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Jury selection began Thursday in the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers who are charged in relation to the murder of George Floyd, The Associated Press reports.
The three former officers - J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - are charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. Kueng, Lane and Thao declined to help Floyd despite it being evident that he was in need of medical assistance, the indictment states.
The accused are also being charged with aiding and abetting the murder at the state level, with the trial now set for June 13.
Potential jurors in the federal trial are being questioned by U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson and subjected to an extensive questionnaire.
Several potential jurors have already been excused over concerns about their ability to be impartial, including a man who expressed religious concerns about sentencing the three men.
Magnuson said the selection of an initial group of 40 potential jurors could be completed in two days. Eventually, the group will be whittled down to 18, which will include six alternates, notes the AP.
The three former officers, along with former officer Derek Chauvin, pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in September. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison in June after being convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter as well as third-degree murder in the killing of Floyd.