Ex-cops charged in George Floyd’s murder issued gag order by judge

A Minnesota judge issued a gag order on the four ex-cops charged with murdering George Floyd and all the lawyers in the case, a defense attorney said Monday.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill barred all the litigants from commenting on “the evidence, what we see as the merits of the case or what we see as a person’s guilt or innocence,” defense lawyer Robert Paule said following a court hearing in Minneapolis.

Paule represents ex-cop Tou Thao, who’s being held on at least $750,000 bail as an alleged accomplice in Floyd’s May 25 slaying.

A lawyer for another defendant, ex-cop J. Alexander Kueng, had sought to have cameras in the courtroom for Monday’s hearing, citing “multiple and inappropriate public comments” by prosecutors and other officials.

“The State’s conduct has made a fair and unbiased trial extremely unlikely and the Defendants seek video and audio coverage to let a cleansing light shine on these proceedings,” lawyer Thomas Plunkett wrote in legal papers.

But Cahill barred camera coverage, saying that doing otherwise would “risk tainting a potential Hennepin County jury pool.”

Plunkett and Kueng, who’s free on $750,000 bond, both ignored questions from reporters as they left the courthouse.

Ex-cop Derek Chauvin, who was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, is being held on at least $1 million bail and reportedly took part in Monday’s hearing by video from the state’s toughest prison, where he’s being held in segregation for his own protection.

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