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A magistrate judge ruled Monday that four former Minneapolis police officers should stand trial together on federal civil rights charges related to the killing of George Floyd.

Lawyers for J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao asked the court to sever Derek Chauvin from their upcoming trial, arguing Chauvin, who was convicted of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter in state court in April, would prejudice them to a jury.

"There is a conflict of interest between the defendants," wrote Thomas Plunkett, attorney for Kueng. "The conflict flows from Mr. Chauvin's level of culpability. Due to this conflict, the jurors will not be able to follow the Court's instructions and compartmentalize the evidence as it related to Mr. Kueng."

Lawyers for Thao argued that trying them together could jeopardize their client's right to plead the Fifth Amendment to not self-incriminate.

"The jury will have insurmountable difficulty distinguishing evidence presented on one count from that evidence presented on the other counts, and will inevitably consider the evidence cumulatively," wrote attorneys Robert and Natalie Paule.

In denying these requests, Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung said the attorneys failed to prove that Chauvin's conviction would prevent their clients from receiving a fair trial.

The charges against Chauvin are not identical to the others, but there is "significant overlap and interplay" in the allegations, Leung said. "Also, the Government will be using essentially the same substantive evidence against each of the Defendants at trial," wrote Leung. "There will be witnesses. A number, if not a majority, of these same witnesses will be called to testify regardless of whether Chauvin is tried jointly with Thao, Kueng and Lane. The events at issue occurred during a short temporal period on a single day in a single location. In addition to the discrete unities of time and place, there can be no genuine dispute that all four Defendants were at the scene of the events giving rise to this case."

Leung's order dismisses the motion "without prejudice," meaning his decision could still be reversed. If the attorneys object to the ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, who is presiding over the trial, may make his own ruling.

The former officers are accused of using the "color of the law" to deprive Floyd of his constitutional rights to be "free from the use of unreasonable force" when Chauvin pinned down Floyd with a knee on his neck for more than nine minutes and the other three did nothing to stop him. All four have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Attorneys for Lane, Kueng, Thao and the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to speak on the decision. Chauvin's lawyers did not respond to a call for comment.

Leung's order differs from the state court's. Chauvin was found guilty after facing a criminal trial as the sole defendant. In addition to the federal charges, the other three former officers still face a state trial.