Skip to main content
Publish date:

Judge disqualifies Hennepin Co. Attorney from prosecuting George Floyd trial

The judge ruled county attorney Mike Freeman and thothers could be called as witnesses in the trial.
Mike Freeman

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Some members of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, including county attorney Mike Freeman, cannot serve as prosecutors when the cases against the four former Minneapolis police officer who are charged in George Floyd's death go to trial.  

On Friday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill during a pre-trial hearing on several motions related to the trial ordered that members of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office cannot serve as prosecutors on the case because they could be called as witnesses to testify about the meeting they had with Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker.  

Cahill asked Prosecutor Matthew Frank of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, who is leading the prosecution against Derek ChauvinJ. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, if he planned on having members of the county attorney's office at the table with him at trial.

When Frank said he hadn't decided, Cahill said, "Well I have. They're disqualified," according to tweets from KARE 11's Lou Raguse

Cahill proceeded to say "it was sloppy" to have members of the attorney's office present when they interviewed the medical examiner, noting they're now witnesses who can be called by the defense or prosecution during the trial, WCCO's Esme Murphy said.

The judge only disqualified some members of the attorney's office, other attorneys and staff are not disqualified from the case, KSTP reports

The judge's decision is in response to a motion Chauvin's attorney filed last month seeking to disqualify the county attorney's office from prosecuting or participating in the prosecution of Chauvin. The motion said "The only way for this Court to guarantee a fair proceeding without the taint of prosecutorial misconduct is to disqualify the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office from this matter."

According to the motion, Freeman and his assistant attorneys interviewed the medical examiner regarding his autopsy of George Floyd without having a non-attorney witness present, which is required by law.

Next Up

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook was already playing with torn labrum

There is concern that Cook may have a torn labrum on both sides of his body.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, November 29

The state's latest report includes data from the Thanksgiving break.

unsplash - woman sick coughing - CROP

Long COVID: Review of Mayo patients may provide new clues

The researchers summarized three "major novel findings" from the data.

Joe Biden

Biden's visit to MN will include stop at Dakota County Technical College

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month.

Brooklyn Center police

Victim of 'accidental' shooting ID'd as 23-year-old Duluth woman

The 23-year-old died three days after being shot while sitting in a parked vehicle.


Motorist dead after crashing into utility pole in south Minneapolis

The crash happened Saturday night in the South Uptown neighborhood.

police lights

St. Cloud mother arrested after 3-month-old baby found dead

Officers discovered the baby during a welfare check Sunday.

Merwin Liquors Mounds View

Police shoot, kill man inside Mounds View liquor store

It follows an alleged armed carjacking outside a nearby Aldi.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.


Lane kueng thao chauvin

Judge: Former cops in Floyd case will be tried together in Hennepin County

Judge Peter Cahill issued some big rulings on Wednesday night.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 7.07.04 PM

Gov. Tim Walz says AG Keith Ellison will lead George Floyd prosecutions

He will take over the lead from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Chauvin will be tried separately in George Floyd's death

Chauvin's trial will begin March 8. The trial of the other former offices will begin in August.

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

MN House members say they've 'lost faith' in Hennepin County attorney

They want Attorney General Keith Ellison to handle the case against the officers in George Floyd's death.

mike freeman

Hennepin County Attorney: Stop politicizing Myon Burrell case

Mike Freeman has come to the defense of former county attorney Amy Klobuchar.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

What's at stake as 4 ex-cops charged in George Floyd's death appear in court

Friday's hearing will cover a variety of topics, including motions to try the men separately and to move the trial out of Hennepin County.

lane-kueng-thao - edit

Trial of 3 ex-officers charged in George Floyd's death delayed to 2022

This comes after the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against the officers last week.