Ex-cop convicted of ‘aiding’ in George Floyd’s murder by holding back crowd

A Minnesota court convicted ex-cop Tou Thao of assisting in the murder of George Floyd by holding back a crowd of viewers while former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in 2020. The Tuesday verdict found Thao guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, with the judge dismissing his second charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Thao’s defense attorneys argued the officer was distracted by his duties of controlling an angry crowd and was not focused on what was happening to Floyd behind him. They also argued Thao had followed training procedures to the letter. “Thao’s actions were directly in accordance with exactly what MPD trained him to do when a person is suspected of experiencing excited delirium,” his legal team argued. “His intent was to follow his training and MPD policy. He observed other officers following the training MPD had given them. What he saw was exactly what MPD trained their officers to do in this situation.” 2021 PROTESTS, RIOTS THAT GRIPPED US IN POST-GEORGE FLOYD ERA Nevertheless, prosecutors argued that Thao aided in Floyd’s murder by first not intervening himself and second by preventing the crowd from intervening. “The State need not prove that an accomplice’s intentional aid was actually ‘effective in aiding the primary actor,'” prosecutors argued in a written claim, according to Fox 9. “It is thus no defense against criminal liability for an accomplice to argue his intentional aid was not meaningful. In the context of aiding and abetting manslaughter in the second degree, the State also need only prove that the accomplice knew about and intentionally aided the principal’s objectively grossly negligent act. The State need not prove that the accomplice knew and intended a death to occur.” Thao is already serving time in federal prison on charges of depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights. He was sentenced to 42 months for that charge in July 2022. RIOTING, LOOTING LINKED TO GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS LEAVES TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION ACROSS AMERICAN CITIES Legal representatives for the family of George Floyd praised Thao’s conviction in a Tuesday statement. “The family of George Floyd is grateful for another measure of accountability for his death. 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,” they wrote. Thao’s sentencing hearing for his latest conviction is scheduled for Aug. 7.
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