Other Orders Regarding Upcoming Federal Criminal Trial Over Killing of George Floyd

As discussed in a prior post, on January 11, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson held a pretrial hearing in the federal criminal case against three ex-Minneapolis policemen over the killing of George Floyd and issued an order regarding certain issues.

The next day, the Government submitted a motion to clarify or reconsider two  of those rulings: (1) possible precluding one of the Government’s medical experts and (2) precluding a witness who was nine-years old on the date of Mr. Floyd’s encounter with the police and his death (May 25, 2020). Another motion regarding [1]

On January 14, Judge Magnuson issued an Order on the Government’s motion. First, it denied the motion for reconsideration of the refusal to allow the testimony of the young witness. Second, it granted the motion to clarify the ruling regarding the medical experts by saying, “the Court did not preclude the Government from offering multiple medical experts, but rather only ordered the Government  to ensure that its medical evidence was not cumulative. The Government has supplied the Court with information about three medical experts it intends to call as witnesses, and the testimony of these experts is not cumulative. The government may propound these witnesses, subject to other objections Defendants may raise.” [2]

The Court also on January 14 issued another order regarding the Government’s motions regarding defendants’ proposed evidence. It ruled inadmissible the reports of defense police-practices and use-of-force experts (Greg Meyer and Steve Ijames) on the ground that these reports “are replete with legal conclusions, attempts to introduce hearsay, and make improper determinations of fact and witness credibility.” However, these experts will be permitted to testify because “they clearly are [qualified]” and their “testimony … in that regard will assist the jury. But should either of these experts attempt to testify regarding matters that are inadmissible or improper, the Government may object.” [3]

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[1] Government’s Motion To Clarify or Reconsider Certain Pretrial Rulings, U.S. v. Thao, et al., Criminal No. 21-108 (D. Minn. 01/12/22).

[2] Order, U.S. v. Thao, et al., Criminal No. 21-108 (D. Minn. 01/14/22).

[3] Order, U.S. v. Thao, et al., Criminal No. 21-108 (D. Minn. 01/14/22).