Officer with knee to George Floyd's neck to be tried alone

FILE - This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on June 3, 2020, shows from left, former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin, who held his knee to the neck of George Floyd for several minutes, will be tried separately from three other former officers accused in his death, according to scheduling orders filed Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee to George Floyd's neck for minutes will be tried separately from the three other former officers accused in his death, according to an order filed Tuesday that cites limited courtroom space due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Derek Chauvin will stand trial alone in March while the other three former officers will be tried together in the summer. In his order, Judge Peter Cahill cited the limitations of physical space during the coronavirus pandemic, saying it is “impossible to comply with COVID-19 physical restrictions” given how many lawyers and support personnel the four defendants say would be present.

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