Judge issues gag order in Floyd case against former Minneapolis police officers

Ex-cop Thomas Lane, second from right, stands beside his defense attorney.
In this courtroom sketch, former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, second from right, stands beside his defense attorney, Earl Gray, right wearing glasses, during a hearing before Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill in Minneapolis, Monday, June 29, 2020.
Cedric Hohnstadt via AP

A Hennepin County judge issued a gag order Thursday preventing lawyers from discussing the George Floyd case publicly.

At least two attorneys representing the former police officers charged in Floyd’s death talked with reporters Wednesday about the case, according to the filing.

In his order, Judge Peter Cahill wrote that pretrial publicity will taint the jury pool and could result in an unfair trial.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges after kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest in May. The other ex-officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, are charged with aiding and abetting. 

This week, Lane’s attorney Earl Gray filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him. The filing included a transcript of body camera footage, which detailed the last moments before Floyd was taken to the hospital.

Cahill’s order emphasized that the gag order doesn’t prevent the public from accessing public documents as the case against the former officers continues. He also indicated that exhibits, which could include footage from the body cameras, would be available to the public.

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