Three former police officers who helped Derek Chauvin restrain George Floyd are going on federal trial in Minnesota.
J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for neglecting to provide medical help to Floyd, CNN reported.
They are also charged with failing to intervene when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck on May 25, 2020.
The Associated Press reported that while Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, Keung knelt on Floyd’s back. Lane pinned Floyd’s legs and Thao kept witnesses away from the arrest.
Floyd was handcuffed and held down on his stomach, at one point telling officers, “I can’t breathe,” the AP reported. Police did call for medical services, but the officers did not help Floyd before EMTs arrived and after Floyd was unconscious and had stopped breathing. He was still on his stomach when paramedics got to the scene to transport him to a hospital where he was later declared dead.
Video of the incident was shared across the internet and caused protests against police brutality, CNN reported.
Kueng, Lane and Thao have all pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. Chauvin pled guilty to the federal charges last year as part of a plea deal after he was convicted of state charges of unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Eighteen people were chosen to hear the case — with 12 people deliberating the former officers’ fate and six serving as alternates. The court did not provide demographic information about the jury members, but they are from the Twin Cities area, the suburbs and southern Minnesota, the AP reported.
Keung, Lane and Thao also face state charges related to Floyd’s death. That trial is set to start in June, CNN reported.
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