George Floyd’s murder sparked protests around the world. Now the accused police officers are on trial. At the first hearing, the main defendant tried to distract from himself.
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After the violent death of the African American George Floyd, the police officers involved appeared in court for the first time on Friday. Lawyers for the defense of the four defendants called for separate lawsuits for their clients at the Minneapolis hearing. According to court records, the men also blamed each other for Floyd’s death.
Floyd died in late May after a brutal police operation in Minneapolis. White policeman Derek Chauvin had his knee behind his neck for more than eight minutes, although the 46-year-old family man complained more than 20 times that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd had been arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit $ 20 note. The case sparked mass protests against racism and police brutality in the US and many other countries.
The main suspect, Chauvin, is charged with “second and third degree murder” and manslaughter. Chauvin’s former colleagues Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are accused of complicity.
Prosecutor calls theory “ridiculous”
Chauvin alleged that Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose, according to court records. He also accused two of his ex-colleagues of misjudging Floyd’s condition. The prosecutor’s office described the overdose theory as “ludicrous” and demanded that all four suspects be brought to justice for acting “in close collaboration”.
After the hearing, Floyd’s family attorney, Ben Crump, accused the other side of tarnishing the deceased’s image for tactical reasons. “The only overdose that killed George Floyd was an overdose of excessive violence and racism by the Minneapolis police,” he said.