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Ex-cop involved in George Floyd’s death files to delay trial

Tou Thao’s attorney accused state prosecutors of breaching a court order to share discovery material with the defense.

Tou Thao Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

The lawyer for one of the former Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd has filed to delay the trial until July.

According to KARE 11, Robert Paule, who is representing ex-cop Tou Thao, has accused state prosecutors of breaching a court order to share discovery material with the defense. On Friday (Dec. 11), Paule filed to move the court date, which is slated to begin on Mar. 8, to July 5 instead. He also asked Judge Peter Cahill to move the date for the defense lawyers to reveal their expert witnesses. Additionally, Paule wants the state to cover the defense attorneys’ costs and fees associated with the four-month delay.

The defense believes the state is delaying discovery, which will block them having the proper amount of time to prepare for arguments they may face during trial.

“The State has held onto exculpatory evidence they had knowledge about for months without disclosing it to the Defense,” Paule wrote in his motion. “To date, the State has untimely disclosed evidence eight times amounting to over 15,000 pages of evidence.”

Back in May, Tao, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane held Floyd down as he yelled out that he couldn’t breathe. Dozens of people watched in horror as he fell unconscious and later died. His death sparked nationwide protests and reignited the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tao, Lane and Kueng are currently charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin, who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Last month, Judge Cahill ruled that the four men will stand trial together in Minneapolis. He said the defendants all have similar claims that their use of force was reasonable and that Floyd’s death was due to his underlying health issues.

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