One of the four police officers accused over the killing of George Floyd will plead not guilty to all charges, court documents reveal.
J Alexander Keung will argue he acted in self defence, with justified force and authorised force, according to court filings seen by Mail Online.
It comes just hours after a judge in Minneapolis warned he may move the proceedings against the four ex-cops to a different venue and issue a gag order in a case that has drawn worldwide attention.
In a brief hearing at Hannepin Couny District Court on Monday, Judge Peter Cahill said he is worried that pre-trial publicity could harm the chances of a fair trial, NBC reports.
Keung, 26, is charged along with Derek Chauvin, 44, Tou Thao, 34, and Thomas Lane, 37.
Chauvin faces three charges – second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
The other three officers, meanwhile, are charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and manslaughter.
The four accused men were arresting Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 when Chauvin pinned his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
The incident, which was caught on video by bystander, sparked massive protests across the United States and around the world against racial injustice and calls for police reforms.
Last week, the most senior ranking policeman in Minneapolis said George Floyd’s death was “murder” and that arresting officer Derek Chauvin will have been aware of the dangers of his actions during the tragic incident.
Racism and police brutality protests across the world following the death of George Floyd, who told the police officer “I cannot breathe. Don’t kill me.” as Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Chauvin was sacked after the incident and has since been arrested and charged.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says two of the police officers who have since been arrested did receive training to understand the dangers of positional asphyxia.
In a statement, Arradondo wrote: “Mr George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there.
“Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes, and for those last minutes he knew that Floyd was non-responsive.
“This was murder — it wasn’t a lack of training. This is why I took swift action regarding the involved officers’ employment with MPD.”