Two Ex-Minneapolis Officers Reject Plea Deal In George Floyd Killing

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Two former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's murder have rejected a plea deal from state prosecutors, setting the stage for their upcoming trial in October, CNN reports.

On Monday (August 15), Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's deputy chief of staff announced that ex-officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao told a judge that they decline to accept plea deals that would have resulted in three-year prison sentences.

Kueng and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for their involvement in Floyd's 2020 killing, which catalyzed a nationwide racial reckoning. The two have pleaded not guilty.

According to John Stiles, Ellison's deputy, both were offered the same plea deal that ex-Minneapolis officer Thomas Lane took earlier this year.

Lane pleaded guilty in June to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and all parties are recommending "a sentence of 36 months, which in Minnesota ... typically means 24 months-time actually served" as his September 21 scheduled sentencing approaches.

On May 25, 2020, as fellow former officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, Lane held down the 46-year-old's legs, Kueng held his torso, and Thao held back a crowd of bystanders who witnessed the fatal incident.

Chauvin faces 22 years in prison after being convicted of Floyd's murder in a state trial and 21 years in prison for violating his civil rights.

Kueng, Lane, and Thao also face prison time for violating Floyd's rights. Kueng was sentenced to three years in prison, Thao was sentenced to 3.5 years, and Lane received a 2.5-year prison sentence.

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