Four years and nine months in prison, that is the sentence handed down to Tou Thao on Monday by a Minneapolis court for aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in connection to George Floyd’s tragic death in May 2020. Thao, one of the four Minneapolis police officers involved, was seen in the now-infamous video restraining a crowd of bystanders during Floyd’s arrest. Thao’s conviction and sentencing bring closure to yet another chapter in this highly publicized case.
Joining Thao behind bars are Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng, the other officers implicated in Floyd’s untimely demise. Chauvin, the man responsible for Floyd’s death, is destined to spend the remainder of his life incarcerated. In April 2021, he was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in state court. He received a 22 1/2-year prison sentence. Additionally, Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights in federal court, facing concurrent sentences for both convictions.
Lane and Kueng, intertwined in this tragedy, were also convicted of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They each received three-year prison sentences in their state cases. The four officers involved in this grave event, which caused an outpouring of support and prayer from millions, will now face the consequences of their actions for the foreseeable future. Their incarceration culminates the hopes of justice being served, a reality now acknowledged by the masses.
While it may seem like ages since George Floyd’s tragic passing, the fact that all four officers involved in his death have been held accountable imparts a sense of closure. Their convictions and sentences send a powerful message that actions have consequences, even for those entrusted with upholding the law. The legacy of George Floyd’s life, cut short on those unforgiving Minneapolis streets, will forever remain as a symbol of the ongoing struggle for justice, equality, and the pursuit of a more just society.