On Monday, all four of the former Minneapolis police officers charged in the murder of George Floyd appeared in court for another round of pretrial hearings. It was the first court appearance for Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, while both Thomas K. Lane and J. Alexander Keung went before a judge to post bail. Cameras were not allowed inside the courthouse for Monday's hearing, according to a report by TMZ.
Thao, Lane and Keung visited the Hennepin County District Court in person on Monday, while Chauvin appeared remotely via video chat. No pleas were entered, but Judge Peter Cahill discussed a wide range of topics with the ex-cops and their defense attorneys. That included the immense publicity around their cases, how to handle privacy going forward and the filings that the defense attorneys have planned. Cahill is still awaiting motions on whether the defendants will each be tried separately or together in one big joint trial.
The defense attorneys reportedly said that they plan to file motions for dismissal of charges in some of these cases, and motions for a change of venue as well. Meanwhile, Cahill warned the defendants and their attorneys to be careful with their public comments on the case, though he did not issue a formal gag order.
The defense attorneys reportedly spoke in favor of allowing cameras and journalists into the courtroom going forward, while the prosecution argued against the idea. Cahill himself said that he is still considering the issue, but for now, cameras will not be allowed inside.
Thao, Lane and Keung are each facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin meanwhile is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin was the one with his knee pressed to Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in the now-viral video. Thao did his best to control the crowd while Lane and Keung restrained Floyd from other angles.
Authorities have released Lane and Keung on $750,000 bonds. Both officers claim that they were opposed to Chauvin's excessive force, but that they were expected to defer to him as the senior officer on the scene. Both were relatively new to the Minneapolis police department.
Lane drew attention by crowdfunding his massive bail fund. His family set up a website containing details on his personal life and linking to a private PayPal account for donations. Meanwhile, Keung was recognized in a grocery store and caught on video shortly after his release. A woman confronted him, saying that he should be too ashamed to go out in public. It is not clear when the four officers are due back in court or whether they will appear together again.