Ex-officer charged in death of George Floyd seeks change of venue

Race in America

FILE – This combination of file photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Prosecutors say they may revisit the issue of audio-visual coverage of the trials of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One of the four ex-Minneapolis police officers charged in the May 25 death of George Floyd is seeking a change of venue.

An attorney for J. Kueng filed documents Thursday saying potentially prejudicial information released by prosecutors has stripped his client’s right to a fair trial. Attorney Tom Plunkett suggested Stearns County as a potential location for the trial.

Kueng is one of four officers charged in the May 25 death of Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Kueng and two other officers, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four were fired.

Plunkett is also asking that the case against Kueng be dismissed, saying there is no probable cause that Kueng committed a crime. Plunkett wrote that the restraint Chauvin used on Floyd was reasonable and that there’s no evidence that shows Keung know Chauvin was committing a crime.

The next hearing in the case is Sept. 11.

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