Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane were found guilty of violating George Floyd’s civil rights by a federal jury in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday evening.
After about 13 hours of deliberation, an all white jury—four men and eight women—found Lane, 38, Kueng, 28, and Thao, 36, guilty of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020—ultimately killing him, according to CNN.
The jurors also found Thao and Kueng guilty of an additional charge for failing to intervene to stop Chauvin. Lane, however, who did not face the extra charge, testified that he asked Chauvin twice to reposition Floyd while restraining him but was denied both times.
Lane also said he did chest compressions on Floyd when the paramedics arrived and prepared to load Floyd’s body into an ambulance and that he offered to ride with them to the hospital.
All three men had pleaded not guilty. And while Thao, Kueng, and Lane each face up to life in prison, it is unlikely that they will be sentenced to the punishment.
The verdict comes almost a year after Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in a state trial and was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison.
For the duration of the over four week-long trial, defense attorneys have said the men did not receive adequate training and relied on Chauvin, a 26-year veteran of the force, as the most experienced officer on the scene.
Kueng testified that he did not realize Floyd had a “serious medical need” while he restrained him and did not recognize the restraint Chauvin was using and thus did not know if it violated police policy.
Thao, meanwhile, testified that he had relied on his fellow officers to tend to Floyd’s medical needs while he dealt with onlookers at the scene, and that he did not know there was something seriously wrong with Floyd even as he was taken away by an ambulance. When asked why he did not tell Chauvin to get his knee off George Floyd’s neck, Thao testified: “I think I would trust a 19-year veteran to figure it out.”
A state trial is scheduled for June against the men on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.