Two former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing have asked a judge to delay the trial, accusing prosecutors of slow-rolling the handoff of key evidence and of turning over material that they say appears disorganized and riddled with technical problems, the Washington Post reports. Attorneys for Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao argued that the delays, and their concerns with the trial materials, have harmed their ability to prepare an adequate defense. The trial is scheduled to begin March 8. Robert Paule, an attorney for Thao, asked Judge Peter Cahill to delay the trial to July 5. Eric Nelson, an attorney for Chauvin, did not cite a specific date.
Nelson asked Cahill for an extension to a Dec. 15 deadline for the defense to disclose planned expert witnesses, partly blaming prosecution delays but acknowledging other issues in what has become a notorious case that sparked widespread protests and calls for police reform: “It also should be noted that the global profile of this case has also contributed to the delay in retaining experts willing or able to participate,” Nelson wrote. Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis force, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, while the other officers at the scene — Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane — were charged with aiding and abetting murder. The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four. In June, Cahill set an Aug. 14 deadline for disclosure of evidence in the case. But defense attorneys have repeatedly complained about the prosecution’s slow pace of disclosure. Paule asked the judge to impose sanctions on prosecutors by ordering them to pay defense attorney fees and costs related to the evidence disclosure delays.