What We Learn on Day 1 of the Trial of the 3 Officers in the Death of George Floyd

ImageThe Warren E. Burger Federal Building where the trial is taking place in St. Paul, Minn.
Credit…Aaron Nesheim for The New York Times

ST. Paul, Minn. – A federal prosecutor said Monday that three former Minneapolis police officers ignored their duties when their colleague, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee to George Floyd’s neck until he died. .

Samantha Trepel, a federal prosecutor, said in the opening statement Monday morning during the federal civil rights trial against three officers for their role in Mr. Floyd’s murder.

When he said 25 times that he couldn’t breathe, the prosecutor said, officers “did not lift a finger” to help Mr. Floyd.

Speaking live, Ms. Trepel guided the jury through legislation that would require police officers to intervene when they see a colleague use excessive force. She explained that under the Constitution, officers are required to protect detainees and intervene if they see another officer abusing a suspect.

“Not doing so is a crime,” she said.

While delivering her opening argument before the grand jury, Ms. Trepel gave a preview of how the prosecution plans to present her case in the coming weeks. She said many police officers will testify about the training officers receive in intervention duties, and about the dangers of facing a suspect in handcuffs, as they did. with Mr. Floyd.

Witnesses who witnessed Mr Floyd’s arrest, some of whom testified at Mr Chauvin’s state murder trial last year, will also take a stand, she said, and describe the “murder”. slow motion person they are watching”.

Ms. Trepel instructed the jury to consider the actions of each defendant and displayed a still image from the city’s surveillance camera showing four officers accompanying Mr. Floyd as they arrested him on Memorial Day in May. 2020.

She started with Tou Thao, 36 years old, Chauvin’s associate and a veteran officer. When Mr. Chauvin put his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, Mr. Thao kept the crowd of onlookers away from the scene. Ms. Trepel said that Mr. Thao both wanted to see what Mr. Chauvin was doing and was told by bystanders that Mr. Floyd was suffering.

Two other former officers are new recruits: Thomas Lane, 38, who was resting on Mr. Floyd’s leg; and J. Alexander Kueng, 28, who backed Mr. Floyd.

Ms. Trepel said that being a rookie was no excuse in this case, and suggested that since they are rookies, the training they receive in both the use of force and the duty to intervene should be fresh. in their minds – although it can be “embarrassing and uncomfortable” to criticize a fellow officer.

Ms. Trepel concluded by telling the jury that she was confident that after all the evidence was presented, they would find the defendants guilty of “choosing to do nothing and watch a man die”. . What We Learn on Day 1 of the Trial of the 3 Officers in the Death of George Floyd

Fry Electronics Team

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