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.