The four men have said in court documents that they all thought someone else was in charge of the scene on May 25 – with rookie officers arguing they were deferring to a veteran, and the veteran saying he was simply assisting in an arrest that was in progress. All have said in court documents that the relationship between the veteran officer – Derek Chauvin – and the others is at the heart of the issue, as each officer perceived their role, and who was in charge, quite differently. Chauvin was the officer shown with his knee on Floyd’s neck as he struggled to breathe in videos of the ill-fated arrest.

“There are very likely going to be antagonistic defenses presented at the trial,” Earl Gray, a lawyer for Thomas Lane, wrote in a legal motion filed here this week. “It is plausible that all officers have a different version of what happened and officers place blame on one another.”