Derek Chauvin wasn’t the only now-former police officer charged in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
The three other ex-Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death will be tried together beginning Aug. 23, a trial also to be held in Hennepin County.
Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were fired, along with Chauvin, the day after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.
The three officers are charged with aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, charges that carry up to 40 years in prison. The men remain free on $750,000 bail.
Thao, Kueng and Lane responded to a call about a “forgery in process” but did not directly cut off Floyd’s breathing.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in Floyd’s death, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The Justice Department is already investigating whether the officers involved in Floyd’s death violated Floyd’s civil rights. The investigation announced Wednesday is known as a “pattern or practice” and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire department and may result in major changes to policing there, the official said.
Floyd, 46, was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.
The centerpiece of the case was bystander video of Floyd, handcuffed behind his back, gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe,” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was about 9 ½ minutes, including several minutes after Floyd’s breathing had stopped and he had no pulse.
Floyd’s death May 25 became a flashpoint in the national conversation about the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement and sparked worldwide protests.