Thou Thao (left) and Alexander Kueng (right)
US justice on Wednesday sentenced two police officers to prison terms for remaining passive during the murder of George Floyd, a drama that sparked monster protests against racism in 2020.
Federal Judge Paul Magnuson handed down sentences of three years in custody for Alexander Kueng, 28, and three and a half years for Tou Thao, 36, during a brief hearing in a St. Paul court.
The two men were convicted in February of violating the African American's civil rights along with a third officer, Thomas Lane, who for his part received a two and a half year prison sentence last week.
Supporting roles in this drama with global repercussions, the three men were accused by federal justice of not having brought the necessary help to George Floyd during his agony under the knee of their colleague Derek Chauvin.
The latter, who had maintained the pressure on the neck of the black forties for nearly 10 minutes, was sentenced to 21 years in prison by federal justice.
The differences between the sentences handed down to his three colleagues stem in part from their experience—Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng were new recruits with very few patrols under their belt—and their attitude on the day of the tragedy.
Unlike the other two who did not intervene at all, Thomas Lane suggested placing George Floyd on his side and tried to resuscitate him when help arrived.
A mural in tribute to George Floyd, whose death during a police intervention has angered many Americans.
On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis storekeeper called police to accuse George Floyd of selling a counterfeit $20 bill in his store.
After struggling to get this man of imposing stature and erratic driving into their vehicle, the officers had him pinned to the ground, handcuffed. Derek Chauvin had settled on his neck, the two newcomers by his side, while Tou Thao held off passersby terrified by what they saw.
They did not move despite the groans of the forties who was losing consciousness.
The scene, filmed and posted online, had triggered huge demonstrations against racism and police brutality across the United States and beyond, and continues to reflect on America's racist past.
Along with lawsuits federal, Minnesota state justice sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22½ years in prison for murder and charged his three colleagues with complicity in murder.
Thomas Lane pleaded guilty and is awaiting his sentence, which he could serve concurrently with the federal sentence. The trial of the other two is to be held in the fall.