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US judge postpones trial for three ex-cops in Floyd’s murder case

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Minneapolis Police Officers (from left) Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (AP photos)

A US judge has postponed the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting in the murder of George Floyd to March 2022.

Judge Peter Cahill said on Thursday he changed the date after the policemen said that prosecutors leaked prejudicial information about the case, according to media reports.

Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao were scheduled to face trial on August 23 on charges they aided and abetted both murder and manslaughter. Derek Chauvin has already been convicted of murder and manslaughter counts.

All four men also face federal charges for violating Floyd's civil rights during his May 25 arrest where.

The judge also said he wanted to put some distance between the three officers' trial and Chauvin's trial because of all the publicity around the case.

Judge Cahill ruled on Wednesday there were several aggravating factors in the murder of Floyd at the hands of a former police officer, who could now face up to 30 years behind bars.

He ruled that Chauvin treated the detainee with "particular cruelty.”

Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer when he restrained Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes and not rendering medical aid, even when it became clear Floyd was in medical distress, said the judge.

The former police officer treated Floyd with "particular cruelty" because of the "prolonged nature of the asphyxiation."

In a bystander video of his death, Floyd was heard saying — at least 27 times — "I can't breathe."

The judge ruled two more aggravating factors: The crime was committed in the presence of children and with the active participation of at least three other people.

The new details could see Chauvin’s prison sentence extended.

Floyd’s death in May last year, sparked angry protest across the US and across the world.

The protests evolved into a seemingly nationwide battle between progressives and far-right groups, after former president Donald Trump took a hard-line stance against the anti-racism protests.

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