George Floyd Murder | The former Minneapolis officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, were charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority.
Three former Minneapolis police officers have been found guilty of violating the civil rights of George Floyd, the Black man whose death at the hands of police in 2020 spurred protests against systemic racism around the world.
The former officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, all were convicted of depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority when they failed to give him medical aid. Kueng and Thao, additionally, were convicted of not intervening to stop their fellow officer Derek Chauvin from using excessive force. They had pleaded not guilty.
Thao, Kueng and Lane each face up to life in prison, although such a severe punishment is unlikely. The men are scheduled for trial in June on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
“This is just accountability. It can never be justice because I can never get George back,” Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
“And no matter how many times that I pray at night and I think about my brother 24/7, it still is going to be hard.”
The jury began deliberating Wednesday morning after a monthlong trial.
Defense attorneys argued that the men did not receive adequate training and that they relied on Chauvin as the most experienced officer on the scene.
However, prosecutors said the defendants had “front-row seats” to Floyd’s murder and “chose to do nothing” to help him while Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 ½ minutes.
The officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit bill from a convenience store in Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Park neighborhood when they encountered Floyd, 46, on May 25, 2020. Lane and Kueng, both rookie officers and partners on the call, were on top of Floyd as Chauvin applied deadly pressure to Floyd’s neck and he gasped for air. Thao had been in charge of crowd control.
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