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Prison closed for two police officers who remained passive during the murder of George Floyd

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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 convicted in February of violation of civil rights of the African-American at the same time as a third agent, Thomas Lane, who for his part received a sentence of two and a half years in prison last week.

Supporting roles in this drama with global repercussions, the three men were accused by federal justice of not having provided the necessary assistance to George Floyd during his agony under the knee of their colleague Derek Chauvin.

The latter, who had kept the pressure on the neck of the black forties for nearly 10 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.

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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.

A blue mural bearing the image of George Floyd with the mention of his name.

A mural in tribute to George Floyd, whose death during a police intervention angered many Americans.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Jean-François Bélanger

On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis merchant called the police to accuse George Floyd of selling a counterfeit $20 bill in his store.

After having struggled to get this man of imposing stature and erratic driving into their vehicle, the agents had him tackled to the ground, handcuffed. Derek Chauvin had settled on his neck, the two new ones at his side, while Tou Thao held off passers-by terrified by what they saw.

They did not move despite the groans of the forties who was losing 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 reflection on America’s racist past.

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In parallel with the federal court proceedings, the Minnesota state court sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 and a half years in prison for murder and charged his three colleagues with complicity in murder.

Thomas Lane has pleaded guilty and is awaiting his sentence, which he could serve concurrently with the federal sentence. The trial of the other two is to be held in the fall.

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