Nearly three years after the senseless killing of George Floyd, Minnesota courts continue to hold those responsible accountable.
On Monday (May 1), a state judge found former Minneapolis officer Tou Thao guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, CNN reported. In 2020, the ex-cop kept bystanders back as his then-fellow officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, killing him. Floyd’s tragic death was recorded by an onlooker and led to the firing of Thao, Chauvin, and two other officers and re-ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the verdict, Judge Peter Cahill stated Thao “actively encouraged his three colleagues’ dangerous prone restraint of Floyd” despite his knowledge of the positioning’s deadly results.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis ex-officer Tou Thao, who held back bystanders in George Floyd killing, convicted of aiding manslaughter. pic.twitter.com/6b15jpnRBj
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 2, 2023
“Like the bystanders, Thao could see Floyd’s life slowly ebbing away as the restraint continued,” the verdict mentioned. “Yet Thao made a conscious decision to actively participate in Floyd’s death. He held back the concerned bystanders and even prevented an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter from rendering the medical aid Floyd so desperately needed.”
The outlet noted the Minnesota court’s decision in Thao’s case was the last of both state and federal trials for former officers involved in Floyd’s death. In 2021, Chauvin was convicted and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison by a state court. The charges, in that case, included second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. In the federal court, Chauvin pleaded guilty to robbing Floyd of his rights and an unrelated count of civil rights violations. Both earned him 21 years in prison, which will run concurrently with his state sentence.
The three other ex-policemen — Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng — were also previously found guilty in a federal court. The outlet noted that they were sentenced for violating Floyd’s civil rights and failing to stop Chauvin during the restraint. Like Thao, Lane and Kueng were convicted of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They received 3 1/2 and three years in prison, respectively. Thao is currently serving time for his federal charges. The outlet mentioned his state sentencing is set for Aug. 7. He faces between 41 to 57 months behind bars.
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