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3 ex-Minneapolis cops face possible new charge for George Floyd's death

Activists march through downtown Minneapolis, Minn., on April 19 as the jury deliberates in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI
Activists march through downtown Minneapolis, Minn., on April 19 as the jury deliberates in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- Three former Minneapolis police officers will appear in court Thursday to face a possible new charge related to the death of George Floyd nearly a year ago.

A three-judge appellate panel will conduct the hearing for former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. The three were with former officer Derek Chauvin during Floyd's arrest and death on May 25, 2020.

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Prosecutors will argue that Lane, Kueng and Thao should face a charge of aiding and abetting third-degree murder for not intervening and rendering aid to Floyd. They already face charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Defense attorneys are expected to contend that aiding and abetting must be intentional and should not apply to the officers' actions.

Chauvin was convicted last month on charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He pressed his knee on the back of Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes during the arrest, which prosecutors and experts testified was a contributing factor in his death.

The former officers were scheduled to stand trial in August but a judge pushed the date back to next March. If convicted, each could serve more than 16 years in prison.

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The appellate panel will have up to 90 days to decide whether to add the charge of aiding and abetting.

The same appeals court in March ordered Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill to accept a charge of third-degree murder for Chauvin after the judge initially rejected that count.

Protesters demand justice in police killing of George Floyd

Demonstrators hold a sign in Los Angeles on June 14 for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot by police in her home while she was sleeping. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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