MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A lawyer for one of four former Minneapolis police officers accused of George Floyd’s death on Thursday reiterated his request to postpone the trial, saying the defendants and lawyers were harassed and threatened by protesters after a hearing in September in the case.
Tom Plunkett, J. Kueng’s attorney, said in a court statement that defense attorneys and their clients were harassed while traveling to and from the court on 9/11 and that at least one attorney was physically assaulted. . He argued that holding the trial in Hennepin County would not be safe for attendees, witnesses could be intimidated, and jurors could be swayed by crowd chants, which were audible at the last hearing.
Floyd, a black man in handcuffs, died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white officer, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death was captured in a widely viewed viewer video that sparked protests, sometimes violent, around the world. Chauvin is charged with second degree murder and other crimes; Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting.
Lawyers for all four men said preliminary publicity prevented them from receiving a fair trial in Hennepin County and called for the trial to be moved. Judge Peter Cahill did not comment on this request.