OAN’s Abril Elfi
12:25 PM – Monday, August 7, 2023
A former Minneapolis officer convicted in George Floyd’s murder was sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
On Monday, Tou Thao, the former-Minneapolis policeman who prevented a group of bystanders from disrupting George Floyd’s arrest in May 2020, was sentenced to an extra four years and nine months behind bars.
The former officer was found guilty in May of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Due to his federal conviction in February 2022 for “violating Floyd’s civil rights” while being arrested, Thao is already serving a 3 1/2-year term which he received last July. He will reportedly complete both federal and state sentences at the same time.
Thao also gave a statement prior to his Monday sentencing.
Although he spoke extensively about how his days in prison helped him to develop his Christian faith, he reportedly denied any wrongdoing for Floyd’s passing. Thao made meandering comments replete with religious undertones and also mentioned how he never intended to hurt anyone.
“I did not commit these crimes,” Thao said. “My conscience is clear. I will not be a Judas nor join a mob in self-preservation or betray my God.”
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stated how the ex-policeman allowed his former partners to keep restraining the victim and prevented bystanders from providing medical aid, as written in his 177-page ruling against Thao.
“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.”
According to reports, Floyd’s passing brought forth much change for Minneapolis’s police department.
The Minnesota force of Human Rights stated in a news release that the city of Minneapolis agreed to restructure the police force to address “race-based policing,” and that it also agreed to pay Floyd’s estate $27 million in order to resolve a lawsuit.
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