Experienced judge assigned to officers' cases in Floyd death

MINNEAPOLIS - The cases of the four Minneapolis police officers who face charges in the death of George Floyd have been assigned to a Hennepin County judge who has experience as both a defence attorney and a prosecutor.

Judge Peter Cahill has been assigned to oversee the cases of Derek Chauvin, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. All four are scheduled to appear before him at 12:15 p.m. on June 29, according to a court filing Friday.

Defence attorneys have 10 days to file a request to remove Cahill as the judge. They would have no say in who replaces him and they could not remove his replacement, the Star Tribune reported.

Earl Gray, Lane's attorney, told The Associated Press he wouldn't think of removing Cahill. When asked if all four officers will face trial together or ask to be tried separately, Gray said that issue hasn't been discussed yet, but it will be now that a judge has been assigned.

Attorneys for Chauvin and Kueng had no comment. Messages left with Thao's attorney were not immediately returned Friday.

Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after Chauvin, a white officer, used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground. Chauvin, who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck even after Floyd stopped moving, has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Lane, Kueng and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers have been fired.

Cahill began his career in the county public defender’s office in 1984, the Star Tribune reported. He also worked for 10 years in the county attorney's office, serving as the top advisor to Sen. Amy Klobuchar when she was the county's head prosecutor.

He has been a judge since 2007 and has experience in high-profile cases. He has also served as the county's chief judge.

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