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A bystander who says he feared George Floyd would die under the knee of Derek Chauvin wept Tuesday at the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating Floyd's civil rights. Prosecutors have said that even people without medical training knew Floyd needed help, but that officers with basic medical training did nothing. Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were there when Chauvin pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee for 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man was facedown in handcuffs and gasping for air. Chauvin was convicted of murder and pleaded guilty to a federal count of violating Floyd’s civil rights. 

A federal appeals court has allowed the state to enforce a law that prevents local schools from imposing mask mandates in districts where no disabled students need masks to protect them. However, the court also allowed a group of parents of disabled children to pursue a lawsuit that seeks to strike down the law. Two members of a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Omaha on Tuesday sided with the parents and a disability rights group in concluding that their lawsuit can proceed in federal court. The panel found the parents likely will succeed because mask requirements constitute a reasonable modification and schools’ failure to provide this accommodation likely violates the federal Rehabilitation Act.

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A New York appeals judge has left in place the state’s indoor mask mandate while Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration appeals a lower court’s decision to overturn it. Judge Robert Miller granted the state’s request Tuesday for a stay of a Long Island judge’s ruling Monday that the governor and health officials lacked authority to require masks. An attorney for the state argues that the earlier ruling would “radically disrupt the status quo” and endanger the health of students and staff at schools.  

Forty-five mask-requiring school districts in Missouri are facing lawsuits filed by Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Some school leaders and elected officials are questioning if he really has the best interest of the state at heart. Schmitt on Friday sued seeking to halt 36 districts from requiring masks amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, he added nine more. Schmitt says parents should be the ones making health decisions for their children. But a state school board association and at least one district is criticizing the cost of the litigation. Some elected leaders say the lawsuits are politically driven as Schmitt runs for the Senate.

Lawyers who argued that a Michigan city violated the U.S. Constitution by chalking tires have successfully turned the case into a class-action lawsuit. It could affect thousands of parking tickets written in Saginaw. A judge twice dismissed the unusual lawsuit against Saginaw but was overturned both times by an appeals court. The case began in 2017 when Alison Taylor sued to protest her tickets. Her lawyers argued that Saginaw was violating the Fourth Amendment by marking tires with chalk without a search warrant and then returning to write a ticket if a vehicle was parked too long. Saginaw will get another opportunity to argue that tire chalking was legal, though the judge says the city’s position after two losses doesn't seem “immediately compelling.”

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A Missouri man convicted of killing his wife and burying her body will face a second trial on charges that he abused the couple's young daughter. During a hearing Monday, a Boone County judge rejected a defense request that the trial for Joseph Elledge be moved to another county because of extensive publicity regarding his wife's death. The judge did agree that jurors would be brought in from Warren County. Elledge was convicted in November of killing his 28-year-old wife, Mengqi Ji, a Chinese woman who he met at the University of Missouri. In the new case, he faces three felony charges involving his daughter. 

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Michael Avenatti is taking over representation of himself at his trial over whether he stole money from porn star Stormy Daniels. Avenatti cast his lawyers aside Tuesday and said there had been a breakdown that made him want to represent himself immediately. The switch came a day after opening statements in a trial over whether he cheated Daniels of nearly $300,000 owed to her by a publisher. The 50-year-old Avenatti insists that he is innocent and that a fee dispute never should have resulted in criminal charges. Daniels was expected to testify as early as Wednesday.

A Missouri man who pleaded guilty to stuffing his wife's body in a freezer more than six years ago has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Television station KYTV reports that 59-year-old Larry Dinwiddie of Marshfield was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder in the death of Cynthia Dinwiddie. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a count of abandoning a corpse. Investigators say they found the body of his wife, Cynthia, locked in a freezer in an abandoned storage unit in November 2019 and say her body had been there since 2015. Investigators have said he killed her with a hammer. She was never reported missing.

Jury selection is set to get underway in the murder trail of a man who killed four people at a Nashville Waffle House in April 2018 with an assault-style rifle. Police have said 32-year-old Travis Reinking was naked save for wearing a green jacket when he opened fire inside the restaurant. He fled after a restaurant patron wrestled his AR-15 rifle away from him. After the attack, Reinking was ordered to receive treatment for schizophrenia in a mental facility. Prosecutors have said they are seeking a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Jury selection begins Tuesday and is expected to last for several days. 

Three former Minneapolis officers who face federal civil rights charges in the killing of George Floyd aren’t as familiar to most people as Derek Chauvin, a fellow officer who was convicted of murder last spring. Thomas Lane and J. Kueng were the first officers to respond to a report that Floyd had tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, and they helped Chauvin restrain Floyd. Lane and Kueng were rookies just a few days into their jobs as full-fledged officers. Tou Thao was the second-most senior officer on the scene after Chauvin. He held back a group of bystanders shouting at the officers to get off Floyd.