Ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin charged in George Floyd's death heckled and branded 'coward' outside court
As 44-year-old Chauvin, clad in an orange jumpsuit, exited the courthouse, people could be heard hurling abuses at him
HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA: Derek Chauvin, the disgraced Minneapolis ex-cop charged with the second-degree murder of George Floyd, was heckled and branded a "coward" outside the Hennepin County Family Justice Center while he was being escorted by police officers into a corrections department black car on Friday, September 11.
This was the first instance that Chauvin physically showed up in court after making a number of appearances via video link. As 44-year-old Chauvin, clad in an orange jumpsuit, exited the courthouse, people could be heard hurling abuses at him, calling him a "coward', 'a**' and b**ch'. The yelling continued as he walked past a gate, was escorted into the car and driven away with a Hennepin County sheriff’s SUV leading the way and two others trailing behind.
During the court appearance, Judge Peter Cahill said that local prosecutors "have made a show of particular cruelty" in Floyd’s death which happened after Chauvin was seen kneeling on the victim's neck for nearly nine minutes in a viral video on May 25. The judge added that it could be an "aggravating factor" if the ex-cops are convicted and can potentially lead to lengthier sentences for the convicts.
The Hennepin County medical examiner's office deduced that Floyd suffered cardiopulmonary arrest as he was restrained by Chauvin. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman as well as three of his colleagues were removed from the case after it was discovered that Freeman made a mistake by sending his staff to speak to the medical examiners without having any independent witness present. "It was sloppy not to have someone present," the judge said.
Apart from Chauvin, the other three cops who were present at the scene of Floyd's death and have since been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting — Thomas Lane, J Kueng and Tou Thao — were also present at the court. Chauvin is being held in custody while the other three are out on bail. Following the hearing, lawyers for Floyd’s family spoke at a press conference where they denied the statement of the defendant's legal team that the black man died of an overdose.
"The only overdose was an overdose of police force," the Floyd family’s lawyer Ben Crump said. "The world saw what happened." Earl Gray, who represents Lane, said in a legal motion obtained by the Washington Post that the four former officers did not have the same understanding of who was in charge during the May 25 incident. "It is plausible that all officers have a different version of what happened and officers place blame on one another," he wrote.
Meanwhile, protesters who had gathered outside the courthouse on Friday staged a "die-in" where they lay on the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds, which is considered the amount of time that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck before the latter's death.
The Minnesota attorney general’s office filed a "notice of intent to offer other evidence" on Thursday with the Hennepin County District Court. To prove that Chauvin used exessive force on Floyd during his arrest, prosecutors are all set to cite prior incidents in his career where he reportedly used aggressive policing techniques.