A former Minneapolis police officer named Tou Thao who was involved in George Floyd’s murder has been given a sentence of almost five years in jail. 

George Floyd’s death in 2020 provoked prolonged racial justice demonstrations all around the world including in the United States, sparking a global movement for social justice and police reform.

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Who is Tou Thao?

Tou Thao is a former Minneapolis police officer. He was a police officer for nine years. Thao has been found guilty of one count of second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter. The fourth and final officer to receive a term in relation to Floyd’s murder was Thao.

Judge Peter Cahill has sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Thao to 4 years, and 9 months in prison, with credit for 340 days already served. Cahill in a court said, “I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility. And less preaching,” as reported by media outlets.

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When a video of George Floyd being restrained by police on May 25, 2020, became online, four former police officers were charged. Thao was one of them. The event, which resulted in Floyd’s death after then-Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, sparked significant outrage and protests around the country.

Chauvin was later found guilty of murder and manslaughter for his part in George Floyd’s death. J. Kueng and Thomas Lane, the other two cops charged with keeping Floyd down, were also convicted of state and federal crimes in connection with the event.

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The three-and-a-half-year term Thao obtained from a federal judge last year will run concurrently with his most recent sentence of four years and nine months. The civil rights violation that led to the federal conviction included George Floyd.

In his evidence in federal court, Thao stated that he thought the other police were appropriately handling the issue with Floyd and that his primary concern during the incident was crowd control.