The family of George Floyd and their attorneys spoke to a cheering crowd of protesters Friday (Sept. 11) outside a downtown Minneapolis courthouse after the four former officers accused in his death appeared in a pretrial hearing.
At the hearing, special prosecutor Neal Katyal argued that all four former officers "acted together" in causing Floyd's death, while defense lawyers strongly opposed the prosecution's bid for a joint trial.
Keith Ellison, the Attorney General, whose office took the lead of the prosecution, was present in the court as well.
Beyond the question of the guilt of the four agents, the trial, which is due to open on March 8 2021, will also be that of the methods of arrest of the American police, at the heart of many mistakes. A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, has requested access for cameras, arguing that they will increase transparency, especially with the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic may restrict access to court proceedings for the media and spectators. Freeman has always been out of favor with local activists for the way his office has handled cases against police officers.
More than 100 protesters gathered outside the Family Justice Centre in Minneapolis, which was barricaded with a fence and concrete blocks, chanting "Black lives matter", "no justice, no peace" and "indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail".
"The only overdose that killed George Floyd was excessive force", said his family's attorney Benjamin Crump countered to a crowd of demonstrators and reporters.
Nelson compared Floyd's behaviour in both arrests, saying: "Clearly, Mr Floyd had a modus operandi in the way he acted when approached by police officers while attempting to hide narcotics".
However, Chauvin also had his fair share of finger-pointing in place. One carried a Black Lives Matter flag and wore a black helmet with swim goggles around the back of his head. They failed to elevate this call as an urgent one or gave any medical assistance. As the hearing neared its end, a loud and large crowd gathered outside the court.
"If EMS had arrived just three minutes sooner, Mr. Floyd may have survived".
"Mr. Floyd was, as the Officers had suspected, an addict", Earl Gray wrote in a motion asking for charges to be dropped against Lane.
"If Kueng and Lane had recognised the apparent signs of an opioid overdose and rendered aid, such as administering naloxone, Mr Floyd may have survived", Mr Nelson wrote.
"It is a blatant attempt to kill George Floyd a second time".
They're trying to claim some asinine theory about a overdose. While some started beating the drums, others started chanting anti-police statements and slogans.
"The one thing I want is accountability", he continued.
The attorneys also requested the trial to be moved from the Minneapolis court to someplace else, given the fact that the pretrial publicity related to the case has made it particularly impossible for the accused to get a fair court trial.
Both the defendants and the prosecutors were split regarding the decision for the jury to remain anonymous. Some lawyers said they have received angry calls from people who think their clients are guilty, and expressed fear that jurors would be subject to coercion if their names become public during the trial.
While a blame-the-victim approach might seem questionable to some, Lewis said a defence lawyer's job "is not to foster racial harmony or to further criminal justice reform".