MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors have revealed that they offered plea deals to three former Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd, but say the defendants rejected them.
Judge Peter Cahill held a Monday evening hearing mostly to consider whether he has the authority to allow live video coverage of the upcoming trial set for former Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng.
Lead prosecutor Matthew Frank did not disclose details of the plea offers in open court. But he says they were identical and were made in March after a jury convicted the three in a separate trial in February on federal civil rights charges stemming from Floyd’s death.
Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, and Chauvin Trial
It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.
George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression.
After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.
A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe."
The now historic response began the following day.