Two Ex-Minneapolis Officers Charged in George Floyd Murder Reject Plea Deal - Reports
© AFP 2023 / KEREM YUCELFormer Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao arrives at the US District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota, on January 11, 2022, for the pre-trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with federal civil rights violations in George Floyd’s death.
© AFP 2023 / KEREM YUCEL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Two former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd refused to accept plea deals that would have required them to serve three-year sentences each and set the stage for a trial, the Washington Post reported.
The two former officers, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25 2020, the report said on Monday.
Legal observers have pointed out that Thao and Keung have opened themselves to state sentences that could be much longer than their federal sentences if they are found guilty of the charges against them, the report said.
Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend sentences of 12-and-a-half years for murder and four years for the manslaughter charge, but prosecutors have indicated that they will be asking for longer sentences for the pair if they secure convictions, the report said.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as the latter was handcuffed and laying on his stomach. During the arrest, Kueng knelt on Floyd's back while Thao warned bystanders not to get too close. The incident was captured on video and went viral, sparking protests - and riots - throughout the United States and abroad.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder last year and sentenced to 22-and-a-half years on the state charge. Kueng, Thao and another officer, Thomas Lane, were convicted in US federal court in February of violating Floyd's civil rights. Kueng received a three-year prison sentence, Thao a three-and-a-half year prison sentence, while Lane was sentenced to two-and-a-half years.
Thao and Kueng have decided to appeal their federal convictions, according to the report.