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Judge denies request to remove Freeman from case involving George Floyd's death

Thomas Plunkett, the defensive attorney for former Minneapolis officer J. Alexander Kueng, filed the motion based on public comments made by Mike Freeman.
Credit: KARE 11

MINNEAPOLIS — The judge overseeing the case of four former Minneapolis police officers denied a request to remove Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman from the case.

The motion was filed Thursday by Thomas Plunkett, the defensive attorney for former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng, asking for Freeman's removal based on public statements he has made on the case. Plunkett says Freeman has proclaimed Kueng's guilt, called Floyd's death "senseless," and commented on the videotape of Floyd's death saying it is “graphic, and horrific and terrible, and no person should do that.” 

Judge Peter Cahill ruled Friday that Plunkett's motion "failed to establish that a conflict of interest exists and has failed to provide legal authority for the removal of a prosecutor by the Court (Freeman), even if the allegations of improper conduct are true."

Kueng is one of four former Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd's death. Video of the incident showed officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck. Kueng is charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter, along with Tou Thao and Thomas Lane. 

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is leading the prosecution of the four officers, though Freeman's office is still part of the case.

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