Friday (Sep. 11) marked the first time that all four officers who were involved in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd appeared in court together. The attorneys for the four men are now asking for their clients to be tried separately.
According to NBC News, prosecutors argued against having separate trials for former officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. They believe that having four different trials would cause unnecessary trauma to Floyd’s loved ones.
Lane, Kueng and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Judge Peter Cahill said that he won’t be addressing any of the defendants’ requests to dismiss their charges and he also delayed the ruling on motions to change the location of the trials away from Hennepin County.
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.
The defendants’ attorneys want the trials to be separated so “that each officer can be tried on his own evidence, arguing that evidence against one officer could affect another’s right to a fair trial,” according to the outlet.
During the hearing, a few protesters gathered outside of the courthouse chanting, “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name — George Floyd!”