MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The jury was seated Thursday in the federal civil rights trial of three former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd.
While Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty last month in this case, Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane have all pleaded not guilty.READ MORE: Minneapolis To Pay Jaleel Stallings $1.5M Police Conduct Settlement
According to reporters in court, the jury is made up of 10 women and eight men. Most appear to be white, although the court has yet to release demographic information about the jurors. Their jobs titles include software engineer, wind turbine supervisor, grocery store clerk, nurse practitioner, day care provider and food service worker. Some are retired.
An evidentiary hearing is now scheduled for this Friday at 10 a.m., and opening statements are set to start Monday at 10 a.m.
Under federal rules, trials are not televised. While Chauvin never testified in his trial, legal experts including Joe Tamburino believe the three defendants will testify.
“They have to get up on stand to say they did not aid and abet or help Mr. Chauvin deprive the rights of Mr. Floyd,” Tamburino said.
The three former officers who appear in so many of the videos from the Chauvin trial will be presenting different defenses.READ MORE: Judge Denies Acquittal, Mistrial Motions For 3 Ex-Cops Convicted In George Floyd Killing
Thao, who kept distraught bystanders from intervening at the scene will likely argue he never touched Floyd. Defense attorneys for Kueng and Lane are expected to stress that they were rookies following orders, Tamburino said.
“They were really only patrol officers for less than a week and they can surely testify they don’t have the complete experience that says any other officer would have,” Tamburino said.
Tamburino says he expects the defense to try and put all the blame on Chauvin.
While the three defendants technically face life in prison if convicted, legal experts say it’s more likely they would be sentenced between 20 to 25 years.
While the federal trial begin Thursday, the state trial has been pushed back even further. That trial is now scheduled to start in June.
All three former officers have pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting charges in that case.MORE NEWS: Judge Overseeing Derek Chauvin Civil Rights Case Accepts Plea Deal