A jury has reached a verdict in the federal trial of Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane.
On Thursday (February 24), a jury found the former officers guilty on all counts for their involvement in the death of George Floyd — Thao was found guilty of failing to intervene against Derek Chauvin and guilty of depriving Floyd of medical care; Kueng was found guilty of failing to intervene against Chauvin and guilty of depriving of medical care; Lane was found guilty of depriving Floyd of medical care.
The fired Minneapolis police officers were charged with using the “color of the law” to violate Floyd’s civil rights during the 46-year-old handcuffed Black man’s fatal arrest on May 25, 2020. Federal prosecutors were able to prove the three officers failed to act as Floyd pleaded for his life under the knee of fellow officer Chauvin.
Because the jury found that all three former officers’ inaction resulted in Floyd’s death, they face possible life sentences as well the death penalty. However, it should be noted that those sentences are rare, and it’s likely that Kueng, Thao, and Lane will receive less severe sentences especially since the senior officer on the scene, Chauvin, was given a 22 and a half year sentence for his murder and manslaughter charges.
All three defendants, who were not taken into custody after the verdict, were accused of showing “deliberate indifference” to Floyd’s medical needs as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, ultimately killing him. Thao held back bystanders as Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs.
Kueng and Thao faced an additional charge that held them responsible for Floyd’s death since they did nothing to stop Chauvin when he was kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Lane did not face the additional charge because he appeared to express concern for Floyd’s well-being during the arrest.
All three former officers, however, face a separate state trial in June on charges alleging they aided and abetted murder and manslaughter.
In April 2021, Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges.
Since his trial, he has pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violation charges against him.
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