Three former Minneapolis police officers went before a federal judge during the last week to be sentenced for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, and for each man, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson handed out penalties well below what prosecutors sought and below federal guidelines.
Tou Thao, who held back concerned bystanders as Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, got 3 1/2 years. J. Alexander Kueng, who pinned Floyd’s back, got three. And Thomas Lane, who held Floyd’s feet and asked twice about rolling the Black man on his side, got 2 1/2.
For some Floyd family members and activists, the penalties were too small — and a bitter reminder of a justice system they say does not treat all people equally.
“Once again, our judicial system favored people that should be locked up forever,” Floyd’s uncle, Selwyn Jones, said Thursday. The officers, he said, “contributed to the most brutal, heinous killing in most of our lifetimes.”
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after…