The last two people involved in the murder of George Floyd have been sentenced to prison.
According to Reuters, former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were handed down respective prison sentences of 3 years and 3.5 years on Wednesday, July 27. In addition to this, they will also be put under supervised release for two years and have to pay a $200 special assessment fee.
Both were previously convicted in February on federal charges related to depriving Floyd of his civil rights and for not intervening when their white colleague, Derek Chauvin, restrained Floyd — a Black man — by kneeling on his neck for over eight minutes.
During the fatal May 2020 encounter, Kueng helped Chauvin by pinning down Floyd's lower back, while Thao prevented bystanders from intervening. According to Reuters, this ruling follows last week's sentencing of the fourth ex-officer, Thomas Lane, who was given 2.5 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of also violating Floyd's civil rights and not coming to his aid, though St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said Lane's involvement was "minimal."
Meanwhile, Judge Magnuson determined that Kueng and Thao "made a tragic misdiagnosis in their assessment" of what was happening, adding that "each had an individual duty and opportunity to intervene in the excessive force that resulted in the agonizing death of Mr. Floyd, but both men failed to take any action." However, he also acknowledge that Kueng was following the lead of a "much more senior officer" as a rookie cop, later saying he believed the two truly thought Floyd was in the midst of an "excited delirium" stemming from a drug overdose.
That said, Chauvin was initially sentenced to 22.5 years on intentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges back in June 2021. He was later sentenced to an addition 21 years for two counts of violating Floyd's civil rights last month, as well as for violating the civil rights of a 14-year-old boy — who was also Black — during a separate incident that took place in 2017. Chauvin will serve both sentences concurrently.
You can read Reuters' entire report here.
Photo via Getty / Stephanie Keith