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Grand jury selected for federal trial in George Floyd’s murder – San Bernardino Sun

By AMY FORLITI and STEVE KARNOWSKI

ST. Paul, Minn. (AP) – A grand jury was selected Thursday for a federal trial against three Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd, with the judge repeatedly stressing that Officer Derek’s colleague Chauvin was found guilty of state murder and pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation that would not affect the proceedings.

J. Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are accused of broadly depriving Floyd of his citizenship while acting under the government’s orders when Chauvin pushed the Black man into the street with his knee. Separately, they are charged before state court with aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter in a video-recorded murder that has sparked worldwide protests, violence and scrutiny. policy and racism.

Jury selection takes just one day for the federal trial.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson questioned potential jurors in groups to obtain a panel of 40 who answered an extensive questionnaire. Each side then uses its challenges to attack the jurors until they are down to 18 people – 12 will weigh in and six take their place.

By comparison, at Chauvin’s state trial, the judge and attorneys questioned each juror individually and spent more than two weeks choosing a panel.

Magnuson told potential jurors that they should be able to decide the case based on its own evidence, ignoring anything else. He singled out a number of jurors by number and explicitly asked them if they could do so, saying he was “beating and beating and beating” because state law and different federations and he wanted to make sure they could be objective.

Legal experts say the federal trial will be more complicated than the state trial, scheduled for June 13, as prosecutors in the case have the daunting task of proving the officers. authorities knowingly violated Floyd’s constitutional rights – unreasonably arresting him and depriving him of his liberty without due process. .

Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor, said prosecutors must prove that officers should have done something to stop Chauvin, rather than they did something directly to Floyd.

Among the jurors from which Magnuson was excused was a man who said he had trouble watching video of Floyd’s arrest. Several other defense jurors say they cannot be impartial, including one man who said his faith prevents him from judging a person.

A woman has been exonerated after she said she struggled with vandalism in the community. Magnuson later said that he understood such concerns about “anarchy in the streets” but “that fear is out of control in the courtroom.”

The jury pool was chosen from across the state – more conservative and much less diverse than the Minneapolis area from which the jury for Chauvin’s state trial was drawn. That jury is divided equally between whites and non-whites. A federal court denied a request for demographic information about jurors in a civil rights trial.

Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 and a half minutes while Floyd was face down, handcuffed and gasping for air. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held him back. Thao does not allow outsiders to interfere.

A statement from attorneys for Floyd’s family on Thursday said the video outside shows the three officers “directly contributing to (Floyd’s) death and did not intervene to prevent the senseless killing” and that families expect them to be held accountable.

Several activists gathered in front of the court to call for convictions.

Courteney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend said at the time of his death: “Considering the fact that he groaned in pain, that he couldn’t breathe for several minutes straight until he passed, I believe the fact that they denied his citizenship,” said Courteney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend at the time of his death. . “I ask for justice and I hope people remember what they did that day.”

Federal prosecutors face a high legal standard for showing that an officer knowingly takes away someone’s constitutional rights. Basically, prosecutors have to prove that the officers knew what they were doing was wrong, but still did it.

Magnuson said he expected the trial to last four weeks.

Kueng, Lane and Thao were all charged with knowingly depriving an officer of immunity from an officer who was intentionally indifferent to his medical needs. The indictment says that the three men found Floyd in need of medical attention and were unable to help him.

Thao and Kueng were also charged with a second count of intentionally violating Floyd’s right not to be arrested without cause by failing to stop Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. It’s not clear why Lane wasn’t mentioned among them, but evidence suggests he asked twice whether Floyd should lie on his side.

Both charges allege the actions of officers led to Floyd’s death.

Such violations of federal civil rights can result in life imprisonment or even the death penalty, but such rigid sentences are extremely rare and federal sentencing guidelines indicate that officers will receive get much less if convicted.

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Associated Press writer Tammy Webber contributes from Fenton, Michigan.

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Find the full AP report on the killing of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd

https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/20/jury-selected-for-federal-trial-over-george-floyds-killing/ Grand jury selected for federal trial in George Floyd’s murder – San Bernardino Sun

Tom Vazquez

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