A protester harassed an attorney in the George Floyd case Thursday and another was later arrested carrying a loaded gun and several knives in the Hennepin County courthouse, making it unsafe to try four ex-cops there, according to an attorney for one of the former officers charged in the case.
Thomas Plunkett, who represents J. Alexander Kueng, filed a motion Friday to submit videos of both incidents to the court to reinforce an earlier request to move the trial elsewhere.
The incidents occurred after attorneys appeared in court for a 12:30 p.m. hearing Thursday.
None of the former officers — Kueng, Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — attended the hearing, which had ended long before a 29-year-old Blaine man was arrested in the courthouse lobby after shouting, “Kill Derek Chauvin!”
That man, Thomas W. Moseley, was charged Friday with possession of a dangerous weapon, a felony. The charges say that deputies recovered a loaded handgun from his waistband and that he also was carrying “several knives.” Only law enforcement officers are legally allowed to carry weapons in the Hennepin County Government Center.
Moseley was protesting with about seven others when he was arrested just before 3 p.m. Sheriff’s spokesman Andy Skoogman said authorities confronted him because they believed he was connected to an Aug. 15 riot and property damage incident near the Fifth Precinct police station.
Deputies also handcuffed and held a 24-year-old female protester for questioning Thursday, but released her after it was determined that she was not wanted in connection with the Aug. 15 protest, Skoogman said.
Before the arrests, another protester had exchanged heated words with Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, in the courthouse lobby as he spoke to reporters.
Plunkett and attorneys representing the other defendants each previously filed motions to move the trial out of Hennepin County due to fears that news coverage has tainted the potential jury pool, among other reasons.
Earlier this month, Plunkett filed a memorandum noting that “violent rioters” outside of a Sept. 11 hearing swarmed the defendants and their attorneys as they left, punching Gray and damaging Plunkett’s car.
Edith N. Okerlund, 24, of St. Paul, was charged with felony first-degree damage to property for allegedly using a bike to strike Plunkett’s car, causing $2,000 in damages. Her attorney has denied the allegations.