The former officers — Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — face one count each of failing to provide Mr Floyd with medical aid while Derek Chauvin placed his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes while he was facedown, handcuffed and gasping for air.
Mr Lane – as well as members of the Floyd family – are expected to testify over the course of the trial. On Tuesday, Judge Paul Magnuson barred Mr Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross, who was listed as a witness, from testifying at trial after she gave a press conference on Monday.
Mr Thao and Mr Kueng are also charged with failing to stop Chauvin’s use of force.
The three officers have pleaded not guilty.
Good morning! Welcome to the Independent’s live blog on the federal trial of three former officers over the George Floyd killing.
Full encounter between police and George Floyd shown to jury
The trial of three police officers involved in George Floyd’s death began on Monday where jurors were shown videos of officers approaching and struggling with the man moments before he died.
In the videos, the officers were seen arriving at the spot where J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane arrived first. The men were seen putting Floyd on the ground and he is visibly struggling and says he cannot breathe.
The camera showed Mr Lane holding Floyd’s legs, while Mr Kueng knelt on his back. Shortly after, Floyd falls silent.
Videos shot by bystanders showed people gathering around the scene, shouting at the officers.
The videos for the jurors have been stitched together from body-worn cameras and from bystanders clippings.
Another video by the officers shows EMS arriving as officers put an unresponsive Floyd into an ambulance.
The court entered the recess after the videos were shown to the jury.
Officers chose not to protect George Floyd, says prosecutor
In her opening statements, prosecutor Samantha Trepel accused the three Minneapolis officers of silently watching George Floyd die and doing nothing to save him.
“For second after second, minute after minute, these three CPR-trained defendants stood or knelt next to Officer Chauvin as he slowly killed George Floyd right in front of them,” Ms Trepel told the court.
She added: “They chose not to protect George Floyd, the man they had handcuffed and placed in their custody”.
“We will ask you to hold these men accountable for choosing to do nothing and watch a man die,” Ms Trepel, who works for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said.
She also told the court the videos showed how one of the officers Mr Thao stood directly next to the accused Derek Chauvin and taunted Floyd for using drugs instead of intervening.
Mr Thao, prosecutor told the bystanders, “This is why you don’t use drugs”.
Thomas Lane: What do we know about the Minneapolis police officer?
One of the three officers standing in trial include Thomas Lane, who was present at the spot when George Floyd was assaulted and killed.
A member of the Minneapolis Police Department since early 2019, Mr Lane was seen pulling a gun on Floyd within 15 seconds of approaching him in a parked car.
Mr Lane and another officer J Alexander Kueng held Floyd handcuffed inside a police car as they waited for Derek Chauvin to arrive at the scene.
After Floyd was placed face down on the ground, Mr Lane held his legs while Mr Kueng knelt into his back, evidence showed.
The body-mounted video camera showed Mr Lane asking twice whether Mr Floyd should be turned on his side.
He is one of the three officers accused of failing to give medical treatment to Mr Floyd. The other officers face a second count of violating Flyod’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure.
Alex Woodward has the full report here
Who is J Alexander Kueng, the former officer facing federal charges in George Floyd’s death?
Former officers J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao have been broadly charged with depriving George Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority.
This comes nine months after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering the 46-year-old in 2020.
Mr Kueng, who is Black, was present at the spot and is the youngest among all the officers.
He, along with Mr Thao, is accused of failing to stop Chauvin and failing to help Floyd.
Read the full story here
What are the charges against the three officers on federal trial over George Floyd’s death?
J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, who were all fired from Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, are standing trial on charges that they violated the Black man’s civil rights during the deadly arrest back on Memorial Day 2020.
All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were indicted by a federal grand jury on the civil rights charges - which are effectively hate crime charges - together with Chauvin last May.
Rachel Sharp reports:
thomas lane tou thao J Alexander Kueng trial
George Floyd officers trial: Defence says Derek Chauvin ‘called all of the shots’ in Black man’s killing
A defence attorney for one of the three former police officers charged in connection to George Floyd’s murder has claimed that convicted killer Derek Chauvin “called all of the shots” during the deadly encounter.
Tom Plunkett, the lawyer for J Alexander Kueng, sought to pin all the blame for Mr Floyd’s death on Chauvin as he gave his opening statements in the federal trial on Monday.
Mr Plunkett said that Mr Kueng was only a rookie cop when he was involved in the fatal arrest of the Black man outside a convenience store in Minneapolis back on 25 May 2020.
Rachel Sharp has more:
Three officers ‘watched as George Floyd died a slow and agonising death’, says prosecutor in opening statement
Three former police officers “watched as George Floyd died a slow and agonising death” and failed to intervene as Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck “for nine minutes and 29 seconds”, a court in Minnesota heard on Monday.
Prosecutor Samantha Trepel began opening statements on Monday morning in the federal trial of Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng on charges of violating Mr Floyd’s civil rights during his fatal arrest on Memorial Day 2020.
Ms Trepel told jurors that the three officers failed in a “fundamental element of policing” to care for the Black man while he was in their custody and “chose not to act” to stop fellow officer Chauvin murdering him.
Read more here:
Opening statements began on Monday in the federal trial of Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng
Tou Thao: Former Minneapolis police officer faces federal charges in George Floyd’s killing
On 21 April, 2021, former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd on Memorial Day in 2020, a death that sparked a wave of international protests against police violence.
A federal jury trial now underway will determine whether the three other now-former officers who were on the scene that day – Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – are guilty of violating Mr Floyd’s constitutional rights for failing to come to his aid. They have pleaded not guilty.
The men were indicted by a federal grand jury along with Chauvin last year; as part of a plea agreement, Chauvin must serve a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 25 years in prison.
Alex Woodward has more:
Now-former officer kept bystanders away from the scene as George Floyd called for help
Monday’s argument: Prosecutors ask jurors to ‘hold these men accountable for choosing to do nothing’
Prosecutor Samantha Trepel distilled the federal government’s argument against the three officers accused of failing to provide aid to George Floyd while another officer pinned him down with his knee against his neck for more than nine minutes.
“We will ask that you hold these men accountable for choosing to do nothing,” she said to close her opening argument on Monday.
Defense attorneys have conceded that “the events that occurred that day are indeed a tragedy,” former officer Tou Thao’s attorney Robert Paule said.
But he added: “The fact that something ends tragically does not mean a crime has been committed."
Defense attorney have denied a critical question in the trial – that the men “willfully” deprived Floyd his constitutional rights. Attorneys argued that the men did not receive adequate training, pinning the blame on the department itself, while following “the shots” called by Derek Chauvin, the senior officer on the scene.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies