(NewsNation Now) — Prosecutors in the case against the four Minneapolis officers charged in the death of George Floyd requested the trial be delayed by three months.
The Star Tribune reports prosecutors cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the amount of time needed before enough people are vaccinated and health risks are sufficiently diminished.
The trial has been scheduled for March 8 for the four now-fired police officers charged in the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as he said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and beyond, and led to a nationwide reckoning on race.
In its motion, the prosecution argued that putting off the trial until June 7 “appropriately balances the need to protect public health with the need to ensure that this case is resolved expeditiously.”
Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are scheduled to be tried together. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, and the others are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, said he doesn’t intend to object to the prosecution seeking a delay in the trial.
Kueng’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, said the prosecution’s motion pointing to COVID-19 is puzzling.
“The timing of their motion seems curious to me,” Plunkett said. “The pandemic has been around for a while.”
Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule, did not immediately respond to AP’s request for comment.