Three of the four former Minneapolis cops charged in George Floyd’s alleged murder just went in front of a judge for the first time since their arrest.
J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao appeared Thursday in Hennepin County District Court, and the judge set their bail at $1 million for each.
Attorneys for Kueng and Lane tried to shift the blame to Derek Chauvin, noting the 2 officers were rookies and Chauvin was a 19-year veteran. Lane’s attorney said his client asked if they should roll Floyd on his side, but claims Chauvin said no. Instead, he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
The attorney asked the judge, “What was [Lane] supposed to do … go up to Mr. Chauvin, grab him and throw him off?” He also said that Lane and Kueng had to refer to Chauvin as “sir” … presumably in deference to his seniority. Lane’s attorney also said Lane performed CPR on Floyd inside the ambulance.
The judge said all 3 could post a lower bail amount of $750k each if they agreed to additional bail conditions. A future court date for all three former officers was set for June 29.
As we reported … Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison charged Kueng, Lane and Thao Wednesday with one count each of aiding and abetting 2nd-degree murder and aiding and abetting 2nd-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin was arrested last week and initially charged by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office with 3rd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter.
But, the Minnesota AG, who is now heading the investigation and prosecution, filed an additional count of 2nd-degree murder against Chauvin, who is now facing 40 years in prison — the maximum penalty for 2nd-degree murder.
Chauvin is yet to go before a judge … and his first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
As you know … Floyd was killed during a Memorial Day arrest, which saw Chauvin press his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes.