'The Death of George Floyd': Case details, accused and all you need to know about Court TV's coverage on trials of Minneapolis ex-cops

The four officers involved in Floyd's unfair death were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, charged with his murder and are awaiting trial


                            'The Death of George Floyd': Case details, accused and all you need to know about Court TV's coverage on trials of Minneapolis ex-cops
(Getty Images)

The disturbing incident that transpired in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, rocked the whole world and sparked one of the largest protests the United States has seen. George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers when one of them kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes. The gut-wrenching video of the incident, where he Floyd was repeatedly heard telling the officers 'I can't breathe' and calling out to his mother as he breathed his last, surfaced over the internet later in the day. By the next morning rankled Americans had taken to the streets in thousands protesting against police brutality, systemic racism and simultaneously demanding justice for Floyd.

The four officers involved in Floyd's unfair death were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, charged with his murder and awaiting trial. Now Court TV is giving us access to the upcoming trials in a segment titled, 'The Death of George Floyd'. Here is what you need to know about it. 

Release date

The airing date has not been announced as of yet. Please watch this space for updates. 

Case

Four former Minneapolis police officers — Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — will be tried in the death of George Floyd. They were responding to a call about a $20 counterfeit bill on May 25 when the detained Floyd, who later died while in police custody. Derek Chauvin, the man featured in the gruesome video with his knee on Floyd's neck is facing charges of second-degree and third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder. 

Accused

Derek Chauvin

In this handout provided by Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mugshot after being charged in the death of George Floyd (Getty Images)

Chauvin was a police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department for nearly 19 years. According to a department internal affairs public summary, at least 18 prior complaints have been filed against him, of which only two were "closed with discipline". Documents also show that he received a letter of reprimand and a notice of suspension for a 2007 incident, where he allegedly pulled a woman out of her car, searched her and placed her in the back of a squad car for going 10 miles over the speed limit. His personnel files also include recommendations that he receive the department's medal of valor for his role in two incidents.

One involved shooting a man who pointed a shotgun at officers and another involved shooting a man suspected of violent domestic assault. At the time of his application into the police department, Chauvin said he served in the US Army as a member of the military police and had worked as a custom protection officer for a security services company. The files also note that Chauvin worked for McDonald's and another restaurant in the mid-1990s. In January 2001, Chauvin was hired as a community service officer and was eventually promoted to police officer after eight months, per the personnel files. 

J Alexander Keung

J Alexander Keung (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Keung joined the Minneapolis Police Department as a police officer in December, after serving as a cadet since February 2019. He had no complaint record, prior to his current charges. When Floyd's death took place he was on his third shift as police officer, his attorney said, and Chauvin was his training officer. Keung is a Bachelor's graduate in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, per his personnel file. Keung said he worked as an asset protection detective for Macy between 2014 and 2017, and held a temporary job with Target, in his job application. He listed Russian among the languages he can speak, read and write. 

Thomas Lane

Thomas Lane (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Lane joined the police department as a cadet in February 2019 and did not have a history of complaints. He had been on the police force for only four days when Floyd died, per his attorney, and was "doing everything he thought he was supposed to do as a four-day police officer." Lane served as a Juvenile corrections officer for Hennepin County and as an assistant probation officer, after graduating with a bachelor's degree in criminology from the University of Minnesota in 2016. Prior to working in law enforcement, he worked as a server and bartender at different restaurants and was also a sales associate at Home Depot, as highlighted in his police job application. He also mentioned that he helps Somali youth in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood with their homework and tutors them, under his volunteer experience. 

Tou Thao

Tou Thao (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Thao had been serving as a police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department since 2012. According to an internal affairs public summary of the Minneapolis Police Department, he had six complaints filed against him, one of which was still open. The other five were "closed without discipline." Prior to becoming a police officer, Thao workers as a security guard, a trainer at McDonald's, and a stocker at a grocery store. His personnel file details that he had attended North Hennepin Community College and was pursuing an associated degree in law enforcement but didn't graduate. Thao also said he is fluent in Hmong, which forms a large population of Minnesota. 

Creator

Court TV is the only multi-platform network devoted to live, gavel-to-gavel coverage with in-depth reporting and expert analysis of the nation's most important and compelling trials. Court TV is part of Katz Networks, a division of The EW Scripps Company.

Trailer

We will update this space with the official trailer for 'The Death of George Floyd' soon. 

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