Three officers charged in killing of George Floyd will testify in their defense

The May 2020 videotaped killing of Floyd triggered protests worldwide and a reexamination of racism and policing

The three former Minneapolis police officers charged in connection with the killing of George Floyd will testify in their own defense later this year in a federal civil rights trial. 

Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane, are accused of depriving Floyd of his rights when they failed to give him medical aid as former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the Black man’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes while he was handcuffed, facedown and gasping for air, the Associated Press reported.

This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows from left, former Minneapolis Police Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

The May 2020 videotaped killing triggered protests worldwide and a reexamination of racism and policing. Bodycam police footage showed Kueng and Lane approaching Floyd, who was in his car. Lane pointed his service weapon at Floyd and demanded he get out. Lane ultimately pulled Floyd out of the car and handcuffed him, theGrio reported.

Floyd resisted going into the squad car as Chauvin and Thao arrived to assist. Chauvin proceeded to place his knee on Floyd’s neck as Kueng held down Floyd’s torso and Lane held his legs. Floyd could be heard on now-viral footage taken by then 17-year-old Darnella Frazier pleading for help and declaring “I can’t breathe,” as his face was shoved against the pavement.

Chauvin ignored his pleas and continued to press his knee on Floyd’s neck, even after he lost consciousness.

(Courtesy of the Floyd family)

Kueng, Thao, and Lane were accused of violating Floyd’s civil rights and pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. They will be tried together later this year for aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s murder, CNN reports.

The trio reportedly informed US District Judge Paul Magnuson on Monday that they plan to testify in their own defense. The prosecution rested Monday in the Federal civil rights case after hearing from “more than 20 witnesses over the course of the 13 days of testimony,” CNN reports.

Per AP, Frazier, the teenager who recorded the video of Floyd’s killing, testified that she knew Floyd needed medical care when he became unresponsive. She said: “Over time, he kind of just became weaker and eventually just stopped making sounds overall.”

Multiple witnesses testified that Kueng, Thao, Lane made no attempt to stop Chauvin from using his knee to crush the life out of Floyd by pressing down on his neck for nearly 10 minutes. Several medical experts noted that Floyd could have survived the encounter had medical care been rendered, which the former officers failed to do. 

For his part in the killing of Floyd, Chauvin was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. He pled not guilty to all the offenses but a jury found him guilty on all charges last April, theGrio reported. 

In June, he was sentenced to 22.5 years, far below the maximum 40 years that could have been handed down.

This article contains additional reporting from Stephanie Guerilus.

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The post Three officers charged in killing of George Floyd will testify in their defense appeared first on TheGrio.

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