A federal jury in St. Paul, Minnesota on Feb. 24 found three former Minneapolis police officers guilty of violating George Floyd’s civil rights.
After deliberating for about 13 hours, the jury found former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao guilty of federal hate crime charges for depriving Floyd of his civil rights by showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs when their fellow officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd for over nine minutes, killing him on May 25, 2020.
Th 12 jurors also found Thao and Keung guilty of an additional charge for failing to intervene to stop Chauvin from using excessive force.
Lane, who did not face the additional charge, testified in the month-long trial that he asked Chauvin twice to reposition Floyd while restraining him, but he was denied both times.
All three had pleaded not guilty.
Each face up to life in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines suggest the three men could receive a lesser sentence.
A state trial is scheduled for June against the former officers on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented Floyd’s family in Chauvin’s murder trial last year, said that the Feb. 24 verdict “closes another important chapter in our journey for justice for George Floyd and his family.”
“Today’s guilty verdicts should serve as the guiding example of why police departments across America should expand and prioritize instruction on an officer’s duty to intervene and recognize when a fellow officer is using force,” Crump said in a statement.
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