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Further accountability was served in a Minneapolis courtroom as the three former officers who were present at the time that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd were convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

On Thursday (February 24th), the jury found that ex-officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane were guilty of violating George Floyd’s rights when they failed to intervene as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while he was on the ground for over three minutes on May 25th, 2020, ultimately killing him. The jury also determined that the three were deliberately indifferent to the suffering Floyd endured and neglected his medical needs. Thao and Kueng were also found guilty on an additional charge of failing to stop Chauvin’s actions, with prosecutors stating during the trial that Keung was “laughing with Chauvin” during the incident with time to “casually pick gravel out of the tire in front of him,” according to reporting from local news network KARE11. It was noted that only Lane asked Chauvin to move twice as he held Floyd’s legs down as he was dying, to which Chauvin ignored his requests.

Georgetown University Law Center professor Christy E. Lopez noted that this is the first time the federal government charged police officers for failing to intervene when a senior officer exercised excessive force. “It forces you to move beyond the bad apple narrative,” she said in an interview with the New York Times. “Now you’re like, ‘Oh, everyone on the scene played a role in this.’ It shifts the entire narrative from misconduct being about just acts of commission to misconduct also being about acts of omission.”

Judge Paul A. Magnuson stated that he would allow the three ex-cops to remain free on bond until their sentencing hearing which is currently unscheduled. The jury in the case was significant, as they were called from various areas of Minnesota as this was a federal case and all appeared to be white, as opposed to the more racially diverse juries in the Chauvin trial and the recent trial of Kim Potter for the death of Daunte Wright. The convictions of the three mean that Magnuson has full latitude in determining their sentences, with life in prison as a possibility. There is also a state trial set for June where Thao, Kueng, and Lane are charged with aiding and abetting murder.