Three former Minneapolis police officers were found guilty by a jury of violating George Floyd‘s civil rights.

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were charged with depriving Floyd of medical care. Kueng and Thao were also charged with failing to step in as ex-officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd down with excessive force for nearly 10 minutes, which ended up killing him. The three officers could face life sentences in prison but will remain free until their sentencing date, which has not yet been set.

“The Justice Department will continue to seek accountability for law enforcement officers whose actions, or failure to act, violate their constitutional duty to protect the civil rights of our citizens. George Floyd should be alive today,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

During the trial, the officers explained their perspective and attempted to justify their actions, saying the arrest “seemed reasonable at the time,” because Floyd was “out of control.”


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When asked why they didn’t intervene when Floyd said, “I can’t breathe,” Thao testified that from the angle he was standing, he could not see anything that would have caused Floyd to not be able to breathe.

Prosecutors argued that the officers failed to perform CPR on Floyd, which they are trained to do, and that even bystanders could tell that something was medically wrong with Floyd.

The defense said that the Minneapolis Police Department’s training was not good enough and that especially Kueng and Lane, who were new to the job, deferred to Chauvin who was the senior officer in the group.

The three officers will be back in court on June 13 for a separate trial where they have been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

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