George Floyd killing: Prosecution rests in federal trial of 3 ex-officers

Screenshot from body camera.
Body camera video from former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao shows bystanders repeatedly plead with officers to get off of George Floyd.
Courtesy of Hennepin County District Court

Updated 4:50 p.m.

Prosecutors have rested their case against the three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights.

Jurors listened to more than three weeks of testimony in the case. Darnella Frazier, who was a teenager when she recorded Floyd's death while in police custody in May 2020, was the last witness for the government.

On the stand Monday afternoon, she recalled how she came across the scene and heard Floyd telling officers that he couldn't breathe.

The three defendants — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — will now have their opportunity to present their cases. Thao has said that he will testify in his defense. Kueng told Judge Paul Magnuson that he will also testify in his own defense. Defense attorney Earl Gray, who previously said Lane would testify, wants the night to talk about it.

Earlier Monday, a police use-of-force expert testified the conduct of the ex-officers was “inconsistent with generally accepted policing practices.”

Timothy Longo has been a police officer for four decades. He said that the defendants failed in their duty to intervene and that the use of force on Floyd wasn’t justified.

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J. Alexander Kueng, from left, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota shows (from left) J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP

"It’s not an individual duty, it’s a collective duty,” Longo testified of the officers’ duty to intervene. “The contour of that responsibility isn’t shaped by years of service or rank or anything like that, the contours are shaped by the duties and responsibilities of a law enforcement officer.

Longo also testified that he didn’t see any evidence that Floyd presented a threat to the officers. Sounding exasperated, Longo also said he had no idea why Floyd was put into the prone position on the concrete. 

All three defendants are charged with failing to provide medical care to Floyd. Thao and Kueng are also charged with failing to intervene with Derek Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd. 

George Floyd Officers Civil Rights
In this image from a police body camera, bystanders including Darnella Frazier (third from right, filming) witness as then Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on George Floyd's neck for several minutes, killing Floyd on May 25, 2020.
Minneapolis Police Department via AP 2020

Prosecutors last week called a number of police training and medical experts. The police training experts testified that the defendants did not follow their training or Minneapolis police policies when they failed to give Floyd CPR after he stopped breathing. Medical experts testified that Floyd died of asphyxia caused by Chauvin’s knee on his neck and the officers holding him in the prone position for more than nine minutes. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.