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Officer who held back crowd during George Floyd’s murder convicted of aiding & abetting manslaughter

According to court documents filed Monday, a Minnesota judge convicted former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao of second-degree manslaughter for his involvement in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.

Judge Peter Cahill wrote in his 177-page verdict that Thao had “actively encouraged his three colleagues’ dangerous prone restraint of Floyd” in spite of his training that the positioning could result in death.

“Like the bystanders, Thao could see Floyd’s life slowly ebbing away as the restraint continued,” Cahill wrote in the verdict. “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.”

As a result of the guilty verdict, all four officers who participated in the fatal restraint of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, are facing federal and state charges. Floyd's death was captured on video and set off worldwide protests against police violence against Black people, and Thao's state case was the last of the multiple trials related to Floyd's death.

Tou Thao testified at his federal trial in 2022 that he thought the other officers were "taking care" of George Floyd.

“The conviction of Tou Thao is historic and the right outcome,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the lead prosecutor of Floyd’s murder, said in a statement. “It brings one more measure of accountability in the tragic death of George Floyd. Accountability is not justice, but it is a step on the road to justice.”

Mary Moriarty, the newly elected Hennepin County Attorney, noted in a statement that “the images of a police officer murdering George Floyd shocked the world, shattered our community, and devastated those who knew and loved him.”

“Today, the person who aided in the murder by preventing community members from helping Mr. Floyd has been found guilty and held accountable,” Moriarty said. “I hope today’s verdict is another step on the path toward healing for George Floyd’s family.”

Floyd's family, represented by Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci, and Jeff Storms, praised the conviction in a statement.

“The family of George Floyd is grateful for another measure of accountability for his death,” they said. “Nearly three years after George was killed, the family and Minneapolis community continue to heal as the criminal justice system prevails. With each of these measures of justice, it is even more so demonstrated that police brutality is an illegal – and punishable – act.”

It is our hope that, following the conviction of all the officers responsible for George Floyd's death, more law enforcement officers will be held accountable for their violence against the Black community in the future.

Source: CNN


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