Thomas Kiernan Lane, 37, J Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, were involved in the fatal arrest of African-American man George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Still, the three former Minneapolis Police Department officers have not been charged.
Assisted by Kueng and Lane with Thao watching, Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. More than an hour later, Floyd was declared dead in the emergency room of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
On May 26, 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department fired Lane, Kueng, Thao and Chauvin. The whereabouts of Lane, Kueng and Thao are still unknown while Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on May 29, 2020.
During the fatal arrest of Floyd, his pleas to the arresting officers when he could not breathe were unheard. So are the pleas of his family and many protesters across the U.S. who have been asking the authorities to arrest Lane, Kueng and Thao.
If the Minneapolis community wants to see the protests stop, Hennepin County attorney Michael O. Freeman must step up and do his job, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president and CEO Derrick Johnson told CNN. For Johnson, it is unfortunate that “it took so long to indict one person but all three should be brought to justice.”
On May 28, 2020, Johnson, who has been the NAACP president and CEO since October 2017, released a statement surrounding the events of protest in Minneapolis. He stated, “Many throughout the country are left to consider at this moment after watching the horrific footage of George Floyd: When is enough, enough?”
“As a father, I know what it’s like when my sons and daughters want to leave the house and being scared that they may never return,” Johnson continued. “As a husband, I consider my wife and the life she would be left to navigate if I was prematurely taken from her and my children as yet another unexplainable death. As a Black man, I consider how much longer I can be asked to bear the brunt of these social injustices without meeting force with force.”
“But as a community, we must also find what is at stake,” the NAACP president and CEO added. “We must consider the lives we are attempting to forge for our families and communities.”