American justice sentenced two police officers to prison on Wednesday for remaining passive during the murder of George Floyd, a tragedy that sparked monster demonstrations against racism in 2020.  ;
Federal Judge Paul Magnuson handed down sentences of three years in custody for Alexander Kueng, 28, and three and a half years for Tou Thao, 36, during a brief hearing in a St. Paul court.
The two men were found guilty in February of “violating the civil rights” of the African-American along with a third agent, Thomas Lane, who last week sentenced him to two and a half years in prison.
Supporting roles in this drama with global repercussions, the three men were accused by federal justice of not having brought the necessary help to George Floyd during his agony under the knee of their colleague Derek Chauvin.
This the latter, who had kept the pressure on the neck of the black forties for nearly ten minutes, was sentenced to 21 years in prison by the federal justice.
The differences between the sentences imposed on his three colleagues are partly due to their experience — Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng were new recruits with very few patrols under their belt — and their attitude on the day of the tragedy.
Unlike the other two who did not intervene at all, Thomas Lane suggested placing George Floyd on his side and tried to resuscitate him when help arrived.
On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis storekeeper had called the police to accuse George Floyd of selling a counterfeit $20 bill in his store.
After struggling to get this man of imposing stature and erratic driving into their vehicle, they had him tackled to the ground, handcuffed. Derek Chauvin had settled on his neck, the two new ones at his side, while Tou Thao kept the panicked passers-by at a distance.
They had not moved, despite the groans of the forties and his loss of consciousness.
The scene, filmed and posted online, sparked huge protests against racism and police brutality across the United States and beyond, and continues to fuel a reflection on America's racist past.
Along with the federal court proceedings, a Minnesota state court sentenced Derek Chauvin for murder to 22 and a half years in prison, and charged his three colleagues with “complicity in murder.”
Thomas Lane has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing, which he could serve concurrently with the federal sentence. The trial of the other two is to be held in the fall.