Court imposes gag order on ex-officers, attorneys in George Floyd case

It comes after some attorneys gave interviews following a release of files on Wednesday.
Lane kueng thao chauvin

A district court judge has issued a gag order preventing the ex-officers involved in George Floyd's killing and their attorneys from speaking out publicly about the case.

The order made by Judge Peter Cahill follows the release of bodycam transcripts and a motion to dismiss made by Earl Gray, the attorney for former officer Thomas Lane, on Wednesday.

Gray gave interviews to, among others, the Star Tribune, following the release of the data, and the judge says that the gag order is being issued to ensure that further public statements and opinions issued by those involved in the case don't taint a possible jury pool.

"The court has been made aware that two or more attorneys representing parties in the above-captioned cases granted interviews or talked with the media yesterday, expounding on the merits of the case or commenting on other aspects of the case after the motion to dismiss was filed in the State of Minnesota vs. Thomas Kiernan Lane," the order said.

"The court finds that continuing pretrial publicity in this case by the attorneys involved will increase the risk of tainting the jury pool and will impair all parties' right to a fair trial."

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The gag order will restrict all parties, their attorneys, and any employees, agents, or contractors involved in the case from disclosing either directly or indirectly any "information, opinions, strategies, plans, or potential evidence" to the media or the general public.

It's not clear who the second officer or attorney in the gag order refers to in addition to Gray, given that the attorneys for the other officers, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, declined to give statements to the Strib and other media following Wednesday's filings.

The attorneys for all officers are seeking for the trial to be moved out of Hennepin County, arguing that it's not possible for their clients to get a fair trial following comments made regarding the case by, among others, Mayor Jacob Frey and MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo.

This move is opposed by Attorney General Keith Ellison.

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