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Defendants can't use George Floyd’s past arrest during trial, judge rules

Floyd’s 2019 arrest during a traffic stop and his aggravated robbery conviction cannot be introduced as evidence during the upcoming trial.

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A Hennepin County judge ruled that George Floyd’s 2019 arrest and conviction cannot be used as evidence in the upcoming trial of the four former Minneapolis officers who were involved in his tragic death.

According to Minneapolis Star Tribune, Judge Peter Cahill announced the ruling on Tuesday (Jan. 26). The defendants’ legal teams will not be allowed to use Floyd’s former arrest during a traffic stop and his aggravated robbery conviction during this trial.

Additionally, Judge Cahill also ruled that prosecutors cannot introduce the incident where ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — who placed his knee on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes — allegedly used a neck restraint on a civilian during a prior arrest.

The judge did, however, rule that prosecutors can introduce evidence from two incidents from Chauvin’s past, including the time he placed his knee on a woman's neck as she laid on the ground. Prosecutors say he restrained her “beyond the point when such force was needed.”

On Tuesday, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, filed an affidavit claiming that prosecutors did not properly share evidence with the defense. He wrote that Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank admitted that he had more evidence than what was shared with the defense teams. “ … I spoke to Assistant Attorney General Matt Frank and expressed my absolute anger and frustration with the manner in which the State has conducted discovery and made its discovery in this matter,” Nelson wrote.

Earlier this month, Judge Cahill ruled that Chauvin would stand trial separately from his former colleagues — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. His trial is set to begin on March 8, despite multiple attempts from both sides to push the trial date back. He is currently charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Kueng, Lane and Thao will begin their trial together in August. They are facing charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

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