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Former officers plead not guilty to violating Floyd’s rights

Derek Chauvin at his sentencing on state murder and manslaughter charges in June Associated Press/Court TV

Former officers plead not guilty to violating Floyd’s rights

J. Kueng and Tou Thao are asking a judge to separate their cases from Derek Chauvin’s for fear of unfair prejudice from being connected to someone already convicted and serving a 22½-year sentence in a maximum-security prison. In April, a Minneapolis jury convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin, Kueng, Thao, and Thomas Lane face federal charges of violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure and not giving him medical aid. Kueng and Thao are also charged with not intervening when Chauvin restrained Floyd on the ground for more than nine minutes.

What happens next? U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung will hear oral arguments from the officers’ attorneys. For a conviction, prosecutors must prove the officers willfully deprived Floyd of his rights. Kueng, Thao, and Lane will go on trial in March 2022 on state charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. They have also pleaded not guilty to those charges. 

Dig deeper: Listen to Sarah Schweinsberg’s report on police reforms across the country on The World and Everything In It podcast.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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