A federal jury in St. Paul, found three former Minneapolis Police Department officers guilty of federal civil rights offenses in the death of George Floyd.
Former Minneapolis officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were convicted of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by failing to intervene during former officer Derek Chauvin's use of force against Floyd. Thao, Kueng and former officer Thomas Lane also were found to have deprived Floyd of his constitutional right to be free from a police officer’s deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs when they saw him restrained in police custody in clear need of medical care and failed to aid him.
The convictions announced Thursday are separate from and in addition to any and all charges the State of Minnesota has brought against these former officers related to the death of Floyd. The federal charges addressed civil rights offenses that criminalize violations of the U.S. Constitution, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
“Today’s verdict recognizes that two police officers violated the Constitution by failing to intervene to stop another officer from killing George Floyd, and three officers violated the Constitution by failing to provide aid to Mr. Floyd in time to prevent his death,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will continue to seek accountability for law enforcement officers whose actions, or failure to act, violate their constitutional duty to protect the civil rights of our citizens. George Floyd should be alive today.”
Co-defendant Derek Chauvin previously entered a guilty plea in connection with the federal case. Chauvin pleaded guilty to willfully depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights while Chauvin was serving as an MPD officer. Chauvin also acknowledged that his conduct resulted in death and that he acted in callous and wanton disregard of the consequences to Mr. Floyd’s life. In addition, Chauvin was tried in state court and convicted of second-degree murder. In 2021, Chauvin was sentenced in state court to 22.5 years in prison.
No sentencing date has been set for Thao, Kueng, and Lane.