Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, will be tried separately from Tou Thao, 34, Thomas K. Lane, 37, and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, because of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The four former Minneapolis Police Department officers are facing charges in the death of George Floyd.
The decision was made by Judge Peter Cahill in the Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis on January 12, 2021. He changed his original ruling in November 2020 when he decided that the four former MPD officers be tried at the same time.
According to Cahill’s new ruling, jury selection in Chauvin’s trial will be from March 8-26, 2021. The opening statements will start no earlier than March 29, 2021.
Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter for his role. His trial will start on March 8, 2021.
Lane, Thao and Kueng are facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence. They will be tried together starting on August 23, 2021.
Assisted by Kueng and Lane with Thao watching, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. More than an hour later, Floyd was declared dead in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death angered Black Lives Matter supporters and incited anti-police brutality protests across the U.S. On May 26, 2020, the MPD fired Chauvin, Lane, Kueng and Thao.