Two Former Minneapolis Police Officers Reject Plea Deals In George Floyd Killing

Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng turned down an offer that would have resulted in three-year sentences.

On Monday (August 15), Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, two former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd, rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in three-year sentences. The move sets the stage for an October trial.

According to the Associated Press, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill had set a limited window for accepting a plea deal prior to trial. Monday’s brief hearing served to formalize the two ex-cops’ rejections of the state’s offers.

“It would be lying for me to accept any plea offer,” said Thou, the AP reports. Kueng did not provide his reasons for rejecting the state’s offer.

RELATED: State Trial Postponed For Officers Accused Of George Floyd’s Death

Thao and Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 46-year-old’s death. The pair were working with Derek Chauvin when he pinned Floyd down by the neck with his knee for more than nine minutes as he said he couldn’t breathe and later died. Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on a state charge of second-degree murder in April 2021.

In February, Thao, Kueng, and a fourth officer, Thomas Lane, were convicted in federal court of violating Floyd’s civil rights. Lane was sentenced to 2.5 years, Thao was sentenced to 3.5 years, and Kueng received a 3-year sentence.

Assistant Attorney General Matt Frank pointed out in Monday’s hearing that the state’s sentencing guidelines recommend sentences of 12.5 years on the murder count and 4 years on the manslaughter count. By rejecting the plea agreements, Thao and Kueng run a risk of being convicted and serving the full state sentences.

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