Gag order lifted in case of former cops accused of killing George Floyd

Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 21, 2020

Four former officers charged in connection with the death of George Floyd appeared in a Minneapolis court Tuesday. The hearing focused on motions to allow body camera video to be shared, and motions the defendants filed to lift a gag order.

Floyd was killed on May 25 after officers confronted him in Minneapolis. Social media video shows then-officer Derek Chauvin putting his knee on Floyd’s neck to hold him down for several minutes as Floyd says he can’t breathe.

The gag order was lifted at Tuesday’s hearing. Earlier this month, the judge issued a gag order, saying the intent was to limit pretrial publicity in order to have a fair trial. Chauvin’s attorney had argued that many high-profile politicians and leaders had spoken out against Chauvin publicly.

"On the other hand, one would be hard pressed to locate any pretrial publicity referring extensively to Mr. Chauvin’s innocence until proven guilty or that his alleged actions were justifiable in the line of his duties as a Minneapolis Police Officer," attorney Eric Nelson wrote in the motion.

Officers charged in death of George Floyd
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP)

There was no decision on the request to obtain copies of body camera footage of Floyd’s arrest and death.

Chauvin is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death. He appeared via video conferencing from the jail.

Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and Alexander J Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. These officers are accused of helping to keep Floyd down and of preventing bystanders from intervening.