3 Minneapolis cops convicted of violating George Floyd’s rights

“Today’s verdict recognizes that two police officers violated the Constitution by failing to intervene to stop another officer from killing George Floyd, and three officers violated the Constitution by failing to provide aid to Mr. Floyd in time to prevent his death."

181
SOURCENationofChange

Responsible for failing to prevent the murder of George Floyd, three former Minneapolis police officers were convicted in federal court of violating his constitutional rights.

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng arrested George Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. While Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly ten minutes, the other three officers made no attempt to stop Chauvin from taking Floyd’s life.

As Thao was recorded on cellphone video arguing with witnesses who were pleading for Floyd’s life, Lane and Kueng restrained Floyd on the ground while Chauvin drove his left knee into the back of his neck. Although Lane suggested turning Floyd on his side, Chauvin ignored him while continuing to kneel on the dying man’s neck.

The next day, all four officers were terminated from the Minneapolis Police Department. On March 12, 2021, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to Floyd’s family in order to settle the wrongful death lawsuit against the police department and the city.

Convicted on murder and manslaughter charges in state court, Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on June 25, 2021. Thao, Lane, and Kueng face state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

On December 15, 2021, Chauvin pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the civil rights of George Floyd and a 14-year-old boy in a separate incident. On Thursday, a federal jury found Thao, Lane, and Kueng guilty of violating Floyd’s constitutional rights under color of law by failing to provide medical assistance. Thao and Kueng were also convicted of violating Floyd’s right to be free of unreasonable seizure by willfully failing to intervene to prevent Chauvin from applying bodily injury to Floyd.

“Today’s verdict recognizes that two police officers violated the Constitution by failing to intervene to stop another officer from killing George Floyd, and three officers violated the Constitution by failing to provide aid to Mr. Floyd in time to prevent his death,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated in a press release on Thursday. “The Justice Department will continue to seek accountability for law enforcement officers whose actions, or failure to act, violate their constitutional duty to protect the civil rights of our citizens. George Floyd should be alive today.”

The sentencing date has not been set, according to the Justice Department. The statutory maximum sentence for the death-resulting violation is life in federal prison.

Initially scheduled to begin next month, the state court trial for Thao, Lane, and Kueng has been rescheduled for June 13.

FALL FUNDRAISER

If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.

COMMENTS