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Three Former US Police Officers Found Guilty of Violating George Floyd's Rights

A jury comprising eight women and four men decided to convict the three officers after deliberating for 13 hours.

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Three former police officers were charged by a jury in the United States (US) of violating the constitutional rights of the late George Floyd, an African-American man whose death in May 2020 led to widespread anti-racism protests across the country, AFP reported.

The three Minneapolis ex-officers, Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, were convicted in Saint Paul, Minnesota, after a month-long trial for not responding to Floyd's medical needs and showing "deliberate indifference" to him.

Floyd had been killed in May 2020 by a police officer named Derek Chauvin, who had pressed his knee upon Floyd's neck for around nine-and-a-half-minutes, effectively choking him to death.

Two of the convicts, Thao and Kueng, were also found guilty of failing to prevent the application of "unreasonable force" by Chauvin, who was convicted of killing Floyd in April 2021.

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Floyd's death was filmed by a bystander and uploaded on the internet - leading to a nationwide outcry and the 'Black Lives Matter' movement against white supremacism in the US.

A jury comprising eight women and four men reached the decision to convict the three officers after deliberating for 13 hours over a period of two days, AFP reported.

Why Was Floyd Arrested?

46-year-old Floyd was arrested by Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane for using a fake $20 note in exchange for a pack of cigarettes.

As Chauvin pressed his knee on the man, Kueng held his back down, and Lane, his legs. Thao, on the other hand, asked bystanders, who requested the officers to let go of Floyd, to stay back.

Manda Sertich, the prosecutor in the case, said in her closing statements that the officers were aware "that George Floyd couldn't breathe, didn't have a pulse and was dying," AFP reported.

The defence attorney for Lane argued that he had asked Kueng to administer CPR on Floyd and check his pulse after the ambulance arrived on the spot.

The three officers still face state charges in Minnesota in connection with the case. Their next trial is scheduled to begin proceedings on 13 June this year.

(With inputs from AFP.)

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