x

Society

Prosecutors: Longer Sentences Needed for Floyd Officers

October 13, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS — Prosecutors have offered additional explanation about why they believe longer sentences should be given if four former Minneapolis police officers are convicted in the death of George Floyd.

In a court filing Monday in Hennepin County, prosecutors said the position of trust the officers held and Floyd's vulnerability are two reasons why the men, if convicted, should receive longer sentences than guidelines recommend.

Prosecutors previously requested longer-than-recommended sentences for former officers Derek Chauvin, his partner, Tou Thao, and the initial arresting officers, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. The filing from Attorney General Keith Ellison's office offers an explanation for enhanced sentences that Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill requested.

Lane's defense attorney Earl Gray said the request for an upward sentencing departure is an attempt to poison the potential pool of jurors.

"They first have to get a conviction," he said.

Chauvin, who is white, was captured on cellphone video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a Black man, for several minutes May 25 while Floyd was handcuffed face down on the street and begged to breathe. Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Kueng, Lane and Thao each are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. Kueng pinned Floyd's torso and Lane controlled his legs, while Thao kept angry bystanders away from the officers and Floyd.

When they arrived in full uniform to question Floyd about a counterfeit bill, the officers held a "defined relationship" of authority over Floyd, which they used to "dominate and control" him, prosecutors wrote. They handcuffed him, pinned him to the ground and ultimately caused his death, their memo said.

Prosecutors cited an appellate ruling that endorsed longer sentences when there's a power imbalance that makes it difficult for the victim to protect himself, the Star Tribune reported. The courts also allow longer sentences when a victim is vulnerable due to reduced physical or mental capacity.

RELATED

NEW YORK — The 22-year-old New York City police officer who was shot to death while responding to a call in a Harlem apartment came from an immigrant family and grew up in a community with strained police relations, but joined the force to make a difference in the "chaotic city," he once wrote.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week (Jan 15 – Jan 21) as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.