Two ex-Minneapolis police officers, who were convicted of violating George Floyd’s civil rights during his fatal arrest in 2020, were on Wednesday sentenced to prison.
According to NBC News, J. Alexander Kueng received a three-year sentence while Tou Thao was sentenced to 38 months (3½ years) in prison. The convicted former police officers have also been ordered to complete two years of supervised release after serving out their prison time.
In February, Kueng and Thao were found guilty of violating Floyd’s civil rights while they were in the line of duty. The jury determined both men failed to render Floyd medical aid and also did not step in to prevent their colleague officer Derek Chauvin from using excessive force.
Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, a federal judge ruled last week that the sentencing guidelines for both the two convicted men would be calculated in a format that would see them receiving lower prison sentences. Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence ranging from 4¼ to 5¼ years.
The two former police officers also have another trial pending in October on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Another former officer, Thomas Lane was also sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison last week after he was similarly found guilty of violating Floyd’s civil rights, Face2Face Africa reported.
Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleading for his life and telling the law enforcement officer that he couldn’t breathe. The video of the fatal arrest showed Lane holding Floyd’s legs while Kueng placed his knee on the Black man’s back. Thao, on the other hand, restrained bystanders.
Kueng did not address the court during the hearing. Thao, however, addressed the court for about twenty minutes and spoke about his Christian faith, NBC News reported. And though Floyd’s family and friends were at the court for the hearing, he did not speak to them directly. He also did not make a reference to Floyd.
“Throughout this two-year journey, I’ve never seen so much corruption in this case,” Thao said in court. “I thought this was Hollywood.”
Before concluding his statement, Thao said that though he could beg for forgiveness as a father, he would rather entreat his friends to ask God for salvation.
Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, expressed her disappointment with Thao’s statement. “I’m a Christian, and there was no place in court for what he was doing,” Ross said. “He showed no remorse. Not even a bit.”
In June last year, Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison after he was found guilty of Floyd’s murder. He received a 21-year prison sentence a few weeks ago after he pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights. Both sentences will run concurrently.