2 ex-MPD officers ask for trial in George Floyd death to be moved, delayed

Two weeks before the scheduled start of their trial, two former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s death are asking a judge to delay their trial and move it out of the county.

According to a motion filed late Monday night, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are asking Judge Peter Cahill to delay their state trial until after they and former officer Thomas Lane — who already pleaded guilty in the state case — are sentenced on their federal convictions. Additionally, the former officers want the trial relocated out of the Twin Cities.

Thao, Kueng and Lane were convicted in federal court earlier this year of violating Floyd’s civil rights. However, their sentencing dates haven’t yet been set.

The state trial for Thao and Kueng is set to begin on June 13. They’re each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Attorneys for the ex-officers argue that not moving the trial out of the Twin Cities after all of the recent publicity would violate the former officers’ right to a fair trial.

If the court doesn’t move the trial out of the Twin Cities, the attorneys say it should be delayed until a year after their federal sentencing so that the pretrial publicity would die down and give the former officers a chance at a fair trial.

The state quickly filed a brief opposing the ex-officers’ motions, saying pretrial publicity doesn’t guarantee an unfair trial and added that the entire state has seen the coverage.