By Stacy M. Brown,
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent,
Three former Minneapolis police officers charged with the murder of George Floyd have rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors.
Former officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng face state charges of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.
A federal jury convicted the trio of violating Floyd’s civil rights earlier this year.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, accepted a plea deal for his federal charges on Dec. 15, 2021, after state prosecutors won a murder conviction against him earlier in the year.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill held a hearing on April 12 to consider a request to allow live video of the upcoming federal trial of the three officers.
While details of the plea offer were not disclosed, prosecutor Matthew Frank told the court that each officer was extended the same deal. However, each rejected the offer, Frank said.
Earl Gray, who represents Lane, said it was difficult for his client to cut a deal with federal prosecutors because he hasn’t been sentenced in the federal case.
The judge, in that case, has yet to set a sentencing date and each of the officers remains free on bail pending sentencing.
The officers could face up to life in prison.
“Nothing will bring George Floyd back to his loved ones, but with
] verdicts, we hope that the ignorance and indifference toward human life shown by these officers will be erased from our nation’s police departments, so no other family has to experience a loss like this,” Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump stated following the jury verdict in the federal trial.
“The Floyd family will have to relive the traumatic disregard for George’s life once again in June when these officers will stand trial in state court. We hope, and we expect, that these officers will once again be held accountable for their lack of humanity.”
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