Federal trial for 3 former Minneapolis officers to resume next week

Due to the Friday sentencing of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter, the federal trial of three former Minneapolis officers is not convening again until next week.

Potter’s sentencing requires the presence of Earl Gray, the attorney for one of the three officers who is on trial.

Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are accused of violating George Floyd’s constitutional civil rights when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck as the 46-year-old Black man was handcuffed, facedown on the street.

Thursday, J. Alexander Kueng wrapped up his time on the stand, and confirmed he didn’t make any attempt to move Derek Chauvin off of George Floyd while Floyd was restrained on the ground.

Prosecutors also pointed out that his partner, Thomas Lane, made suggestions about moving Floyd, and Kueng never said he agreed.

Kueng told the jury for a second day that he was deferring to officer Chauvin’s opinion “based on his position.”

The defense also called use of force expert Steve Ijames to the stand. He told the jury unnecessary force was used once Floyd was under control, and that the ex-officers should have provided medical aid.

However, he said with both situations “it is not unreasonable” for a new officer to “defer to that senior person.”

Earl Gray started presenting his case on behalf of Thomas Lane Thursday. Jurors are expected to hear from Lane next week.

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