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Three Ex-Minneapolis Officers Convicted in Floyd Civil Rights Trial

After two days of deliberations, a federal jury convicted the three Minneapolis police officers who were on the scene when Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, the Associated Press reports. Defense attorneys for Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane made a variety of arguments to excuse their inaction while Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, including a lack of experience, poor training, and deference to a senior officer. After a month of testimony they were found guilty of violating Floyd's civil rights. At the scene, Kueng knelt on Floyd's back, Lane held Floyd's legs, and Thao controlled the crowd. This resulted in convictions for all three officers of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care, and convictions of Thao and Kueng for failing to intervene in the killing.

Chauvin and Thao were called in to assist Kueng and Lane, rookie officers who responded to a call that Floyd had passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. Prosecutors argued that the officers violated their training by failing to move Floyd or give him CPR, which even bystanders knew was necessary. Kueng and Lane said they deferred to Chauvin as the senior officer, while Thao said his attention was diverted by the crowd. The three former officers are free on bond pending sentencing. All three officers are also set to go on trial in June on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. Chauvin, who is already serving 22 and a half years in state prison, is set to face a sentencing range of 20 to 25 years in the civil rights case, in which he has pled guilty.


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