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Federal sentencing date set for ex-officers Kueng, Thao

In February, a federal jury found the former Minneapolis police officers guilty of violating George Floyd's civil rights on the day of his murder in 2020.

ST PAUL, Minn. — About a week after former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was sentenced to two and a half years in prison by a federal judge for his role in the killing of George Floyd, fellow ex-officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng will also be sentenced for violating Floyd's civil rights.

Kueng's sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27. Thao is scheduled for the same day at 11 a.m.

In February, a federal jury found Kueng, Thao and Lane all guilty of denying Floyd his right to medical care on the night he was murdered by then-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin. Kueng and Thao were also charged and found guilty of failing to intervene with former officer Derek Chauvin's use of force.

Thao and Kueng are also slated to go on trial in October on state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and aiding and abetting second-degree murder in connection with Floyd's death on May 25, 2020.

Credit: Hennepin County Jail
J. Alexander Kueng (left) and Tou Thao (right)

Lane entered a guilty plea on his state charges in May after striking a deal with the state. As part of that agreement, Lane was expected to serve three years in a federal facility, to be served concurrently with his federal sentence; however the official state sentencing hearing has not yet happened.

On Thursday, July 21, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Lane to 30 months in prison with two years of supervised release. Magnuson recommended Lane serve his sentence at a facility in Duluth, and ordered him to surrender by Oct. 4, 2022.

Outside the federal courthouse following Lane's sentencing, George Floyd's brother Philonise and his nephew Brandon Williams both expressed frustration at the length of the sentence, saying Lane should have been given the statutory maximum.

"We’re pissed off, we’re fed up, it’s happening time and time again," said Williams. "These guys are murderers. These guys didn’t go and accidentally push somebody on the ground, they murdered a man in broad daylight, and yet at his discretion he chooses to give lighter sentences then his guidelines. It’s ridiculous…. It’s a slap in the face."

Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder in Floyd’s death in state court in April 2021. He's currently serving a 22 1/2-year sentence for those convictions. Chauvin also pleaded guilty to separate federal civil rights charges in December for Floyd's death and an unrelated case involved a Black teenager; Judge Magnuson gave Chauvin a 21-year sentence on the federal charges.

Chauvin's federal and state sentences are running concurrently.

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