Three officers charged with aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin in murder of George Floyd will appear in court in just THREE WEEKS over civil rights violations
- Former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were with Chauvin when Floyd was murdered last May
- Each of the men were fired after Floyd’s death and arrested – but all of them are free on $750,000 bail ahead of their trial
- The men have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter
- They are scheduled for a joint trial on those charges in Minnesota next March
- Meanwhile, the trio been charged with willfully violating Floyd’s civil rights
- They will be arraigned in a Minneapolis court on that charge on July 14
Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota last Memorial Day.
But the three other officers who were on the scene at the time are yet to stand trial despite being charged with a number of offenses.
Former Minneapolis cops J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – who were fired from the force after Floyd’s death – have each been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The trio have additionally been charged with willfully violating Floyd’s civil rights.
They will appear in a U.S. District Court in Minnesota on July 14 to be arraigned on the civil rights violation charges. However, they are not scheduled to face trial on the aiding and abetting charges until next March.
Kueng, Lane and Thao are each free on a $75,000 bond.
J. Alexander Kueng, from left, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are currently free on bond, but are facing a number of charges over the death of George Floyd.
Tou Thao stands, left, while Derek Chauvin, second left, presses his knee on Floyd’s neck murdering him. Former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are also pictured
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao is pictured in a video from the death of George Floyd
Former officers Kueng and Derek Chauvin are pictured on top of George Floyd in Thomas Lane’s body camera footage
Derek Chauvin, left, Kueng and Lane, center and right, are pictured while bystanders watch the murder of George Floyd outside of Cup Foods
Lane, 38, and Kueng, 27, were the first officers to arrive outside the Cup Foods store where Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes on May 25 last year.
Kueng had graduated from the police academy in 2019 and started as an officer in December – just six months before Floyd’s murder.
During the fatal encounter, prosecutors said Kueng was between Chauvin and Lane, kneeling on Floyd’s back, with his hand on Floyd’s handcuffed left wrist.
After Floyd became unresponsive, it was Kueng who checked the right wrist for a pulse and said, ‘I couldn’t find one,’ prosecutors said in their complaint. None of the officers moved from their positions, the complaint said.
Lane, who arrived at the scene with Kueng, ordered Floyd out of his car and handcuffed him, prosecutors said. He had been on the police force for only a matter of days.
Chauvin, Kueng and Lane each used their weight to restrain Floyd on the ground after he balked at getting into the back of a squad car.
Lane was positioned on his legs, ‘kneeling on them and pressing them down with his hands,’ according to the complaint.
At one point, Lane asked, ‘Should we roll him on his side?’
Chauvin responded: ‘No, staying put where we got him.’
Lane then said, ‘I am worried about excited delirium or whatever,’ to which Chauvin said, ‘That’s why we have him on his stomach.’
Former Minneapolis Police officer Tou Thao, right, arrives for a court hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center on July 21, 2020. He is currently out on bond
Thao, who had rejoined the force in 2012 after losing his job to layoffs as a rookie in 2009, arrived on the scene with Chauvin after Floyd had already been handcuffed.
Although Thao was the only one of the four officers who was not in physical contact with Floyd, prosecutors said he had a direct look at how Chauvin and the others were restraining him.
Thao stood watch over the onlookers who were gathering at the scene, keeping himself positioned between them and the three other officers who were on Floyd’s prone body.
When a bystander stepped off the curb, ‘imploring Chauvin to get off of Mr. Floyd, (Thao) put his hands on the citizen to keep him back,’ the complaint said.
Former police officer Thomas Lane arrives in court on charges related to the murder of George Floyd last year
Former police officer Alexander Kueng arrives into court on charges related to the murder of George Floyd last year
Back in April, Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for which he was charged – second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – after just 10 and a half hours of deliberation.
His quick conviction caused some people online to speculate about the upcoming trial for the other officers.
‘We’re not done, there are still three defendants to go: aiding and abetting,’ @LauraAliaga2 tweeted.
Another Twitter user said: ‘Wonder how Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane are feeling tonight.’
On Friday, Chauvin was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years behind bars. A judge also denied a motion for a new jury after Chauvin’s lawyers alleged jury misconduct.
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