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Judge Kicks ‘Sloppy’ Lead Prosecutor off Case in George Floyd Murder Trial

Judge Kicks ‘Sloppy’ Lead Prosecutor off Case in George Floyd Murder Trial
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Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill on Friday disqualified Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and three additional lawyers from his office from participating in the George Floyd case, branding their work “sloppy.”

Star-Tribune reports:

That news was broken in tweets by WCCO and KARE television reporters covering a hearing Friday at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center. […]

According to the television reporters covering the hearing from an overflow room, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill decided to disqualify Freeman and his staff from the case, calling their work “sloppy” because they sent prosecutors to question the medical examiner, making them witnesses in the case.

Other Hennepin County Attorney’s Office lawyers are still allowed to work on the prosecution of the former police officers, the judge said.

Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Chauvin, who is in custody, appeared in person for the first time, after attending previous hearings via videoconference. He didn’t make eye contact with any of the defendants as he arrived, but Kueng looked at him as he passed and Lane glanced over.

In recent weeks, the officers have blamed each other for Floyd’s death and have requested separate trials.

“If EMS had arrived just three minutes sooner, Mr. Floyd may have survived. If Kueng and Lane had chosen to de-escalate instead of struggle, Mr. Floyd may have survived. If Kueng and Lane had recognized the apparent signs of an opioid overdose and rendered aid, such as administering naloxone, Mr. Floyd may have survived,” Eric Nelson, an attorney for Chauvin, said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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