A ROOKIE cop charged over the death of George Floyd tried to warn the others during the arrest, his attorney has claimed.
During his first court appeared in connection with Mr Floyd’s death, it emerged J. Alexander Kueng was only on his third full shift as a police officer when the fatal arrest occurred.
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Along with former officers Tou Thao and Thomas Lane, he was charged with aiding and abetting murder, as well as aiding and abetting manslaughter.
A fourth former officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder after video showed his knee on Mr Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes before the 46-year-old died.
Kueng’s attorney Tom Plunkett said his client told his fellow officers as they were detaining Floyd "You shouldn't do that”, NBC reports.
Mr Floyd was being detained on May 25 outside a store in Minneapolis where an employee had reported to police a man matching his description tried to pay for cigarettes with a counterfeit bill.
In the video he had can heard begging “please, please, please, I can’t breathe”, which has sparked international protests about mistreatment of black people by police.
Lane’s lawyer said the former officer been on the force for four days, his attorney, Earl Gray told the court.
Lane twice asked Chauvin, a training officer, "Shall we roll him over?" and expressed concern that Mr Floyd may be in "delirium," Gray said.
"What is my client supposed to do other than follow what the training officer said?" Gray asked in court.
A judge ordered Kueng, Lane and Thao held an unconditional bail of $1 million compounded with $750,000 of conditional bail. No pleas were entered.
The four former officers, all dismissed the day after their deadly confrontation with Mr Floyd, each faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges against them.
Meanwhile independent experts have said that although Floyd had drugs in his system and severe heart disease, his death was still homicide.
The official autopsy listed Floyd's cause of death as a "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."
The medical examiner said ruled his death was a homicide but added that he had "significant" underlying conditions, including heart disease as well as fentanyl and methamphetamine use.
Dr. Gregory Davis, medical examiner for Jefferson County, Alabama, and a pathology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said “underlying conditions” made it more likely he would not fare well under stress.
But he told the Associated Pres “restraint and neck compression are part of why he died”.
Dr. Stephen Nelson, chairman of Florida’s medical examiners commission, said if someone with severe heart disease died of a heart attack during a purse-snatching “we’d still call it a homicide”.
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