Who are the officers charged over George Floyd’s death?

Four Minneapolis police officers have been sacked and charged over the killing of George Floyd, whose death spurred global protests.

The officers – Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – arrested Mr Floyd for an alleged fake $20 (17.5 euros; £16) bill.

Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in custody on 25 May.

White officer Mr Chauvin was filmed pressing his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes before he died.

Mr Kueng and Mr Lane, two trainee officers, were days into the job when the incident happened.

Personal details about the four officers have been released by authorities in Minneapolis. Here is what we know so far.

Derek Chauvin

What was his role?

Mr Chauvin, 44, was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed on the floor repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe”.

What are the charges?

Mr Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. He was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – two charges he still faces.

What’s his background?

Mr Chauvin was the most senior officer involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest, serving for almost 19 years with the Minneapolis Police Department.

His record of policing included both commendations and conduct complaints.

There were at least 15 conduct complaints against him, the Star Tribune reported, citing records from the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs. Most of the complaints were closed without discipline.

Mr Chauvin’s personal files were heavily redacted, but there are details of one complaint from 2007. The complaint concerns allegations Mr Chauvin pulled a woman from her car and frisked her after she was caught driving 10mph over the speed limit.

A report found Mr Chauvin did not record audio of the incident and failed to switch his dashcam on during the stop.

He was disciplined for this complaint and one other, receiving a letter of reprimand on both occasions, records show.

In 2006, Mr Chauvin was recommended for a medal of valour for his role in the shooting of a man who aimed a shotgun at officers.

Prior to his career in the police, Mr Chauvin served two stints in the US Army. He was a member of the military police from September 1996 to February 1997, and again from September 1999 to May 2000.

His other previous jobs include security guard and McDonald’s employee.

Mr Chauvin is said to have worked in security at the same club as Mr Floyd in Minneapolis. The former owner of the El Nuevo Rodeo said the pair might have “crossed paths” but she did not know if they had met while working at the venue.

The day after Mr Chauvin’s arrest, a lawyer for his wife Kellie said she had filed for divorce.

Thomas Lane

What was his role?

Mr Lane, 37, was one of the first two officers called to reports of a counterfeit $20 bill. At the scene, he approached Mr Floyd’s car, pointed his gun at him and handcuffed him. He later helped Mr Chauvin and Mr Kueng restrain Mr Floyd on the floor.

What are the charges?

He has been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

What’s his background?

Mr Lane started working for the force just four days prior to Mr Floyd’s death. He became a cadet at the police department in February 2019.

A criminal complaint against Mr Lane said he had questioned Mr Chauvin’s tactics during the arrest of Mr Floyd, asking: “Should we roll him on his side?”

Mr Chauvin, who was Mr Lane’s training officer, said no. But despite Mr Floyd’s discomfort, Mr Lane “took no actions to assist him”, the criminal complaint says.

“What was my client supposed to do but follow what his training officer said?” Mr Lane’s lawyer Earl Gray asked a judge in court.

Mr Lane had no track record of complaints.

A criminology graduate from the University of Minnesota, Mr Lane used to work as a guard at a juvenile detention centre and volunteered to mentor Somali school children.

J Alexander Kueng

What was his role?

Mr Kueng, 26, was first on the scene with Mr Lane. He helped Mr Chauvin and Mr Lane pin Mr Floyd to the floor.

What are the charges?

He has been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

What’s his background?

Like Mr Lane, Mr Kueng was relatively new to policing, entering the force in Minneapolis in February 2019 as a cadet.

He and Mr Lane, who graduated in the same recruit class, were promoted to officers in December last year, officials said.

The death of Mr Floyd happened on Mr Kueng’s third shift, his lawyer Thomas Plunkett said. Mr Kueng checked Mr Floyd’s pulse during the arrest but did not move when he said he “couldn’t find one”, according to a criminal complaint.

There were no complaints against Mr Kueng during his time as an officer.

Mr Kueng, who also speaks Russian, attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied sociology.

Tou Thao

What was his role?

Mr Thao, 34, stood near the other three officers while they restrained Mr Floyd. He stood between bystanders and the officers, telling the former to keep their distance.

What are the charges?

He has been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

What’s his background?

Mr Thao completed his police academy training in 2009 but was laid off when the force needed to make budget cuts. He rejoined as an officer in 2012.

Up to his sacking, Mr Thao had six conduct complaints made against him, his records show. Only one of those complaints was open at the time of his firing. The other five were closed without discipline. No details about any of the complaints are public.

In 2017, a lawsuit against Mr Thao and another officer accused them of excessive force. The lawsuit alleged that, in 2014, they beat up and broke the teeth of a man, who they said was the subject of an arrest warrant. Authorities settled the lawsuit out of court for $25,000. Both officers denied liability in the settlement.

Food service and security are among the sectors Mr Thao previously worked in.

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