MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two of three Minneapolis police officers accused of aiding and abetting in the death of George Floyd were rookies barely off probation when a more senior white officer ignored the black man's cries for help and pressed a knee into his neck, defense attorneys said Thursday.
Earl Gray said his client, former Officer Thomas Lane, had no choice but to follow the instructions of Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder in Floyd's May 25 death. Gray called the case against his client “extremely weak.”
A judge set bail at $750,000 apiece for Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, when they made their first appearances in Hennepin County District Court Thursday. Simultaneously, and just blocks away , celebrities, friends and relatives gathered to memorialize Floyd at a Bible college.
The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers last week and charged Chauvin — initially with third-degree murder — the following day. But protests that began on the streets of Minneapolis quickly spread across the nation, calling for justice for Floyd and other African Americans who were killed by police.