Prosecutors seek prison for 3 ex-cops in Floyd killing

Jun 29, 2022, 4:55 PM | Updated: 6:10 pm
FILE -This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on W...

FILE -This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Federal prosecutors asked a judge to sentence one of the four former Minneapolis police officers convicted of civil rights violations in George Floyd's killing to as many as 6 1/2 years in prison but to impose significantly stiffer sentences on two others. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

(Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to sentence one of the four former Minneapolis police officers convicted of civil rights violations in George Floyd’s killing to as many as 6 1/2 years in prison but to impose significantly stiffer yet unspecified sentences on two others.

They urged U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson to follow the nonbinding federal sentencing guidelines for former Officer Thomas Lane and impose a penalty between 5 1/4 and 6 1/2 years on prison.

Prosecutors also said former Officer J. Alexander Kueng deserves a “substantially higher” sentence than Lane’s, but less than the 20 to 25 years Derek Chauvin is expected to get. And they said they’ll seek a “comparable” sentence to Kueng’s for former Officer Tou Thao.

Both Lane and Kueng helped restrain Floyd on the night in May 2020 when Chauvin, who is white killed Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes despite Floyd’s fading pleas that he couldn’t breathe. Thao helped hold back a crowd of concerned bystanders.

The killing sparked immediate protests in Minneapolis that spread around the U.S. and beyond in a reckoning over police brutality and discrimination against people of color.

Chauvin reached a plea agreement in December that calls for a 20- to 25-year sentence. Prosecutors are seeking 25 years for him. Thao, Kueng and Lane went to trial and were convicted on related federal civil rights charges in February. Lane is white, Kueng is African American and Thao is Asian American.

Prosecutors said in a sentencing memo for Kueng that “several factors weigh heavily in favor of a lengthy prison sentence” for him.

They cited Kueng’s “abuse of state powers,” his “lack of acceptance of responsibility, including his (at-times obstructive and incredible) trial testimony,” the need to deter other officers from standing by when colleagues abuse arrestees who aren’t resisting, and the need for consistency with other cases of officers accused of failing to intervene to protect an arrestee from abuse.

Prosecutors noted how it was established at trial that Kueng “directed a helpful firefighter away from Mr. Floyd and rebuffed Lane’s questions about whether Mr. Floyd should be rolled on his side. He personally assessed that Mr. Floyd did not have a pulse, and then did nothing about it.”

And they said some of Kueng’s testimony “directly and obviously conflicted with other, irrefutable evidence presented at trial” in ways that amounted to perjury, particularly as it related to whether Kueng knew that Floyd “had a serious medical need.”

The prosecutors indicated they would lay out different reasons for a similar sentence for Thao in a separate memo that had not been filed as of Wednesday evening.

In a sentencing memo for Lane, prosecutors said a penalty within the federal guidelines range would be appropriate, but not less as the defense is seeking. They said Lane’s failure to provide aid that could have saved Floyd had “serious consequences” for Floyd and the broader community.

Attorneys for Lane and Thao have not filed their sentencing recommendations yet. A filing outlining what Kueng is seeking was not publicly available Wednesday, but his attorney filed another document Wednesday indicating he would seek a sentence below the guideline range.

Magnuson has not set sentencing dates for the four former officers. The federal civil rights cases were separate from the state murder and manslaughter charges against them.

Chauvin was convicted in state court last year of second-degree murder and sentenced to 22 1/2 years. Lane accepted a plea agreement in May to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing on that count. Thao and Kueng, who turned down plea bargains earlier, are scheduled to go on trial Oct. 24 on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Volodymyr Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, Mass., gestures as the not guilty verdict is read while s...
Associated Press

Governor, AG stand by reactions to motorcycle crash verdict

Defense lawyers are denouncing comments made by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and his attorney general after a jury acquitted a truck driver in the deaths of seven motorcyclists, but both men said Wednesday they stand by their statements. After a two-week trial, jurors deliberated for less than three hours Tuesday before finding Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, […]
8 hours ago
Former President Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in New ...
Associated Press

Trump says he took the Fifth Amendment in NY investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says he invoked the Fifth Amendment and wouldn’t answer questions under oath in the long-running New York civil investigation into his business dealings. Trump arrived at New York Attorney General Letitia James’ offices Wednesday morning, but sent out a statement more than an hour later saying he declined to answer […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

EU to stop Greek budget watch in formal end to major crisis

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s budget watchdog announced Wednesday that it is winding up years of surveillance of Greek government spending. The move marks a formal end to a major crisis that threatened to see Greece ejected from the euro single currency group, imposed severe hardship on its citizens and roiled global financial markets. […]
8 hours ago
Jada Riley sits in her car at night with her son Jayden Harris, 6, as she contemplates where she mi...
Associated Press

Evictions spiking as assistance, protections disappear

Jada Riley thought she had beaten homelessness. The 26-year-old New Orleans resident was finally making a steady income cleaning houses during the pandemic to afford a $700-a-month, one-bedroom apartment. But she lost nearly all her clients after Hurricane Ida hit last year. Then she was fired from a grocery store job in February after taking […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Lawyer: UAE overturns sentence for former Khashoggi attorney

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday overturned a three-year prison sentence for an American citizen who had represented slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, one of his lawyers said, instead punishing him with a fine of $1.36 million and deportation. The U.S. citizen, Virginia-based lawyer Asim Ghafoor, had been convicted […]
8 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

PHOENIX — When you think about home investments, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Was it the air conditioning unit? Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a […]

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Prosecutors seek prison for 3 ex-cops in Floyd killing