ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced two former Minneapolis police officers who were convicted of violating George Floyd’s civil rights to lighter terms than recommended in sentencing guidelines, calling one “truly a rookie officer” and describing the other as “a good police officer, father and husband.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced J. Alexander Kueng to three years in prison and Tou Thao to 3½ years for their roles in Floyd’s killing on May 25, 2020, after then-Officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd’s neck with his knee for more than nine minutes as the 46-year-old Black man said he couldn’t breathe and eventually grew still. The killing, captured in bystander video, sparked protests worldwide and a reckoning of racial injustice.
Kueng pinned Floyd’s back, Thao held back concerned bystanders, and a fourth officer, Thomas Lane, held Floyd’s feet. Lane was sentenced last week to two years — also below guidelines and a sentence that Floyd’s brother Philonise called “insulting” — while Chauvin was sentenced earlier to 21 years.