Civil Rights Trial Over George Floyd’s Death Halted After Defendant Tests Positive For Covid



The federal trial for three former Minneapolis Police Department officers accused of violating George Floyd’s civil rights will be suspended until next week because one of the defendants tested positive for coronavirus, the judge announced Wednesday.

Key Facts

District Court Judge Paul Magnuson said the trial would not resume until Monday.

He did not disclose which of the defendants has the virus, but only one of the men—Thomas Lane—was not present in the courtroom Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press.

The trial is still in its early days, and the court just began hearing testimony last week.

Key Background

Federal prosecutors say that Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao violated Floyd’s constitutional rights by depriving him of his liberty without due process when they failed to give him medical aid while their colleague, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck and back for nine minutes during Floyd’s arrest in 2020. Chauvin—who was convicted of murdering Floyd last year—initially pled not guilty to the civil rights violations, but switched his plea last month and is awaiting sentencing. Kueng, Lane and Thao pled not guilty. Kueng and Thao were also charged with failing to stop Chauvin from using excessive force.

Further Reading

Three Officers Charged In George Floyd’s Death Face First Trial — Here’s All The Ways They’re Being Prosecuted (Forbes)

Trial of 3 cops in Floyd killing delayed by COVID diagnosis (Associated Press)

Derek Chauvin Pleads Guilty To Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights In Federal Case (Forbes)

DOJ Charges Four Ex-Cops With Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights During Fatal Arrest (Forbes)