Officers Charged in George Floyd's Death Appear in Court for Arraignment

Three former police officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, were arraigned on Thursday afternoon for their involvement in George Floyd's death.

By Jess Cohen, Cydney Contreras Jun 04, 2020 8:05 PMTags

UPDATE: On Monday June 8, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin appeared in court for his bail hearing. His attorney, Eric Nelson, spoke on his behalf and requested that bail be set at a later date. However, the judge appointed to the case set bail at $1.25 million, or a conditional bail of $1 million with the conditions that he appear for all future court appearances, does not work in security capacity and does not have possession of firearms or a firearms permit. In addition, he's not allowed contact with the victim's family in any way and waives extradition upon his release.


Three former police officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been arraigned in Minnesota.

Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng appeared in court on Thursday afternoon, one day after being arrested.

During their arraignment, Alexander Kueng's attorney, Thomas Plunkett, claimed that Kueng told officers, "You shouldn't do this." He also noted that the day George Floyd died was only Kueng's third full shift as a police officer. In consequence, Plunkett requested bail be set at $200,000.

Similarly, Lane's attorney Earl Gray requested "reasonable bail" as the 35-year-old attempted to give CPR and he had only been working in the police force for four days.

According to the criminal complaint, both Lane and Kueng held Floyd's back and legs down, even after "Mr. Floyd said 'I'm about to die.'"

As for Thao, his attorney Robert Pauley asked for bail to be set at $200,000, citing the 34-year-old's cooperation with the investigation. 

Celebrities Attending Protests Over George Floyd's Death

Judge Paul Scoggin set bail for all three former officers at $1,000,000 unconditional, $750,000 with conditions. In addition, the men are required to work in no law enforcement capacity, surrender firearms, void firearm permits and have no contact with victims family. Should they leave the state, they agree to waive extradition.

This news comes just 24 hours after Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that the three additional officers had officially been charged for their involvement in Floyd's death. The 46-year-old died on May 25 after police officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck. Days later, after a demand for justice across the world, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. At the time of Chauvin's arrest, the three additional officers who were also on the scene had not been charged.

This week, Attorney General Ellison announced that the charge against Chauvin has been upgraded to felony second-degree murder. Additionally, according to court records obtained by E! News, Kueng, Lane and Thao are each facing two felony charges: Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder and Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter.

The first charge comes with a maximum sentence of no more than 40 years, and the second charge comes with a maximum sentence of no more than 10 years, or payment of a $20,000 fine.

Hennepin County Sheriff

"This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd," Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump wrote on Instagram Wednesday. "We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd's death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder."

Courtesy Ben Crump Law

Ellison appeared on Good Morning America on Thursday and discussed the charges against officers Kueng, Lane and Thao.

Speaking to GMA's George Stephanopoulos via video, Ellison said they have to prove "that they helped—and you can look at the tape and see who's sitting where and see the assistance that was given, meaningful and important assistance to what Chauvin was doing—and we can also see what was not done, that even despite the pleas and the cries, there was no assistance rendered, so we believe that they were culpable they assisted in the commission of this offense and that is why we charged them."

Thao, Lane and Kueng will next appear in court on June 29.

This story was originally published on Thurs. June 4, 2020 at 1:05 p.m. PST.

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