3 cops face complex federal trial in George Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The federal trial for three former Minneapolis police officers who were with Derek Chauvin when he pinned George Floyd to the street is expected to be complex as prosecutors try to prove each officer willingly violated the Black man’s constitutional rights.

Jury selection begins Thursday in the federal case against J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

All three are broadly charged with depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under “color of law,” or government authority.

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Thomas Lane and J. Kueng were the first officers to respond to a report that Floyd had tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, and they helped Chauvin restrain Floyd. Lane and Kueng were rookies just a few days into their jobs as full-fledged officers. Tou Thao was the second-most senior officer on the scene after Chauvin. He held back a group of bystanders shouting at the officers to get off Floyd.

Legal experts say the federal case will be more complicated than a pending state case against the officers, because prosecutors will have the difficult task of proving the men willfully did not take action.