlier.
On Thursday, Lane’s attorney Earl Gray objected to the state’s request to delay the trial.
“The State and/or its expert, although all powerful, cannot see into the future. Thomas Lane’s defense team has scheduled its calendar for trial on March 8, 2021, as the court ordered. The questionnaires have been sent,” Gray said.
If that’s what the state wants, why not postpone the trial to an even later date, like October or November? WCCO spoke with attorney Joe Tamburino about the matter.
“Because if you do it in June, you’ll only have a certain portion of the people vaccinated. And remember, it’s a trial among one’s peers, not a trial among ones vaccinated peers,” Tamburino said. “So what happens to the potential jurors who aren’t vaccinated? They still have a right to be on that jury.”
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after being arrested outside a south Minneapolis convenience store. Bystander video of the arrest showed Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even as he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The three other ex-officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
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