Cops involved in George Floyd's death could face longer sentences if convicted because they were in 'positions of trust and power,' prosecutors say
The four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd could face longer sentences if convicted for the killing because they were in positions of power, according to prosecutors working on the case.
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.
检察官此前曾要求对前警官德里克·肖文(Derek Chauvin)、他的搭档窦涛(Tou Thao)以及最初逮捕的警官J·亚历山大·孔(J.Alexander Kueng)和托马斯·莱恩(Thomas Lane)判处比建议更长的刑期。
The filing from Attorney General Keith Ellison's office offers an explanation for enhanced sentences that Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill requested.
司法部长基思·埃里森(Keith Ellison)办公室提交的文件对亨内平县法官彼得·卡希尔(Peter Cahill)要求的加重刑期提供了解释。
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 on 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 Floyds 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.