Four former Minneapolis police officers are blaming each other for the killing of George Floyd.
Prosecutors want to try all four -- Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao -- in the on-duty May 25 killing of Floyd, but attorneys for the former officers are seeking separate trials, reported the Associated Press.
"It is impossible to evaluate any individual Defendant’s conduct in a vacuum,” prosecutors argued.
The 46-year-old Floyd was in handcuffs when Chauvin pressed his knee into the Black man's neck as he begged for his life.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, while the other three former officers were charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
“Here, all four Defendants worked together to murder Floyd: Chauvin, Kueng, and Lane pinned Floyd face-down, while Thao stopped the crowd from intervening, enabling the other Defendants to maintain their positions,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. "Defendants also discussed and coordinated their actions throughout the incident."
They are scheduled to appear in court Friday for a hearing, which will be Chauvin's first courtroom appearance, while a trial is scheduled for March.
Attorneys for Lane and Kueng have argued that their clients were inexperienced rookies following Chauvin's lead, while Thao’s attorney has argued that his role in securing the scene from a crowd was different than the others restraining Floyd.
Chauvin's attorneys have argued that prosecutors must prove he intended to assault Floyd and show evidence the other officers knew his intent before it happened.
His attorney also claims that Floyd was overdosing on fentanyl when Chauvin arrived, but he argued that Lane and Kueng -- who responded first to the initial forgery call and called for a paramedic because they suspected Floyd was "on something" -- did not call for more urgent medical assistance.