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Officers in the death of George Floyd scheduled to be tried together in January on federal charges

Defense attorneys for three of the former officers were required to establish the presence of prejudice, which a U.S. magistrate judge said they failed to do.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The above video was originally published on Sept. 14, 2021.

A new court order by a U.S. magistrate judge in Minnesota has denied a request by three former Minneapolis officers to be tried independently from Derek Chauvin on federal charges in the death of George Floyd.

Sources close to the case confirm jury selection for the trial is set to begin around Jan. 20.

Chauvin was previously convicted in state court and sentenced by a Hennepin County judge to 22.5 years in prison for Floyd's murder back in June.

All four officers have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges that allege the former officers violated George Floyd's civil rights when he was killed back in May of 2020. 

Defense attorneys filed motions on behalf of former MPD officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane. 

In reaching his decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung concluded that "Joinder of Chauvin, Thao, Kueng, and Lane is appropriate in this federal case given the significant overlap and interplay of the charges against them."

Defense attorneys for each of the former officers were required to establish the presence of prejudice, should they be tried in concert with Derek Chauvin, which judge Leung ultimately concluded they failed to do.

"They have not established a clear likelihood of real prejudice," says Leung. "They speculate, but have not shown, that their defenses will be irreconcilable or that the jury will be unable to compartmentalize the evidence, much of which will be the same whether Chauvin is jointly tried with them or not."

Floyd's death sparked weeks of sustained protests - some of which turned violent - leaving the city of Minneapolis at the epicenter of global calls for racial justice. 

While Derek Chauvin was sentenced by a state judge in the death of Floyd back in June, the other three officers face a separate state trial scheduled tentatively for March 2022.

A trial date for the four former officers on the federal charges has yet to be determined. 

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