More than two years after the murder of George Floyd, the third and final trial over the police killing is set to begin in Minneapolis.
According to AP News, Former officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting both manslaughter and murder in Floyd’s death. On Monday, the trial in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis begins with jury selection.
Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to start on Nov. 7
Both Thao and Kueng rejected plea deals that would have required them to plead guilty and receive a sentence of 36 months. Thao said it would be a “lie and a sin” for him to plead guilty, Minnesota Public Radio reported. Kueng’s attorney said his client would have accepted a sentence of 24 months but the state rejected it.
Former officers Thao, Keung, and Lane were convicted in February by a federal jury on charges of violating George Floyd’s civil rights by failing to intervene or provide medical aid as their senior officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on the back of the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes in the May 25, 2020, incident. Bystander footage showed during the arrest, Lane held down Floyd’s legs, Kueng held down Floyd’s torso, and Thao stood nearby and kept a crowd of upset bystanders back, as Floyd desperately pleaded for them to let him breathe. Floyd called for his mother before he lost consciousness and died.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 ½ years on the state murder charge and 21 years on a federal count of violating Floyd’s rights. He’s serving those sentences simultaneously at a federal prison in Arizona.
Lane pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 36 months.
Thao was sentenced to serve 42 months in prison, and Kueng was sentenced to serve 36 months.
Both former officers are currently serving their federal sentences–Thao at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky, and Kueng at a prison in Lisbon, Ohio.