A judge has ruled that information on George Floyd’s previous arrests will not be allowed at the trials of four former Minneapolis police officers who are charged in connection with his death, CBS News reported.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill also ruled that jurors will, however, be allowed to hear details of two previous incidents involving former officer Derek Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, according to an order dated Monday.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death, while his former co-workers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting. They were all fired and have all pleaded not guilty.
Floyd died after an arrest in which he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground while Chauvin’s knee was on his neck. In a video, which has been seen around the world, Floyd repeatedly tells officers he can’t breathe. His death sparked international protests.
Prosecutors initially asked the judge to allow them to talk about seven times Chauvin has used neck, head and upper body restraints. Cahill ruled they can only bring up a June 2017 incident when Chauvin used his knee to restrain a woman on the ground, CBS reported. They were also granted permission to speak on an August 2017 incident in which Chauvin allegedly used a stun-gun on an intoxicated and suicidal male after placing him in a “side-recovery” position, the news station reported.
In that incident, the state said: "Officers involved in the response received a commendation for their appropriate efforts and received feedback from medical professionals that, if officers had prolonged their detention of the male or failed to transport the male to the hospital in a timely manner, the male could have died,” according to USA Today.
Thomas Lane's attorney described Floyd as an ex-convict, a violent defendant and a liar in court documents, CBS News reported.
Defense attorneys for the officers asked the judge to present details of Floyd's 2007 conviction for aggravated robbery in Harris County, Texas, as well as his 2019 arrest by Minneapolis police, but were denied, according to reports.
Chauvin’s trial is set for March 8, while the trials for the other officers are scheduled for August.