Prosecutors plan to seek longer-than-usual prison sentences for the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd.
Attorney General Keith Ellison's office filed notice with the court Friday of their intentions to seek an upward sentencing departure.
The former officers — Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are scheduled to stand trial March 8. Attorneys for Kueng, Lane and Thao have filed motions to dismiss the case against their clients; the matter is pending.
According to Friday's filing: There are five reasons to hand down longer sentences than recommended by state guidelines for each officer, prosecutors argued.
• Floyd was "particularly vulnerable" because his hands were handcuffed behind his back when the officers pinned him stomach-down in the street on May 25 for allegedly using a fake $20 bill at Cup Foods.
• "Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty," wrote Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank and Special Attorney for the State Neal Katyal.
Floyd repeatedly told the officers he couldn't breathe and warned them he was going to die, prosecutors wrote.
Several bystanders also echoed Floyd's concerns, but the officers ignored them and continued to restrain Floyd, video showed.
Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for almost 9 minutes while Kueng knelt on his back and Lane knelt and held onto his legs. Thao kept bystanders at bay.
Floyd was motionless for 4 minutes under Chauvin's knee, they wrote.
"This maneuver inflicted gratuitous pain on Mr. Floyd," prosecutors argued.
They also argued:
• The officers abused their position of authority.
• The officers committed the act as a group.
• The officers' actions occurred in front of children.
Kueng, Lane and Thao are each charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter and murder.
Chauvin is charged with one count each of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Second-degree murder is punishable by up to 40 years in prison, third-degree murder is punishable by up to 25 years and second-degree manslaughter carries a term of up to 10 years.
State sentencing guidelines and probation officers recommend prison terms based on the crime, a defendant's criminal history and remorse, among other factors.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708