A court spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment on why the initial trial date was retracted. A note in the court docket said the initial scheduling order “was filed in error.”
The filings came one day after Hennepin County District Judge Peter A. Cahill postponed the former officers’ August trial on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death until March, paving the way for the federal case to take place first.
A federal grand jury indicted Kueng, Lane and Thao, along with former officer Derek Chauvin, last week on charges they violated Floyd’s constitutional rights during a May 25, 2020, arrest, when he was restrained, handcuffed and face down on a Minneapolis street as he begged for breath before losing consciousness. Chauvin was also indicted on a second federal charge alleging he violated the civil rights of a 14-year-old by hitting him with a flashlight and kneeling on him during a 2017 arrest.
Chauvin, who pressed his knees into Floyd’s neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds, was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced in that case on June 25.
Though all four officers are cited in a joint complaint, Chauvin’s case is not mentioned in Leung’s scheduling order. Chauvin, who is being held in solitary confinement at a Minnesota prison as he awaits sentencing in the state case, has yet to make a formal appearance in the federal case.
It was not immediately clear if Chauvin would be tried separately on the federal charges. His attorney, Eric Nelson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thomas Plunkett, an attorney for Kueng, and Robert Paule, an attorney for Thao, declined to comment. Earl Gray, who is representing Thomas Lane, did not respond to a request for comment.
The federal indictment alleges Chauvin violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and from unreasonable force by a police officer. Kueng and Thao were charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure by not intervening as Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck and back. All four officers were charged with failing to render medical aid to Floyd.
“Specifically, the defendants saw George Floyd lying on the ground in clear need of medical care and willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to Floyd,” the indictment read.
Kueng, Lane and Thao appeared during a virtual hearing last week on the charges and were released on bond. Their state trial is scheduled to begin March 7, 2022.