On Tuesday morning, the four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s rights pleaded not guilty. The hearing was conducted via video conferencing and it was overseen by U.S District Magistrate Judge Tony Leung.
The indictment alleges that the four men violated Floyd’s rights in ways that “resulted in bodily injury to and the death of George Floyd”. The four police officers indicted in this case are Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexandra Kueng and Tou Thao.
Derek has already been convicted and sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison. He is charged for holding Floyd on the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes. His colleagues Kueng and Tou are charged for failing to intervene and stop him from using unreasonable force. The indictment accuses the four men of violating Floyd’s right to be free from an “officer’s deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs”.
In today’s hearing attorneys of the other three defendants had tried to argue for the severing of their clients’ charges separately from that of Chauvin. The judge however overruled their arguments terming it as premature. The three ex-police officers still face state criminal charges for aiding in the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd.
The trial is set to start in March.