Former Minneapolis cops who assisted in the arrest were sentenced to three and a half and three years in prison
Two former Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal arrest of George Floyd have been sentenced to prison, marking the latest sentencing related to the incident that sparked riots across the United States in 2020.
According to a statement issued Wednesday by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Tou Thao, 36, and J. Alexander Kueng, 28, were sentenced to three and a half and three years in prison, respectively, “for depriving George Floyd Jr. of his constitutional rights.”
In February, a federal jury in a Minnesota court found Thao and Kueng guilty of failing to arrest the “the use of unreasonable forceby their colleague Derek Chauvin, and for not helping Floyd despite his “clear need for medical attention.” For nine minutes, as Chauvin knelt on the back of Floyd’s neck as he was pinned to the sidewalk, Kueng held his torso and Thao held back passers-by.
“The jury further found that these two offenses resulted in the bodily injury and death of Floyd,“said the DOJ.
Earlier this month, another former police officer, Thomas Lane, who held Floyd’s legs, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after being found guilty of “depriving Floyd of his constitutional right to be free from a police officer’s willful indifference to Floyd’s serious medical needs.”
Before that, Derek Chauvin had been convicted of murder for his role in Floyd’s death and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
“The four officers involved in the tragic death of George Floyd have now been found guilty in federal court, sentenced to prison and held accountable for their crimes. George Floyd’s death could have been prevented had these defendants fulfilled their affirmative duty to intervene to prevent another officer from using lethal force,Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said.
George Floyd’s arrest in May 2020 was caught on camera and sparked Black Lives Matter protests, some of which turned violent, killing dozens of Americans and causing billions of dollars in property damage.