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Judge warns public officials about speaking out on George Floyd case

Chao Xiong, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in News & Features

Omnibus hearings are typically procedural and cover issues such as the probable cause evidence that supports the charges, evidentiary issues and discovery, the process of state officials sharing evidence in the case with defense attorneys. Future court dates are also set.

Pleas can be entered at an omnibus hearing, but are not required.

Court hearings in the case have been anything but typical. When Kueng, Lane and Thao appeared in court for the first time earlier this month attorneys for Kueng and Lane -- Earl Gray and Thomas Plunkett, respectively -- began introducing their defense strategies.

Gray and Plunkett blamed Chauvin, a 19-year veteran on the police force, for killing Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn't breathe and warned that he was going to die. Bystanders also pleaded with the officers; one recorded the incident, which sparked worldwide protests.

Lane was working his fourth shift and Kueng his third, and the rookies were following Chauvin's lead, they argued.

Gray noted at the time that Lane asked Chauvin two times whether they should roll Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from St. Louis Park, onto his side and was rebuffed. Plunkett noted that Kueng took Floyd's pulse and told his colleagues he couldn't detect one.


Lane restrained Floyd's legs and Kueng held onto his back as Floyd, who was handcuffed, laid stomach-down in the street.

Video of the killing showed Thao standing watch and dismissing bystanders' concerns.

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