Two former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the incident that killed George Floyd in the Summer of 2020 have rejected plea offers on charges against them related to the murder.
Thou and Keung were both present when their former colleague, Derek Chauvin, held Floyd to the ground by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes, leading to his death. Chauvin was convicted of murder last year and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Thou and Keung were both charged with two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Both former officers were offered plea deals by state prosecutors to serve three years in prison for pleading guilty to the lesser charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter, but both declined the offer. “It would be lying for me to accept any plea offer,” Thou said this week. The state’s sentencing guidelines suggest a twelve and a half year sentence for aiding and abetting murder, and four years for aiding and abetting manslaughter.
“It’s a standard best practice to make a record in court when the State offers a plea agreement, in order to ensure the defendant’s decision is freely and knowingly made,” said Attorney General Keith Ellison in a statement. “The defendants have a right to decline the offer and proceed to trial. The State is ready for trial.”
Both officers were also previously convicted and sentenced by a federal court on charges of denying George Floyd his civil rights when they failed to intervene as Chauvin fatally pinned Floyd to the ground. Keung was sentenced to three years and Thou was sentenced to three. Both former officers plan to appeal their federal convictions.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WABE.ORG
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