Aug 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ex-officers to appeal prison sentences for violating George Floyd's civil rights

Photo of three masked men and a masked woman in the back walking down a hallway

Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, left, and J. Alexander Kueng, right, arrive with attorney Thomas Plunkett at the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn., on Jan. 11. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Attorneys for former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao filed Wednesday their intent to appeal the federal prison sentences handed down for their roles in the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, the Star Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Kueng and Thao were sentenced to three and 3 1/2 years in prison, respectively, after they were convicted of violating Floyd's civil rights by not intervening as Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

  • Throughout the murder, Kueng held Floyd's back as Chauvin was kneeling on his neck. Thao kept bystanders away while Thomas Lane, another Minneapolis police officer at the time, restrained Floyd's legs.
  • Lane was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating Floyd's civil rights.

What to watch: Both Kueng and Thao are expected to stand trial in Hennepin County starting Oct. 24 for state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Go deeper