The police officer who was convicted of murder of the African American George Floyd all three of his former colleagues who were present at the scene that day pleaded not guilty today (14/9), at the start of a new trial, this time before a federal court.
Derek Sauvin, 45, has not yet claimed responsibility for the death of Floyd, who had been kneeling on his neck for almost 10 minutes when he tried to arrest him in May 2020 in Minneapolis.
In June this year, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison. In court, his lawyer insisted that his client was simply following police procedures and that Floyd’s death was due to health problems, combined with drug use. However, he failed to convince the jurors.
Sauvin’s three former colleagues, Tu Tao, Alexander Queng and Thomas Lane, will stand trial in Minnesota in March on a charge of “conspiracy to commit murder.”
At the same time, all four are accused by federal justice of “violating the constitutional rights” of George Floyd. They appeared before a federal judge today, via video conference, for this case. At the beginning of the trial, they all pleaded not guilty.
According to the local press, Sauvin is negotiating an agreement with the prosecutor’s office, in order to plead guilty in order to avoid a new trial.