The mugshot of Tou Thao, the final officer to be convicted in the death of George Floyd (Via city of Minneapolis)
Tou Thao, the last of four officers that were indicted in the murder of George Floyd, was convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter Tuesday.
Court documents say that Thao held back bystanders as three other officers, Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng held Floyd down and pinned his body while Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes, suffocating him.
Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over all four cases, wrote that “Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer.”
Thao, Lane and Kueng were all convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter, as well as federal charges for violating Floyd’s civil rights. State prosecutors are recommending that Thao serve four years for the manslaughter charges concurrently with his three-and-a-half year federal sentence.
Kueng and Lane are currently serving 36-month sentences, and Chauvin will be behind bars for over 22 years for the murder of Floyd and other offenses. Thao’s trial took the longest because he maintained he did nothing wrong, and rejected a plea deal last August. He said “it would be lying” to plead guilty.
At the federal level, Thao is serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. At one point while he was corralling the crowd, he told onlookers “this is why you don’t do drugs, kids.”
Thao admitted he saw onlookers becoming more agitated as Floyd began yelling “I can't breathe,” but believed there was nothing seriously wrong with him.