A defense attorney for three former cops charged with violating George Floyd’s rights claimed that ex-officer Derek Chauvin called “all of the shots” during the deadly 2020 interaction, Associated Press reports. Opening statements continued today (Jan. 25) in the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
According to AP, another defense attorney accused the Minneapolis Police Department of not doing enough to train officers to intervene when a colleague needs to be stopped. A third attorney claimed that his client raised concerns to Chauvin about how Floyd was being restrained, but was ignored.
Tom Plunkett, Kueng’s attorney, argued that he was a rookie officer and noted that both he and Lane referred to Chauvin as “sir.”
“You’ll see and hear officer Chauvin call all of the shots,” Plunkett said, referring to the widely circulated and shocking video of Floyd’s murder.
However, as reported by REVOLT, prosecutors on Monday (Jan. 24) argued that all three of the officers “chose not to protect George Floyd, the man they had handcuffed and placed in their custody.”
“For second after second, minute after minute, these three CPR-trained defendants stood or knelt next to officer Chauvin as he slowly killed George Floyd right in front of them,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Trepel told the jury.
“We will ask you to hold these men accountable for choosing to do nothing and watch a man die,” she added.
Kueng, Lane and Thao are all charged with failing to render Floyd medical care. Additionally, Kueng and Thao are also charged with violating his constitutional rights. Their trial is expected to last two to four weeks.
The three men are also facing separate state charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter, the trial for which was recently postponed to this June.