Prosecutors filed a “notice of intent to offer other evidence” before Friday’s (Sep. 11) hearing showing that former officer Derek Chauvin used excessive force on multiple arrestees prior to the Memorial Day killing of Floyd. According to prosecutors, last year Chauvin allegedly kicked an intoxicated man and used a neck restraint on him until he lost consciousness.
Prosecutors claim Chauvin used a neck restraint — similar to the one used on Floyd — at least four different times.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers who were involved in Floyd’s death — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
During Friday’s hearing, the attorneys for the four men asked for their clients to be tried separately due to the fact that “evidence against one officer could affect another’s right to a fair trial,” according to NBC News.
The state argued against separate trials because the charges against the former officers are similar. They also said that four trials would delay justice, tax the court and the outcome of the first trial could affect the next three. Prosecutor Neal Katyal also said that “forcing the family, victims and eye-witnesses to go through not just one, not two, three but four … does force reliving of the trauma.”
“I’ve seen a lot in my life, I can barely watch these videos,” Katyal said, citing several videos showing the minutes and seconds leading to Floyd’s death.
Judge Peter Cahill will make a decision on whether or not to allow separate trials in the next few weeks.