MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Attorneys representing three of the fired Minneapolis police officers in the George Floyd case say the prosecution's plan to introduce more evidence regarding the former officers' previous bad actions further proves their point for four separate cases.
Friday morning, the state filed an amended notice of intent to offer other evidence. They claim some of the evidence will help show previous acts of misconduct by the former officers, while other evidence will demonstrate in similar cases to Floyd's they followed protocol and had knowledge of proper training.
For Derek Chauvin, the state points to several other cases they claim he used "more force than was reasonably necessary" when restraining subjects. In one case as recent as 2019, the state claims Chauvin used a neck restraint on a male, who became unconscious. The state said these instances would be used to show Chauvin had a modus operandi.
Regarding Tou Thao, prosecutors listed multiple incidents of alleged misconduct reported by his field training officer. This included speaking to civilians in a manner that was "attempting to talk his way out of [filing] legitimate reports.” The alleged incidents largely happened in 2012, when Thao first returned to the force after being laid off due to budget cuts in 2009. The state claims this evidence would help prove intent because it shows he didn't intervene in the Floyd arrest because he "would have had to do more work."
For Kueng, the state pointed to a prior case which showed he had proper knowledge of how a person should be restrained. Additional possible evidence against Thomas Lane was not included in the filing. Both Kueng and Lane were rookie officers, thus both had shorter histories with the department.
The attorneys representing Chauvin, Thao and Kueng each filed a response saying if the state wants to use the Spreigl evidence, or evidence of other bad acts, then the four cases should not be joined, as the state has requested. They argue since the evidence doesn't apply for all four defendants this shows the former officers did not act in close concert with each other. The defense teams say the evidence could bring possible prejudice to their clients as the co-defendants could use the evidence in their own defenses.
All four defense teams have previously argued against joining the case, arguments which were heard on Sept. 11. Following that hearing, the judge had 90 days to make his decision.