SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The jury deliberating the fate of three police officers who helped Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd has found them guilty of all five federal civil rights charges facing them.
The jury found that former Minneapolis Police officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane deprived George Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority. All three were accused of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care. Kueng and Thao were also accused of failing to intervene to stop the May 25, 2020 killing. Kueng and Lane helped restrain the 46-year-old Floyd as he was on the ground. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs. Thao held back bystanders and kept them from intervening as he was restrained.
The following statement can be attributed to Ben Feist, interim executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota:
“This verdict shows that every police officer involved in police violence is responsible for its outcome. It was clear Mr. Floyd had stopped breathing or moving. He had no pulse.
"Any of these officers could have saved George Floyd’s life. They had a duty to intervene, and they failed. They all are accountable for his death. George Floyd should still be alive today.
“This case highlights so many of the failures in our policing system. Officers targeted a Black man for disparate treatment and then used the debunked theory of ‘excited delirium’ to attempt to justify their horrifying act of violence. They used overwhelming and unnecessary force over a minor offense. MPD leaders appointed a training officer with a record of violence.
“Our law enforcement system is built upon racism, and we know reforms alone have never been enough to solve the problem. We must continue pushing to shift resources from traditional policing to community-based solutions like crisis response teams to keep everyone safe.”
The following statement can be attributed to Yasmin Cader, director of the ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality:
“In order to honor Mr. Floyd’s life, we will continue actively working to dismantle those systems that led to this killing. Police officers still kill approximately three people a day, and communities of color continue to be patrolled by massively funded — $115 billion a year — armed police forces that disproportionately stop, arrest, jail, abuse, traumatize, and kill people of color. Honoring George Floyd’s life means continuing to fight for alternatives that reduce that harm and violence including medical and mental health care, schools, housing, employment, social services. It means continuing to fight for changes like those made not far from Minneapolis in Brooklyn Center, Minn., where the ACLU and local allies worked closely with the mayor and city council to pass a sweeping law that will create a new department to send mental health workers instead of police in many situations.”