3 other officers still awaiting trial after Chauvin guilty verdict
Chauvin is guilty of the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd, but prosecutors argue that he is not the only one.
The conclusion of the Derek Chauvin trial captivated the nation as a jury found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty on all three charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Now, prosecutors are preparing to make their cases against three former officers on the scene that day–Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao.
“It shows the strength of the prosecution’s case against a jury of his peers beyond a reasonable doubt. All in all, it’s bad news for the other co-defendants,” legal analyst and criminal defense lawyer Danny Cevallos told NBC News.
On the day of Floyd’s arrest and killing last May, now-former officers Kueng and Lane arrived at Cup Foods after receiving a call about a customer having counterfeit money. After Lane ordered Floyd out of his vehicle and handcuffed him, the 38-year-old Lane and 27-year-old Kueng attempted to get him into the back of a police car. After Floyd told the officers that he was not resisting but claustrophobic, Kueng, Lane, and Chauvin who had arrived later, restrained him on the ground.
Kueng, Lane, and Thao were all captured on the video taken by 17-year-old Darnella Frazier who witnessed Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020. They are currently facing charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Thao, who was laid off from the Minneapolis Police Department in 2009 and rejoined in 2012, is the only officer involved who did not have direct physical contact with Floyd. However, prosecutors may argue that ignoring pleas from the crowd and Thao’s failure to intervene contributed to Floyd’s death.
While being questioned by the FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension about anything he could have done differently, Thao said that “he would be more observant toward Floyd,” reports KSTP.
During Floyd’s restraint, Lane asked Chauvin, who had been with the Minneapolis Police Department for over 18 years, “Should we roll him on his side?”, to which Chauvin replied, “No, staying put where we got him.”
Before paramedics arrived, Kueng checked Floyd’s pulse repeatedly and did not get a response. All of the officers involved were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and Kueng, Lane, and Thao were released from jail last summer after paying a $750,000 bond.
The trials are scheduled to start in August. The Department of Justice also announced on Wednesday that it has launched a civil investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department to determine whether there are patterns of excessive force and discrimination.
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