Officers facing state charges in George Floyd’s death reject plea deal, report says

J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are set to go on state trial in mid-June for aiding and abetting in Floyd’s murder.

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The three former Minneapolis police officers who were found guilty in federal court of having violated George Floyd’s civil rights have rejected a plea deal in their state case. 

According to a new report from CNN, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are set to go to trial in mid-June on state charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s murder by another former officer, Derek Chauvin — who is now serving 22 and a half years in prison. He was also charged with violating Floyd’s civil rights and those of a teenager in a separate incident and has pleaded guilty. 

Floyd Former Minneapolis Police Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. thegrio.com
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota shows (from left) former Minneapolis Police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Photos: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

The three former officers have pleaded not guilty.

The report says the three men were offered the plea deal on March 22, just weeks after they were found guilty in federal court. The terms of the deal were not revealed, but CNN notes they will likely be made public when the trial starts. 

All three former officers are currently free on bail, and sentencing in their federal case has not been scheduled. The trio testified in the federal trial.

According to previous CNN reporting, the jury instructions read, in part, “In order to find that any defendant failed to intervene in violation of the Constitution, you must find that the defendant saw Derek Chauvin use force, that the defendant recognized that the use of force was unreasonable, that the defendant had a realistic opportunity to prevent further harm from occurring, and that the defendant chose not to do so.” 

At the time of the verdict, the Floyd family’s legal team said in a statement, “Today closes another important chapter in our journey for justice for George Floyd and his family.” They added that the guilty verdicts should be 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.”

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