The three fired Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s death had their bail set at up to $1 million each at their arraignment on Thursday — as it was revealed that two of the cops had only been on the job for a couple of days.
Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng made their first appearances in Hennepin County District Court, where Judge Paul Scoggin set an unconditional bail of $1 million apiece or $750,000 each with conditions.
The conditions include that they not work in any law enforcement capacity, surrender any firearms and have no contact with Floyd’s family.
The cops are charged with aiding and abetting in the May 25 killing of Floyd, who died after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck as he lay handcuffed on the ground, gasping that he couldn’t breathe.
The Minneapolis Police Department canned them last week, along with Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Defense attorneys argued for lower bail, saying that Chauvin was the training officer for Lane and Kueng — who had been on the job just four and three days respectively.
Under Minnesota law, aiding and abetting second-degree murder is tantamount a second-degree murder charge, so Thao, Lane and Kueng face the same potential sentence as Chauvin — a maximum of 40 years in prison — if convicted.
Thao, 34, was seen in widely-circulated cellphone video of Floyd’s death, standing near a crowd of bystanders.
He had initially gotten a hobble restraint from the squad car, “but the officers decided not to use it and maintained their positions,” according to the criminal complaint against him.
The complaint against Lane, 37, states that he “took no actions to assist Mr. Floyd, to change his position, or to reduce the force the officers were using against Mr. Floyd.” It does note that he asked about rolling Floyd on his side and wondered about delirium.
Meanwhile, Kueng, 26, was positioned between Chauvin and Lane and could hear their comments, the complaint against him states.
Defendants don’t normally enter pleas during their first appearances in Minnesota courts. Their next court appearance was set for June 29.
A date for the first court appearance of Chauvin, who was arrested May 29, has not yet been set.
Court documents allege his actions were a “substantial causal factor in Mr. Floyd losing consciousness, constituting substantial bodily harm, and Mr. Floyd’s death as well.”
With Post wires