The four disgraced police officers who have been charged in connection to George Floyd’s death are reportedly starting to turn on each other.
While the prosecutors have been pushing for one trial for all four ex-cops, their attorneys have begun to isolate from other defendants and call for separate trials due to the possibility that the accused “are very likely” to present “antagonistic defenses at the trial.”
Following the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder, whereas his colleagues, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin.
As the defendants’ lawyers stated in documents submitted before the Friday court hearing, a joint trial would likely prove problematic due to opposing statements of the defendants.
“There are very likely going to be antagonistic defenses presented at the trial. It is plausible that all officers have a different version of what happened and officers place blame on one another,” Thomas Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said.
As Mr. Gray previously insisted, Chauvin was the one to blame for the incident whereas Lane was just a rookie cop obeying orders of his superior. Similarly, Kueng’s attorney insisted his client was merely following orders.
As Bob Paule, Thao’s attorney, claimed, his client’s role in the incident was “absolutely distinct” from other officers due to his designated job to control the crowd at the scene of the attempted arrest.
Meanwhile, however, Chauvin’s representative, Eric J. Nelson, argued in separate documents that the three officers who were with his client at the scene were at fault for not getting an ambulance to the scene prior to Floyd’s unconsciousness.
As Nelson claimed, Lane and Kueng, who were the first ones to approach Floyd, should have requested for their emergency call to be prioritized after realizing that the suspect was “on something.”
“Instead, they struggled to subdue Mr. Floyd and force him into their squad car, likely exacerbating his condition considerably,” he said.
“If EMS had arrived just three minutes sooner, Mr. Floyd may have survived. If Kueng and Lane had chosen to de-escalate instead of struggle, Mr. Floyd may have survived. If Kueng and Lane had recognized the apparent signs of an opioid overdose and rendered aid, such as administering naloxone, Mr. Floyd may have survived.”
Nelson also claimed that Chauvin didn’t use excessive force while kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and insisted that the victim died of a fentanyl overdose.
“The other defendants are clearly saying that, if a crime was committed, they neither knew about it nor assisted in it. They blame Chauvin,” Nelson wrote.
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