MINNEAPOLIS — Three former Minneapolis police officers charged with federal civil rights violations in George Floyd’s death will go on trial Jan. 20.
The trial date was given Thursday in a docket filing, with proceedings to be held in St. Paul. Court records in November showed that juror summonses had gone out for that date, but the new filing was the first official confirmation of it.
Tou Thao, J. Kueng and Thomas Lane will stand trial about nine months after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. His killing was captured on video by a bystander and galvanized protests against police brutality around the U.S. and beyond.
Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for up to 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd, who was Black, gasped that he couldn’t breathe and eventually went limp.
Thao, Kueng and Lane will stand trial this spring on separate state charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death, but the federal trial will come first. They are charged broadly in the federal case with depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority.
According to evidence in the state case against Chauvin, Kueng and Lane helped restrain the 46-year-old Floyd as he was on the ground. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs. Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening as he was restrained.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years on his state convictions. He pleaded guilty last month to a single federal charge in Floyd’s death but hasn’t been sentenced yet for that crime. Federal prosecutors are seeking a 25-year prison term.