A Minnesota judge has found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter in the 2020 death of George Floyd, whose death sparked protests across the country.
Tou Thao’s attorney asked Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill in January to make the decision on Thao’s guilt or innocence, eschewing a jury trial, WCCO reported. He had 90 days to do so and issued the ruling Monday night.
“The conviction of Tou Thao is historic and the right outcome,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement. “It brings one more measure of accountability in the tragic death of George Floyd. Accountability is not justice, but it is a step on the road to justice.”
Floyd was detained by police on May 25, 2020, after a convenience store worker accused him of passing a counterfeit bill. He died on the scene after one of the officers, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes, a brutal killing was was caught on cell phone video.
Chauvin was convicted on two state murder charges and a manslaughter charge in April of 2021 and was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. His conviction was upheld last month.
Two other officers — J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — were convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter and sentenced to 3.5 years and 3-years, respectively. All four officers were convicted on federal civil rights violation charges. In the federal cases, Chauvin received a 21 year sentence, Kueng 3 years, Lane 2.5 years, and Thao 3.5 years. Those sentences will be served concurrently with the state sentences.
Thao’s sentencing is scheduled for August 7.
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[Featured image: Tou Thao, left/Hennepin County Jail and George Floyd/Facebook]