Today (Aug. 7), Tou Thao was handed a sentence of 57 months for his role in the murder of George Floyd. He is the fourth and final former Minneapolis officer to be charged and sentenced, following Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane. The time given will run concurrently with a roughly three-year stint that Thao is serving for federal charges related to the case. The U.S. Court of Appeals denied the 37-year-old’s appeal for said charges last week.
As reported by FOX 9, Judge Peter Cahill gave the defendant more time than the 51 months requested by prosecutors. “I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility. And less preaching,” Cahill said to Thao in court.
Thao has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, claiming that he was focused on the crowd and not what his fellow officers were doing. According to him, he was acting as “a human traffic cone” when Chauvin, Kueng, and Lane were struggling with Floyd.
On May 25, 2020, Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground, with Chauvin holding his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes. Video footage of the tragic incident was recorded by passersby and shared via social media and news outlets, creating widespread outrage and worldwide protests as a result.
In 2021, a jury found Chauvin guilty for unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Along with federal charges for violating Floyd’s civil rights, he is serving more than 22 years in prison via concurrent sentences. The following year, a jury found Thao, Kueng, and Lane guilty of the same civil rights charge. Kueng was sentenced to 36 months in prison while Lane was given 30 months. Both also received an additional two years of supervised release.
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