Lawyers for the two officers accused of fatally shooting unarmed Minnesota man, George Frederick Floyd Jr., in August 2016, were given a Jan. 3 trial date on Friday, according to court documents. The officers, Jeronimo Yanez and Matthew Harrity, face charges of manslaughter.
The officers were responding to a 911 call regarding a man acting “erratically” in the parking lot of a Minneapolis apartment complex on Aug. 22, 2016. According to the statement of facts released by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, they arrived at the scene to see Mr. Floyd across the street, seated in a white Jeep Cherokee, where officers could see he was slumped over and not breathing. The officers backed their squad car up and exited, grabbing Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side door.
Judge Joan Ericksen granted the prosecution a permission motion to exclude statements made by Mr. Floyd after he was arrested. The officer “said he was an addict and that he wanted to get high and tried to get inside of the squad car,” according to the prosecution’s statement of facts. Prosecutors will challenge this statement on the grounds that a street interview is not a proper “interview” under Minnesota law and that officers have “the authority to ask questions of people placed under arrest.”
See video of the incident below.
Mr. Floyd, 40, was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Bystanders who were driving by captured the encounter on video, which was played at trial in the weeks after the shooting. The video shows one of the officers spray-painting a cross onto the hood of Mr. Floyd’s vehicle and then the men pulling the door open, slamming him on the ground and dragging him out of the vehicle. He was shot twice during the incident, once in the side and once in the chest.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released a statement following Mr. Floyd’s death that stated, “DPS understands the outrage and anger about Mr. Floyd’s death, and cannot speculate on the situation because we do not have all the facts about what occurred. However, these facts do point to several problems with the way Mr. Floyd interacted with the police.” A grand jury ultimately declined to indict the officers in December 2017.
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