Woman who vandalized vehicle of lawyer for ex-MPD officer charged in George Floyd’s death gets slap on wrist

Edith N. Okerlund

Paul Walsh

Star Tribune

A 25-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for damaging the vehicle of a lawyer for a fired Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.

A jury trial scheduled for Monday in Hennepin County District Court for Edith N. Okerlund, of Minneapolis, was canceled after she pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor, in connection with attorney Thomas Plunkett’s allegations that demonstrators threatened him, client J. Alexander Kueng, co-defendant Thomas Lane and another defense lawyer as they left the courthouse after a hearing on Sept. 11, 2020.

In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dropped a felony count of first-degree property damage and a gross-misdemeanor third-degree riot charge.

Okerlund was sentenced to the three days she already served when she was arrested, no probation and a $78 fine.

According to the charges: Plunkett and Earl Gray, the defense attorney for former officer Lane, were walking from the Hennepin County Government Center with their clients to Plunkett’s vehicle parked at a meter when they were approached by about 20 people.

Plunkett said the group surrounded his vehicle and pounded on it with a drumstick, fists and a bicycle as the lawyer and the rest of his group sat inside.

Gray said he saw someone, later identified as Okerlund, strike Plunkett’s vehicle with a bicycle.

Plunkett drove from the scene, saw the damage to his vehicle and provided an estimate to police that it was in excess of $2,000.

Plunkett added that some protesters were calling for him and Gray “to be murdered for their representation” of Kueng and Lane, the criminal complaint read.

In April, jurors convicted Derek Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. Fellow fired officers Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane go on trial together in Hennepin County District Court on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in March. All four are also being tried in federal court. That trial date has yet to be set.

©2021 StarTribune. Visit startribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.