Ex-cops accused of violating Floyd's rights plead not guilty

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Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a federal hearing that included arguments on several pretrial motions, including requests to hold separate trials. A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in May for
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Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a federal hearing that included arguments on several pretrial motions, including requests to hold separate trials.

A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in May for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority on May 25, 2020, as Floyd, 46, was held face-down, handcuffed and not resisting in a restraint that was captured on bystander video. His death led to worldwide protests and calls for change in policing.

All four of the men appeared at the hearing remotely via videoconference. Chauvin, wearing a plain T-shirt, appeared from a small room in the state's maximum security prison, where he is serving a 22 1/2-year sentence for murder in Floyd's death. The other three men appeared remotely alongside their attorneys.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung asked each man separately how he would plea, and each clearly responded: "Not guilty."

The hearing also addressed roughly 40 pretrial motions, though many were similar. Most of the motions were routine, such as agreeing when names of witnesses would be disclosed. But Leung heard oral arguments on two issues, and ordered attorneys to file additional written arguments on those motions.

Attorneys for Lane and Kueng asked the judge to remove language from the indictment that says their clients had been police officers since December 2019. Earl Gray, Lane's attorney, said his client was still in training and remained under supervision for months. Gray…
Associated Press
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