Judge Refuses to Drop Second-Degree Murder Charges for Ex-Officer Tou Thao

Tou Thao

Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, alongside officers Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, will remain charged in relation to the fatal arrest of George Floyd back in May.

Charges remain: Judge Peter Cahill refused to drop charges against the three defendants in connection to the high profile murder, KARE11 reported.

  • Each defendant is facing one count of second-degree aiding and abetting murder.
  • Meanwhile, Derek Chauvin, the officer captured on film with his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, also remains charged with one count each of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.
  • The judge dropped a charge of third-degree murder against Chauvin.
  • “…all four defendants will stand trial for murder and manslaughter, both in the second degree,” Attorney General Keith Ellison was quoted as saying. 
  • He further noted that the court’s decision was based on “how appellate courts have interpreted the statute in question.”

Ruling’s basis: In his ruling, Judge Cahill noted that a jury will decide if the other three officers were aware or should have been aware of how their presence affected Chauvin’s acts that day. 

  • In the clip, Thao can be seen warding off spectators who were pleading with the officers to stop as Chauvin pressed his knee down Floyd’s neck. 
  • Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule, said the charges against his client should be dismissed because he was more focused on crowd control and not Floyd’s actions, Associated Press reported. 
  • In an earlier memo, Paule argued that Thao never placed his hands on Floyd, asked about the status of an ambulance, and radioed police dispatch to hurry the response.
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