The defense attorney representing Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, is receiving support from a police union’s $1 million legal defense fund, as well as a 12-person team of lawyers so far not seen inside the courtroom, according to a report.
As the trial is broadcast via livestream from the 18th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center, Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, has delivered opening statements and cross-examined the prosecution’s witnesses before taking a seat beside his client.
His assistant, Amy Voss, a licensed attorney, usually sits in the row behind them.
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But outside of the courtroom, Nelson, a private attorney with the firm Halberg Criminal Defense, is also being supported by a dozen-lawyer team courtesy of a $1 million legal defense fund from the Minneapolis Police and Peace Officers Association, USA Today reported. The association did not respond to a Fox News request for comment.
Defense attorney Natalie Paule, one of the lawyers representing another former officer, Tao Thao, declined to comment on whether their team expects to receive similar financial backing from the police union, citing instruction not to speak with media during Chauvin’s trial.
According to testimony from several witnesses during Chauvin’s trial, Thao was the officer who prevented bystanders gathered outside of Cup Foods on May 25, 2020 from intervening as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he called out that he couldn’t breathe. Thao, as well as former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane, face aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter charges and will face trial together in August.