Minnesota court says 3 ex-cops on scene of George Floyd’s death can be tried for third degree murder

The Minnesota State of Appeals Court ruled that the three ex-cops present at the time of George Floyd’s death, aside from Chauvin who has already been tried and sentenced, can be tried for third degree murder.

The three officers were Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane. Kueng and Lane were rookie officers, still in their first few days as official cops, and Chauvin was their training officer. Thao had been on the force for at least eight years. Kueng and Lane were assisting Chauvin in holding Floyd down, while Thao was trying to keep crowds back. According to their lawyers, Kueng and Lane allegedly questioned Chauvin on whether what they were doing was okay but didn’t remove their hands from Floyd’s person or try to stop Chauvin (Associated Press).

In May, the three cops, along with Chauvin, were indicted by a federal grand jury for willfully violating Floyd’s constitutional rights. That same month, a judge postponed the trial for the three. Then, later in May, the case was brought before the appeals court where they had 90 days to make a ruling. On June 30, the three judge panel made their decision: Thao, Kueng, and Lane could be charged for third degree murder.

Chauvin is the ex-cop whose knee was on Floyd’s neck at the time of his death. He was tried for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was found guilty for all three and has been sentenced to 22 and a half years of prison. Minneapolis has since banned choke holds and neck restraints to prevent further harm upon citizens.



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