Three former Minneapolis police officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane who arrested George Floyd with Derek Chauvin were convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights.
They still face a separate trial on state charges.
The jury found all three guilty of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020, ultimately killing him. Chauvin recently was found guilty and sentenced to 22.5 years.
The jurors also found Thao and Kueng guilty of an additional charge for failing to intervene to stop Chauvin.
Lane, who did not face the extra charge, testified that he asked Chauvin twice to reposition Floyd while restraining him but was denied both times.
Violating a person’s civil rights “is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any,” according to the Department of Justice. Federal sentencing guidelines suggest the officers could receive a lesser sentence. —CNN
“This is just accountability, it can never be justice because I can never get George back,” Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said in a news conference Thursday evening.
“Today closes another important chapter in our journey for justice for George Floyd and his family,” the Floyd legal team, including attorney Ben Crump, said in a statement after the verdict on Thursday. They added that the verdicts should serve as an example of why police departments “should expand and prioritize instruction on an officer’s duty to intervene and recognize when a fellow officer is using excessive force.”
Lane, Kueng and Thao, will face a state trial in June on charges of aiding and abetting in the killing, which was pushed back so the federal proceedings could take place first. They have pleaded not guilty to those charges.
The three men remain free on bond and are expected to start pre-sentencing proceedings next week.
This article is compiled via CNN and New York Times.