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Tou Thao was convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter by a Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill Monday for the murder of George Floyd.
In a 177-page ruling, Judge Cahill said “there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer.”
Tou Thao was the last of four former Minneapolis police officers on the scene
Thao was convicted in federal court in February 2022, along with two other former officers, for violating Floyd’s civil rights and sentenced to 3 ½ years in federal prison.
Monday’s ruling was for a state charge where Minnesota guidelines recommend four years on the aiding and abetting manslaughter count.
Thao claimed he served as “a human traffic cone” as he held back the crowd gathered around as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 9 ½ minutes.
In his ruling, Judge Cahill claimed Thao was specifically convicted for depriving Floyd of his right to medical care and failing to intervene and stop Chauvin. It’s a ruling that could set a precedent for other police misconduct cases around the country for officers who stand by while a colleague abuses a victim.
Thao is the only former officer of the four who maintained that he did nothing wrong. He rejected a plea deal last August saying “it would be lying” to plead guilty.
Judge Cahill has set sentencing for August 7.