THE cop accused of killing George Floyd was heckled and branded a “coward” after a court heard he had shown “particular cruelty” when he knelt on the dad’s neck.
Derek Chauvin, who is charged in black man Floyd’s death, was escorted by law enforcement officials on Friday out of the Hennepin County Family Justice Center and past a gate.
As Chauvin, 44, clad in an orange jumpsuit, made his way into a corrections department black car, people could be heard yelling expletives at him.
“Coward!” “A**!” and “B**ch!” were some of the words launched at Chauvin.
The shouts continued as the black car with Chauvin drove away, with a Henneppin County sheriff’s SUV leading the way and two others trailing behind, a video from KMSP shows.
Chauvin, who is charged with second degree murder, showed in court for the first time, after prior appearances through videolink.
Judge Peter Cahill removed Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman from the case, as well as three of his colleagues.
Cahill said Freeman made a mistake by sending his staff to speak to the medical examiners without including independent witnesses on the matter.
“It was sloppy not to have someone present,” the judge said.
Floyd suffered cardiopulmonary arrest as he was restrained by the cop, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.
Cahill added that the local prosecutors “have made a show of particular cruelty” in Floyd’s killing that could be an “aggravating factor” and lead to a lengthier sentences if the ex-cops are convicted, according to WCCO.
Friday marked the first time that Chauvin was present in court with the three other involved cops—Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao.
Chauvin is being held in custody, while the other three former officers, charged with aiding and abetting, are out on bail.
Protesters outside the courthouse held a “die-in,” lying on the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds, which was the amount of time that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in May.
After Chauvin’s court hearing, lawyers for Floyd’s family spoke at a press conference and pushed back on the defense attorneys’ statements that the black man died of an overdose.
“The only overdoes was an overdose of police force,” the Floyd family’s lawyer Ben Crump said.
“The world saw what happened.”
Meanwhile, court documents suggested that the former cops turned on each other and had different understandings of who was in charge during the May 25 incident.
“It is plausible that all officers have a different version of what happened and officers place blame on one another,” wrote Earl Gray, who represents Lane, in a legal motion obtained by the Washington Post.
On Thursday, the Minnesota attorney general’s office filed a “notice of intent to offer other evidence” with the Hennepin County District Court.
Prosecutors said they wanted to bring evidence that Chauvin used excessive force in incidents prior to the one involving Floyd.
In one of the examples, prosecutors alleged that Chauvin last year kicked an intoxicated man and used a neck restraint, causing him to lose consciousness.
Cahill’s main action on Friday was removing Freeman, but the judge also considered how many jurors would be chosen, if the officers should be tried separately, and whether the trial should be moved outside of the county.