Closing arguments start today in federal trial focused on George Floyd’s civil rights  

The three former Minneapolis police officers accused of violating Floyd’s civil rights will soon learn their fates.

The three former Minneapolis police officers shared with violating the civil rights of George Floyd in the May 2020 arrest that ended in his death will soon learn their fate. Closing arguments in the federal trial of Tou Thao, J Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane are set to begin today. 

Lane was the final officer to testify in the trial. He said he asked former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin twice if Floyd should be rolled over from the prone position he was in, but said that he was rebuffed, according to USA Today

This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota shows (from left) former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Photos: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

He also testified that he and Keung checked Floyd’s pulse, and none was detected. According to The Washington Post, Lane grew emotional describing the way Floyd looked when he was rolled over. “He didn’t look good,” he said, grabbing a tissue. 

All three former officers testified on their own behalf during the federal trial, for which they’re all charged with violating Floyd’s constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizure and from unreasonable force by a police officer.

Kueng and Thao were charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure for not intervening as Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Lane was not hit with the additional charge because he expressed concern for Floyd’s well-being during the deadly arrest in May 2020, as previously reported. 

In December, Chauvin pleaded guilty to the federal charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison, which will likely be served concurrently with his state sentence of 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s murder.

During his testimony, Kueng repeatedly explained his decisions during the fatal arrest as deference to Chauvin, the “senior officer.”

Defense attorneys have tried to argue that the actions of the officers were the responsibility of the Minneapolis Police Department, noting that the department is under both state and federal investigations for its policies and training practices. 

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