Floyd, a Black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after an officer, who was recorded in a bystander’s video, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Three other officers were at the scene – as witnesses filmed it and, along with Floyd, pleaded with police to let him breathe. He eventually lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center.
The medical examiner ruled the manner of death a homicide.
Derek Chauvin, the officer seen in the video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao each face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
All four were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after Floyd’s death.
If granted, the motion submitted by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, would save the state time and money and spare the witnesses and families from the potential “traumatizing” effects of having to go through four separate trials.
Prosecutors also argued that the charges and evidence against the four defendants are similar; the accused men’s defenses are not antagonistic to one another; and separate trials would burden the state, the witnesses and the court and could result in prejudice among jury pools, according to a memo the filed in support of the motion.
A Hennepin County judge ruled last week that police bodycam video also could be released. The video was previously only available for viewing by appointment at the courthouse – but a leaked version was published by the Daily Mail last Monday.
Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, previously filed two body-worn camera videos as evidence to dismiss charges against his client. Lane and Kueng, rookie officers at the time, were the first to arrive at the Cup Foods convenience store after a complaint was made about Floyd allegedly trying to use a fake $20 bill.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 11.
Previously, Ellison’s office announced that a team of four seasoned trial lawyers had joined the prosecution team on a pro bono basis.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.