Sat | Aug 8, 2020

US$750K bail for 3 ex-cops accused in George Floyd’s death

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2020 | 2:01 PM
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows J. Alexander Kueng, from left, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge set bail at $750,000 apiece Thursday for three fired Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting in the killing of George Floyd, as a memorial service took place just blocks away.

Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng made their first appearances in Hennepin County District Court as friends, relatives and celebrities gathered to memorialise Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Police Department fired them last week, along with Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25 death. 

Widely seen bystander video shows the white police officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck, ignoring the African American man’s pleas that he can’t breathe, until he stopped moving.

Defence attorneys argued for lower bail.

They told the court that Chauvin was the training officer for Lane and Kueng, who had been on the job just four and three days respectively.

Defendants don’t normally enter pleas during their first appearances in Minnesota courts, which tend to be brief proceedings. Judge Paul Scoggin set their next court dates for June 29.

If convicted, Chauvin faces a maximum of 40 years in prison on the murder count and 10 years for manslaughter.

Under Minnesota law, aiding and abetting second-degree murder is tantamount a second-degree murder charge, so Thao, Lane and Kueng face the same potential penalties as Chauvin if convicted.

A date for Chauvin’s first court appearance has not been set.

He was arrested May 29.

The latest criminal complaint against him says his actions were a “substantial causal factor in Mr. Floyd losing consciousness, constituting substantial bodily harm, and Mr. Floyd’s death as well.”

The narratives in the other three complaints are almost identical to the one against Chauvin. 

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