Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes before he died, appeared in person in court for the first time since the 46-year-old father’s death.
Chauvin has been charged with murder while the other three officers involved, Tou Thao, J. Kueng, and Thomas Lane, are free on bail.
Wearing face mask, handcuffs, and an orange jumpsuit, the 44-year-old was led away by correction officers from the court hearing.
During Friday’s three-hour hearing, the judge removed the prosecutor from the trial and accused him and his team of ‘sloppy work.’
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman was dismissed from the case along with other members of his team.
According to Judge Peter Cahill, the local attorney acted in error by sending his team to talk to the medical examiners after Floyd’s death, without bringing any independent witnesses.
“It was sloppy not to have someone present,” Cahill said. “Those four attorneys are off the case. They are now witnesses.”
The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Floyd, 46, suffered cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by Chauvin.
Autopsy also showed that Floyd had ‘other significant conditions’ including hypertensive heart disease, coronary artery disease, recent methamphetamine use, and fentanyl intoxication.
An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family said he passed away as a result of the way he was restraint. It said that sustained pressure obstructed blood flow to the brain and the officer’s weight obstructed his ability to breathe.
Protesters have long called for the local attorney to be dismissed, saying that Freeman has not pursued the case with sufficient transparency and vigor.
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