As a new trial starts, here's where the cases concerning George Floyd's murder stand
It's been more than a year since former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison for the May 2020 murder and manslaughter of George Floyd.
Floyd died after Chauvin pressed his knee onto his neck for more than nine minutes. The scene was captured on video by community members who expressed anger at Floyd's mistreatment by Chauvin and the other officers, and his death became a worldwide rallying point for racial justice and police reform.
Legal proceedings are ongoing for Chauvin and other former Minneapolis police officers who were part of the scene. Here's where things stand now — including a trial for two officers that begins next week.
Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng
On Monday, a jury trial will begin in Minnesota district court for former officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. Thao, 36, and Kueng, 29, have pleaded not guilty to state charges of aiding and abetting the murder and manslaughter of Floyd.
While Chauvin pinned down Floyd with a knee to the Black man's neck, Kueng knelt on Floyd's back. Thao prevented bystanders from intervening.
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, while Kueng's attorney said his client would have accepted a sentence of 24 months but the state rejected it.
The presumptive sentences if they are found guilty of the charges are 150 months for aiding and abetting murder, and 48 months for aiding and abetting manslaughter, MPR reported.
The two have already been convicted and sentenced in federal court. In July, Thao was sentenced to serve 42 months in prison, and Kueng was sentenced to serve 36 months. Both were found guilty of depriving Floyd of his "constitutional right to be free from an officer's unreasonable force when each willfully failed to intervene to stop ... Chauvin's use of unreasonable force," the Justice Department noted.
Both began serving their federal sentences earlier this month – Thao at a facility in Lexington, Ky., and Kueng at a prison in Lisbon, Ohio.
Thomas Lane was sentenced last month to 3 years in prison, after pleading guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter in Floyd's killing. He held Floyd's legs while Chauvin pinned Floyd's neck.
Lane was already serving 2 ½ years for violating Floyd's civil rights, a federal charge. A plea deal will allow Lane to serve the federal and state sentences concurrently.
Chauvin was found guilty in April 2021 on state charges of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced two months later to 22 ½ years in prison.
He has appealed the jury's verdict. As NPR's Bill Chappell reported in April, Chauvin is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to do one of three things: "toss his conviction and send his case back to Hennepin County; reverse the result and order a new trial in a new venue; or order Chauvin to be sentenced to a lesser punishment."
In federal court, Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating a federal criminal civil rights statute in two separate incidents, and received a sentence of 21 years in prison.
"First, Chauvin pleaded guilty to willfully depriving Mr. Floyd of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer, resulting in Mr. Floyd's bodily injury and death," according to the Justice Department. "Chauvin also pleaded guilty to willfully depriving a then-14-year-old child of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer, resulting in the child's bodily injury."
The federal sentence will run concurrently with Chauvin's state sentence.
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