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Ex-cops Kueng, Thao sentenced for violating Floyd’s rights

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Posted at 1:43 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 13:43:19-04

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The last two former Minneapolis police officers who were convicted of violating George Floyd’s civil rights during his May 2020 killing were sentenced Wednesday in federal court to three and 3 1/2 years — penalties that a judge said reflected their level of culpability in a case that sparked worldwide protests as part of a reckoning over racial injustice.

J. Alexander Kueng was sentenced to three years and Tao Thao got 3 1/2 years. They were convicted in February of two counts of violating Floyd’s civil rights. The jury found they deprived the 46-year-old Black man of medical care and failed to stop Derek Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes.

As Chauvin pinned Floyd’s neck, Kueng held Floyd’s back, Officer Thomas Lane held his feet and Thao kept bystanders back during the killing, which was recorded by bystanders.

The federal government brought the civil rights charges against all four officers in May 2021, a month after Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in state court. They were seen as an affirmation of the Justice Department’s priorities to address racial inequities in policing, a promise made by President Joe Biden before his election. And they came just a week after federal prosecutors brought hate crimes charges in the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and announced two sweeping probes into policing in two states.