The jury will meet the next day in a police trial for Floyd’s murder

ST. Paul, Minion (AP) – A jury on Thursday was set to resume trials over three former Minneapolis police officers accused of violating George Floyd’s civil rights after a first day of sentencing.

The jury gathered for about seven hours on Wednesday, without deciding the charges against J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Tao. All three are accused of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care when fellow officer Derek Chauvin pressed a 46-year-old black man to the ground for 9 and a half minutes with a knee around Floyd’s neck.

Kueng and Tao are also accused of failing to intervene in the events of May 25, 2020, a murder filmed on video that sparked protests around the world and a review of racism and police.

Prosecutors told jurors during their closing arguments that three officers “decided to do nothing” when Shaven squeezed the life out of a 46-year-old black man. Defendants argued that the officers were too inexperienced, untrained, and intentionally violated Floyd’s rights.

All 12 jurors – eight women and four men – look white, although the court did not release demographics such as race or age. A woman who appears to be of Asian descent was released on Tuesday without explanation; a man who seems to be of Asian descent, remains as an alternative if one of the current 12 cannot continue.

Lane is white, Queng is black, and Tao is an American Hmong.

This is in stark contrast to the jury that heard the state murder case against Cheven. This jury was half white and half non-white.

The federal jury pool was selected from across the state, which includes areas much more conservative and less diverse than the Minneapolis district from which the Shaven jury was selected. Shaven was found guilty of murder and manslaughter, and later pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges.

Alan Zurkheimer, a jury adviser from Chicago, said potential jurors with obvious extreme views on the case were likely weeded out during the jury selection. But the geographical composition of the final 12 may matter.

“The more suburban, more rural, less populated, the more respectful the police are,” said Zurkheimer, who has lived in Minnesota for several years. “I think the defendants were aiming for that: when you expand a pool outside the subway, you tend to attract people who are a little more sympathetic (police).”

During the month-long trial, prosecutors tried to show that officers violated training, including when they failed to turn Floyd aside and not do CPR for him. They claimed that Floyd’s condition was so severe that even passers-by without basic medical training could see that he needed help.

But the defense said the training of the Minneapolis Police Department was insufficient and that officers considered Shaven as a senior officer at the scene.

Shavin and Tao went to the scene to help newcomers Kueng and Lane after they answered a call that Floyd had used a counterfeit $ 20 bill at a store on the corner. Floyd was fighting officers when they tried to put him in a police SUV.

Tao watched passers-by and vehicles as Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back while Lane held him by the legs.

Lawyer Tao said his client thought the officers were doing what they thought was best for Floyd – holding him until paramedics arrived. Kuenga’s lawyer said police were not properly prepared for the duty to intervene. And Lane’s lawyer said his client offered to turn Floyd on his side so he could breathe, but Shaven twice refused.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnusson conducted the counts on Wednesday, telling jurors what they should consider. For example, he identified reasonable force and said that if jurors believe that Shavin used unreasonable force – and that Tao and Kueng had a realistic opportunity to intervene to stop it – they must acknowledge that they deprived Floyd of the right to be free from unreasonable force under with the Constitution.

Jurors are not isolated – isolated from outside influences that may sway their opinion – which is sometimes done when they stay in hotels during a discussion. They are allowed to watch videos from the scene and view other evidence as much as they want during the discussion.

Federal civil rights violations that result in death are punishable by life imprisonment or even death, but these sentences are extremely rare, and federal sentencing guidelines suggest that officers will receive much less if convicted.

Lane, Kueng and Tao also face a separate trial in June on state charges that they facilitated murder and manslaughter.


Weber reported from Fenton, Michigan. Associated Press writer Doug Glass contributed from Minneapolis.


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