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Former Minneapolis Police Officer Who Held Back Crowd Sentenced to Nearly Five Years for Death of George Floyd

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Who Held Back Crowd Sentenced to Nearly Five Years for Death of George Floyd

“I think your culpability is less than Mr. Chauvin, but well above Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane, as an experienced senior officer who was in the best position to save George Floyd.”

Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao was sentenced to almost five years in jail on Monday for his role in the death of George Floyd. Thao was at the scene that day doing crowd control and is essentially being charged for not doing anything to stop it.

Thao was indicted by a federal grand jury along with his fellow officers in 2021.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Final Minneapolis police officer sentenced to almost five years for death of George Floyd

The final Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd has been sentenced to almost five years in prison, adding to his current incarceration time.

Tou Thao, the officer who held back bystanders during Floyd’s fatal arrest in May 2020, was handed a 4.75-year sentence, or four years and nine months, on Monday by Hennepin County Judge Peter A. Cahill. It comes over a year after his conviction on Minnesota state charges.

Thao was convicted last year on federal charges and is serving a 42-month prison sentence. Monday’s jail sentence will run concurrently, instead of consecutively, with the federal sentence, so he already received credit for 340 days.

“Mr. Thao, to be perfectly honest, after three years of reflection, I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility, and less preaching,” Cahill said in court on Monday. “Suffice it to say that I think your culpability is less than Mr. Chauvin, but well above Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane, as an experienced senior officer who was in the best position to save George Floyd.”

The judge sounds a little preachy himself, doesn’t he?

Brittany Bernstein of National Review has more:

Cahill found wrote in his 177-page ruling in May that Thao’s actions separated Chauvin and two other former officers from the crowd, including a an emergency medical technician. The judge said this allowed the officers to continue restraining Floyd and prevented bystanders from rendering medical aid.

“There is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer, when viewed under the totality of the circumstances,” Cahill wrote.

“Thao’s actions were even more unreasonable in light of the fact that he was under a duty to intervene to stop the other officers’ excessive use of force and was trained to render medical aid,” he added.

It’s too bad for Mr. Thao that he wasn’t one of the civilians who helped burn down the city of Minneapolis in the wake of Floyd’s death. He would probably be a free man today.

Featured image via YouTube.


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rabid wombat | August 8, 2023 at 9:07 am

Entertaining….can be charged for failure to stop an action, but is protected in ‘duty to protect’….

Something seems a little off….

E Howard Hunt | August 8, 2023 at 9:13 am

What I find most reprehensible about all this is the failure of police, nationwide, to fund multimillion dollar defenses for their innocent brother officers. Instead, most just cravenly engaged in work slowdowns or even participated in knee-takings. Hatred of cops for racial animus is unjustified. Hatred of cops for pusillanimity in protecting their pensions is justified.

    Grey_Man in reply to E Howard Hunt. | August 8, 2023 at 9:31 am

    I wonder why the cops that continue with the job do so. Have they not seen enough of them thrown in prison for perfectly legal actions that worst were a mistake and at best completely justified? Specifically Chauvin, Thao, Kueng, Lane, Potter, Dean, etc.

      Liberty in reply to Grey_Man. | August 8, 2023 at 12:15 pm

      One word answer: Pensions

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Liberty. | August 8, 2023 at 1:20 pm

        Other answers, depending on the community: qualified immunity. Being allowed arms while denied to “civilians”. “Discounts” at restaurants and retailers. You get the gist.

“There is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer, when viewed under the totality of the circumstances,” Cahill wrote.

The totality of the circumstances being George Floyd violently resisted lawful arrest after passing a fake $20 and likely ingesting a fatal dose of fentanyl? Those circumstances?

Actually I think the people in the best position to save George Floyd were the folks in the ambulance his “murderer” called for him. The ones that wouldn’t be able to take him into their care if he was swarmed by the NPC mob filming and gawking at a difficult scene. Maybe they should be put in jail next for administering inadequate care?

Minneapolis is already suffering from the effects of these ass backward policies and political prosecutions. Nobody wants to work in a city that will throw them under the bus for their skin color. Remember Mohammad Noor.

    Martin in reply to SeymourButz. | August 8, 2023 at 9:40 am

    Possible Chauvin would have had more attention to focus on Floyd if a crowd of angry dumbasses hadn’t been yelling at him.

    Liberty in reply to SeymourButz. | August 8, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Basically, George Floyd unknowingly committed suicide by swallowing his stash of fentanyl before being arrested. When he was saying ‘I can’t breath” while resisting arrest, he was experiencing one of the pharmacological effects of fentanyl, respiratory suppression. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and his autopsy report stated he had 3 times the lethal dose in his system.

    A side note here: It is obvious fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug when used outside a clinical setting, and it has been reported that the government did an analysis of fentanyl tablets confiscated at the border and, horrifically, found that 60% of the tablets seized contained a lethal dose of the drug. And now, throw in the “tranq” component and, personally, I am amazed more people are not piling up at our morgues from overdoses.

None of them did anything wrong, so there is that to consider too.

It’s got to be the matriarchy. Feelings are everything, structure is nothing.

Why would anybody want to be a Police Officer in this country today, when progressives have it out for them, and want to jail them for doing their jobs? If people don’t wake up soon, and stop cowering to the left wing nuts, this country is done.

    Char Char Binks in reply to wendybar. | August 8, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    I’d be a cop, draw a paycheck, and go through the motions, only pretending to police

    randian in reply to wendybar. | August 9, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Why? Power and privilege. You can own and carry weapons in a manner often denied to civilians. If you shoot and kill a bystander the person you shot at will get charged with the crime. The pension and medical benefits are more often than not outrageously rich.

Fat_Freddys_Cat | August 8, 2023 at 10:12 am

I think we as citizens have a fair share of legitimate complaints against policing in this country, but that doesn’t mean we should sink to witch-hunting. Each case should be judged on its merit–and this case doesn’t have any.

“who held back bystanders” = “prevented the violent mob from assaulting the officers, possibly injuring the suspect, and the same thugs who were preventing the ambulance from arriving.”

Wave a metaphorical wand over the situation and remove the ‘bystanders’ which would allow a prompt arrival of the ambulance and paramedics, immediate medical attention… and George would have still died from the self-inflicted overdose on top of his medical condition caused by long-term drug use. I’m amazed Minneapolis has any police officers left.

    MarkS in reply to georgfelis. | August 8, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Thao was not “holding back bystanders” he was standing around being a passive witness. there was nothing between he mob and Chauvin

      alien in reply to MarkS. | August 8, 2023 at 12:48 pm

      Every source that I can locate on this story states that Thao “was holding back bystanders and stopping them from intervening.”

      Do you have a citation proving your contention?

        alien in reply to alien. | August 8, 2023 at 12:50 pm

        Close this content
        Associated Press Videos
        Police video shows crowd’s horror at Floyd arrest
        Associated Press Videos
        August 14, 2020

        “Newly released body-camera footage captures the growing horror of onlookers who repeatedly pleaded with police to get off George Floyd. It shows fired Officer Tou Thao holding back the crowd, as Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. (Aug. 14)”

          Virginia42 in reply to alien. | August 8, 2023 at 3:25 pm

          And yet no knees were pressed into any necks. But that doesn’t stop Yahoo from spouting such bilge.

      iconotastic in reply to MarkS. | August 8, 2023 at 3:11 pm

      Obviously you posted in error. Will you correct it now?

I’m reading commenters complaining about Portland (OR), NYC, Detroit, San Fran etc
There is no amount you could pay me to walk in SkinnyMinny today, a wonderful town I remember from the mid-’60s
Wht have the Socialist-Progressives (read: Democrats) done to our country!

The Wild Wild West is coming.

2smartforlibs | August 8, 2023 at 11:54 am

This could only make sense to a liberal.

George Floyd was a dirt bag who killed himself by butt-plugging Fentanyl.

    Liberty in reply to Paul. | August 8, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    I was unaware he stashed his fentanyl there, I thought he swallowed it. Oh well, doesn’t matter where it enters the system, it will still cause death when over dosed.

Kind of reminds me the Stacey Koon who was convicted in the Rodney King beating even though he never touched King. In fact, he actually saved King’s life because the other cops were ready to just shoot him after the high speed car chase.

The law Judge Cahill is an ass.

    txvet2 in reply to Tom Orrow. | August 8, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    So are the jury and prosecutors, not to mention the voting population of Minneapolis. It takes a lot of people to perform this kind of injustice.

There was a case in the 1970s where bystanders were convicted as accessories to rape. A woman was being raped on a pool table in a Mass bar and the patrons just stood and watch instead of stepping in to help the victim..they were convicted

texansamurai | August 8, 2023 at 1:55 pm

“as an experienced senior officer who was in the best position to save George Floyd.”

” bullshyte, your honor “–given the amount of fentanyl floyd had intentionally ingested, is doubtful anyone, even the paramedics, had they not been prevented access by the “crowd,” could have saved floyd–intentionally or not, his deliberate od sealed his fate

    Chauvin’s conviction made that a literally impossible defense. Legally once you are convicted you did it. The verdict in this case was set by the verdict in the Chauvin case.

      Felix in reply to Danny. | August 9, 2023 at 2:28 pm

      You are aware that Chauvin is not Thou, and therefore whatever happened in that trial has no binding force in this one, right?
      Of course, you are factually correct as this obviously politically motivated and obviously extremely biased judge is clearly incapable of admitting his egregious mistakes.

There was no other possible verdict after Chauvin was convicted.

How could Chauvin have killed Floyd by keeping his knee on Floyd’s back without the people around him who assisted him also being guilty?

Whatever you think of the Floyd verdict I fail to see how any other verdict could have been reached in this case, and 5 years is less than what most states would have provided.

Remember Chauvin is convicted of the crime, as far as the law is concerned his actions 100% are the cause not the crystal meth that was in Floyd.

    Virginia42 in reply to Danny. | August 8, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    So the law is basically stupid–Chauvin did not cause his death. The OD did. But narrative ueber alles, I guess.

      Danny in reply to Virginia42. | August 8, 2023 at 9:06 pm

      In this case it isn’t narrative.

      I don’t think Chauvin had a fair trial for reasons having nothing to do with what was in the court room (i.e. the antifa protests outside and no voi dire for the most politically fraught trial in the country), but once he was convicted….

      For was this one a fair trial pretend this was your case how are you going to get off a man who is filmed aiding in an action that has already been determined a homicide?

Dejectedhead | August 8, 2023 at 6:04 pm

All these guys losing years of their lives because George Floyd ate drugs again during an arrest.

No justice anymore.

Char Char Binks | August 8, 2023 at 6:19 pm

Thao’s resolute and righteous defiance, and steadfast resistance to lying to make things easier on himself, must make Cahill feel ashamed, if he’s capable of such

Subotai Bahadur | August 8, 2023 at 8:44 pm

As a long retired Peace Officer [it makes me feel old when I think about how long] I realize that pensions are a big part of why a lot of my brother and sister officers in Minneapolis are staying. But there are other departments, in other states, and even if you give up your pension from Minneapolis, you may be around to collect it if you leave. You cannot have much hope of collecting if you remain. And anyone who applies to be a Minneapolis cop knowing what things are like there is suicidal.

Subotai Bahadur

It’s a lynching. Chauvin, too.

Lots of appeals here to Truth. Unfortunately, anyone that works in or around the American legal system knows that such a an objective concept is mostly illusionary. The truth in a courtroom is what you can convince the Judge and/or jury what you personally believe is true.. Most prosecutors are not immune from this either. When I started working in law I also had this naive belief that logic was important in legal arguments. In my personal experience this is mostly not so. Go back and read the Roe v. Wade decision. Pathetic. Again, it is mostly about what you can convince others of using appeals to the emotions, “truth” be damned. Our legal system is irredeemable. The roots of liberalism and therapeutic justice are woven throughout American law. It would take a century or two to undo them, if that were even possible.

I was very sympathetic towards Chauvin in the state case, and it appeared obvious he was railroaded in more ways than one. Then pled guilty in the federal case. That’s when he lost me. I practiced law for 30 years and I never advised someone who claimed they were innocent, and where I believed them in that claim, to override that innocence stand and plead guilty anyway to something they did not do and hope for mercy. NEVER! The only thing I can conclude is he must be feeling some guilt.

Reflexively downvote me if you will, but if you do I’d appreciate an explanation.

Char Char Binks | August 9, 2023 at 7:09 pm

As a lawyer, you must know that many defendants are forced to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit to avoid a worse fate. I don’t know of any defendant who ever got treated worse than Chauvin in any trial in America