Former Minneapolis Police Officer Sentenced to 4 Years and 9 Months in Prison for Aiding and Abetting George Floyd’s Manslaughter

A former Minneapolis police officer, Tou Thao, was sentenced to four years and nine months in state prison for his role in aiding and abetting the manslaughter of George Floyd. This comes as a significant development in the aftermath of Floyd’s murder, which sparked nationwide protests and a global movement against police brutality and racism.

Thao, who had worked to restrain the crowd as other officers restrained Floyd, was found guilty by a jury in May for aiding and abetting Floyd’s second-degree manslaughter. Throughout the trial and during the sentencing, Thao maintained his denial of any involvement in Floyd’s death, claiming that he served as nothing more than a “human traffic cone” during the fatal encounter.

During the hearing, Thao expressed being “distressed” by Floyd’s death but stuck to his stance of innocence, stating, “I did not commit these crimes.” He also asserted that his conscience was clear and vowed not to join any self-preserving mob or betray his faith, likening himself to Judas.

Presiding Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County acknowledged Thao’s denial but expressed disappointment in the lack of remorse shown by the former officer after three years of reflection. Cahill remarked that he had expected to witness more remorse and less “preaching” during the hearing.

In his 177-page ruling, Judge Cahill concluded that Thao’s actions effectively separated Chauvin and two other former officers, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, from the crowd. Cahill further stated that Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer, given the overall circumstances of the situation.

Interestingly, Thao’s sentencing comes just three days after a federal appeals court rejected his claim of prosecutorial misconduct, upholding his conviction for violating Floyd’s civil rights during the 2020 murder by Chauvin. The court found that Thao had failed to intervene in Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force and had shown deliberate indifference to Floyd’s medical needs.

With this latest development, all four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing have now been sentenced. Thao, who is already serving a three-and-a-half-year federal sentence, will be transferred to a Minnesota state prison to serve his additional term. Chauvin is currently serving concurrent state and federal sentences totaling over 20 years, while Kueng and Lane are serving three years each.

In conclusion, the sentencing of Tou Thao brings a sense of closure to a much-publicized and significant case that has brought to the forefront pressing issues of police brutality and racial injustice. The world closely watched as justice was served, and it is now up to society to continue the dialogue and take meaningful steps towards preventing such tragedies from recurring.

Author: CrimeDoor

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