Jury begins deliberations in the trial of 3 ex-cops in Floyd killing

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — A jury is deliberating in the federal trial of three fired Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with depriving Floyd of his right to medical care when Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as the 46-year-old Black man pleaded for air.

Kueng and Thao are also charged with failing to intervene to stop Chauvin during the May 25, 2020, killing.

The defense says the officers were not trained properly and didn’t willfully violate Floyd’s rights.

Court convened at 9:06 a.m. Wednesday and Judge Paul Magnuson read jury instructions. He explained each charge to the jurors and emphasized that they’re each separate from the others.

He also removed the two remaining alternate jurors but didn’t excuse them from duty yet. They were allowed to leave the courthouse but are on-call and would fill in if one of the jurors got sick during deliberations. In that event, deliberations would have to restart, court staff say.

At 9:53 a.m., Magnuson sent jurors out to begin deliberations.

After jurors left, Kueng’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, asked for a mistrial. Judge Magnuson noted that Plunkett asked for a mistrial and cited prosecutorial misconduct multiple times. He told Plunkett to formally submit his request in written form and will give prosecutors the chance to respond.

The judge and attorneys all left the courtroom at 10 a.m.

Courteney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend, gave the following statement after the jury started deliberating Wednesday morning:

“It’s been a long month … my heart is with Floyd … the prosecution has led an excellent case … if I was a juror, they’d come back guilty … they never rendered aid to Floyd … it was clear to see.”

As jurors began deliberating Wednesday, the judge in the case of the three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights took a step to protect the jurors’ identity.

Judge Paul Magnuson signed an order sealing juror questionnaires and other juror records for at least 10 years.

“The significant public attention this trial has generated, combined with the Court’s assurances to prospective jurors that the information would not be released, mandate such sealing,” the document signed by Magnuson states.

Jurors are still able to speak publicly about the case after a verdict is returned if they desire.

Deliberations are set to continue until 5 p.m. The jurors haven’t yet asked the judge any questions.