Who is Minneapolis cop Tou Thao?

FIRED Minneapolis police officers, Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, Alexander Keung, and Thomas Lane are facing new convictions in the death of George Floyd.

Floyd's death nearly one year ago sparked national outrage and months of protest in all 50 states.

Who is Minneapolis cop Tou Thao?

Before joining the force he worked as a supervisor in a fast-food restaurant and security guard for a large medical device manufacturer.

The 34 year old served as a Minneapolis police officer for nine years.

As a rookie, he was cited eight times for being dishonest or taking shortcuts and had six police conduct complaints filed against him during his nine years.

In 2014, Thao and another officer were accused of punching, kicking, and kneeing an unarmed Black man in handcuffs just blocks away from where Floyd was killed.

On May 25, 2020, Thao was riding with Chauvin and decided to help two rookie cops, Keung and Lane, on a call.

A dispatcher canceled the plea for help while Thao and Chauvin were on their way to the scene saying the officers appeared to have the situation under control but they headed to the scene regardless.

Thao worked to control the growing crowd as Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

He later told investigators that he couldn’t really see what his fellow officers were doing because he was focused on the crowd.

What did Tou Thao say about the death of George Floyd?

A video of Thao's 2-hour interview with investigators was made public in August 2020.

He told investigators that when he arrived on the scene he suspected Floyd of being under the influence of drugs due to his behavior.

He said that he expected the arresting officers to take care of Floyd and focused on the crowd that was becoming agitated.

Thao explained that police are trained that if a suspect can talk, then he also can breathe but claimed that he had never seen the kneeling technique before but was aware that trainers have instructed officers to use their knee as leverage.

When asked what he could have done differently, he responded, “This is a horrible feeling, as an officer hopes to go through their career not dealing with a situation like this when someone dies. … It’s affected my family and taken a mental toll.”

What are Tou Thao's charges?

Thao, Chauvin, Keung, and Lane were all immediately fired following Floyd's death.

A federal grand jury has indicted the four former officers claiming that they used the "color of the law" to strip Floyd of his constitutional rights to be "free from the use of unreasonable force" when Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck and the others did nothing to stop him.

Thao appeared in the US District Court Friday morning, via Zoom along with Keung and Lane.

Chauvin is currently in custody at Oak Park Heights prison awaiting his sentence for his manslaughter convictions.

Thao, Keung, and Lane are scheduled for an August trial in state court for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter charges.

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