While the four officers are alleged to have violated Floyd’s rights by failing to provide medical assistance, Chauvin also faces inappropriate seizure and violence by a police officer violating Floyd’s right to freedom, the AP reported. Thao and Kueng face similar charges of improper seizure for doing nothing to prevent Chauvin from murdering Floyd.
Lane and Kueng’s attorneys argued during the federal hearing that their clients were too new to policing to be held accountable because Lane was still in training and under supervision and Kueng had only been on his third shift unsupervised. “Common sense dictates that a lawman with four days in office is less likely to intervene,” Lane’s attorney Earl Gray said during the hearing.
Common sense should also dictate that if someone repeatedly says he cannot breathe while a full-grown man kneels on his neck, perhaps an alleged civil servant might be forced to intervene. However, Kueng, Thao and Lane were not forced. Only now that they are on trial are the former officers trying to part with Chauvin. Gray said during the AP-covered hearing that “everyone knows Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder,” so a jury would have difficulty finding the other officers innocent.
When asked, prosecutor Manda Sertich stated that the only reason the men weren’t tried together in a regional court was because of space restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is more space in the federal court. She also said the jury will know the men are connected whether or not chauvin is in the room, the Associated Press reported. US Judge Tony Leung said he would make his decision on the matter at a later date.
Chauvin is also expected in federal court Thursday on a separate charge that he kneeled on the neck of a 14-year-old boy in 2017, USA Today reported. And while Chauvin’s brutality continues to unfold in court, a Minnesota judge has ruled that police officers need more time before being held accountable for killing people.
Ramsey County’s judge Leonardo Castro on Monday decided to suspend a law that went into effect in March after police lobbyists sued the governor. Tim Walz, reported the Associated Press. The law removed some of the subjectivity of requiring officials to justify deadly violence with “apparent” death or aggravated assault. Instead, “apparently” was removed, and it was simply dictated that officers justify lethal violence as a means “to protect the peace officer or another from death or major assault,” the AP reported. Law enforcement agencies are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including: the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, Law Enforcement Labor Services Inc., and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
The groups essentially got what they wanted on short notice, which was to postpone implementation of the law until officers could be trained on the new conditions. Their prolonged play attacks the constitutionality of the new law, which plaintiffs believe requires officials to give up their right to refuse themselves. “The public order implications are grave and it is imperative that we get this right,” Castro wrote in the order he received from the Star Tribune.
NEW: A Ramsey County judge has suspended Minnesota law that changed the standard for peace officers to defend the use of deadly force. The old law will be reinstated until the dispute can be completely resolved. pic.twitter.com/Cf8mNn8R1C
– Brian Bakst (@Stowydad) September 13, 2021
He said Law enforcement groups “do not have to wait for any of their members to be charged with a homicide charge before resolving the constitutionality of the provision”.
“The uncertainty and insecurity would be ruthless,” he added. “Also, common sense and common sense dictate that we do not allow police chiefs and sheriffs to prepare and conduct training programs that may be based on an unconstitutional premise is too late.”
It might be worth considering who is being asked to wait instead and what is at risk for them. It’s much more than a criminal complaint.
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