Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Prosecutors demand jail for 3 former policemen in George Floyd’s murder

Prosecutors demand jail for 3 former policemen in George Floyd's murder

MINNEAPOLIS ( Associated Press) — Federal prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to sentence one of four former Minneapolis police officers convicted of civil rights violations in the murder of George Floyd to 6 1/2 years in prison, but on Asked to invoke as yet unspecified sentences. two others.

He urged US District Judge Paul Magnusson to follow non-binding federal sentencing guidelines for former officer Thomas Lane and impose fines between 5 1/4 and 6 1/2 years in prison.

Prosecutors also said former officer Jay Alexander deserves a “significantly higher” sentence than Kueng Lane, but less than the 20 to 25 years Derek Chauvin expects to get. And they said they would demand a “comparable” sentence for Kueng to former officer Tu Thao.

Lane and Kueng both helped rein in Floyd on the night of May 2020, when a white man, kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes despite Floyd’s fading pleas that he could not breathe Chovin, who is white, killed Floyd. Thao helped stop the crowd of concerned onlookers.

The killing triggered immediate protests in Minneapolis, which spread to the US and beyond over police brutality and discrimination against people of color.

Chauvin reached a plea agreement in December, calling for a sentence of 20 to 25 years. Prosecutors are seeking 25 years for him. Thao, Kueng and Lane were tried and convicted of related federal civil rights charges in February. Lane is white, Kueng is African American and Thao is Asian American.

Prosecutors said in a sentencing memo for Kueng that “several factors weigh heavily in favor of a longer prison sentence for him”.

He cited Kueng’s “abuse of state powers,” his “lack of acknowledgment of responsibility, including his (sometimes obstructive and unreliable) trial testimony,” including the need to prevent other officers from standing when peer arrests are misused. The need for continuity with other cases of officers who are not protesting, and of failing to intervene to protect an arrested person from misconduct.

Prosecutors noted how it was established at trial that Kueng “directed an assistant firefighter away from Mr. Floyd and dismissed Lane’s questions about whether Mr. Floyd should be rolled over to his side. He personally Visibly assessed that Mr Floyd had no pulse, and then did nothing about it.

And he said that some of Kueng’s testimony “contradicts directly and clearly with other, irrefutable evidence presented at trial”, which equates to perjury, particularly concerning whether Kueng knew that Floyd had “a serious medical need.”

Prosecutors indicated they would separate reasons for a similar sentencing for Thao in a separate memo that was not filed as of Wednesday evening.

In a sentencing memo for Lane, prosecutors said the fine would be reasonable, within the limits of federal guidelines, but not less as the defense sought. He said Lane’s failure to provide assistance that saved Floyd had “serious consequences” for Floyd and the wider community.

Lawyers for Lane and Thao have yet to file their sentencing recommendations. An outline of what Kueng is seeking was not publicly available Wednesday, but his lawyer filed another document on Wednesday indicating he would seek a sentence below the guideline limit.

Magnussen has not set a sentencing date for the four former officers. The federal civil rights cases were separate from the state murder and manslaughter charges against him.

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder in a state court last year and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison. Lane accepted a plea agreement in May for a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing on that count. Thao and Kueng, who had previously turned down the plea bargain, are scheduled to stand trial on October 24 on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree murder.

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