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Former Officers Plead Not Guilty to Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights

Four former Minneapolis police officers pleaded not guilty in federal court to violating George Floyd‘s civil rights during his arrest when he was killed last May.

On TuesdayThomas Lane, J. Keung, Tou Thao, and Derek Chauvin, who is currently serving 22 ½ years for killing Floyd, appeared in a virtual court hearing with their lawyers. The federal indictment claims the officers deprived Floyd of his rights when they failed to administer medical aid while Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. Specifically, Thao and Kueng are charged with failing to stop Chauvin from killing the unarmed Black man.

Lane, Keung, and Thao still face charges at the state level in Minnesota for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. They will head to trial for those charges next March. Judge Peter Cahill has rejected Chauvin’s request for a new trial.

The three officers who have yet to be convicted have requested that their federal civil rights trial be held apart from Chauvin’s to prevent a jury from being prejudiced against him. Prosecutors are asking that all of the men be tried together.

During his May 25th, 2020 arrest, George Floyd repeatedly told the officers he couldn’t breathe as Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee, while Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back, and Lane held his legs down. Thao kept bystanders from intervening during the over nine-minute ordeal that killed Floyd.

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