‘One down, three to go,’ crowds chant after Chauvin verdict, other fired officers await trial

Posted at 3:43 PM, April 22, 2021 and last updated 10:46 AM, April 3, 2023

By JULIA JENAÉ, Legal Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS (Court TV) — Minutes after Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd, activists chanted “one down, three to go!” in reference to the three other fired Minneapolis police officers, who are awaiting a trial of their own. Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao still have a pending issue with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.


During the State’s flurry of filings in February and March over the reinstatement of Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge, on Feb. 4, 2021, they also called for the Court to amend the complaints of the three co-defendants to include third-degree murder. The three officers had never been charged with third-degree murder before this.

The District Court denied that motion on February 11, 2021, and prosecutors appealed.

The appellate court expedited its ruling in Chauvin’s case due to the imminent trial but pushed the cases of Thao, Kueng and Lane to handle later.

This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.  (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

In September of 2020, attorneys for the three other accused accomplices argued for individual trials, hoping to diminish their roles in Floyd’s death by placing blame on each other.

Ultimately, Judge Peter Cahill ordered Chauvin to be tried separately from the other three officers accused. Judge Cahill cited the limitations of physical space during the coronavirus pandemic for his order to split the defendant’s trials.

Oral arguments before the Court of Appeals in Lane, Kueng and Thao’s case are scheduled for May 20, according to a notice, meaning third-degree murder charges against the accused accomplices remains a possibility.

Beth Hemphill of Court TV News contributed to this report.

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