All four cops involved in George Floyd's death, including two who fled Minneapolis, now in custody
The three now-former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the death of George Floyd have all been arrested and taken into custody, according to reports. Authorities in Minnesota released the mugshots of the three — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng in prison attire. An official post-mortem examination declared the death of George Floyd as a homicide on Monday, June 1.
Floyd died after now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for a sickening eight minutes while restraining him. While Thao did nothing to intervene and stop the situation, the other two officers assisted Chauvin in restricting Floyd. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, on Wednesday, June 3, while the three other former Minneapolis police officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Prosecutors also upped the charge made against Chauvin to second-degree murder. Thao, Lane and Kueng were taken into custody on Wednesday, June 3, and are being held on a $1 million bond.
According to Minnesota State Law, second-degree murder is not premeditated but that the suspect did intend to cause death. The charge normally has a maximum penalty of 40 years behind bars, compared with a maximum of 25 years for third-degree murder. According to Kueng's attorney, Tom Plunkett, his client "was asked to turn himself in to face charges" on Wednesday afternoon and was taken into custody in around 15 minutes, CNN shared.
We had earlier reported that Police officer Tou Thao stood and watched as three of his colleagues applied their full weight on the neck, torso and lower body of George Floyd. Floyd repeatedly told the officers that he couldn't breathe but none of them moved. The 34-year-old Thao stood on the side and ordered bystanders to maintain their distance and stay away as Floyd lost consciousness, and eventually died in a video that went viral and sparked nationwide outrage and protests. Thao had deleted his social media accounts and had fled the state, according to the Star Tribune. His lawyer has revealed that he is "safely elsewhere" but cannot run from his past. A database that consists of complaints against the police shows that Thao has been the subject of at least six separate investigations.
However, Thao was not the only officer to flee Minneapolis. Officer Thomas Lane, who was the first to arrive on the scene, "left Minneapolis and didn't tell anyone where he was going." While Kueng was reportedly staying with family members.
According to the lawyer for the Floyd family, Benjamin Crump, "Beyond doubt, he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body by two other officers. The ambulance was his hearse."
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said during a press conference while announcing the charges, "We're here today because George Floyd is not here. He should be here. The world heard Floyd call out for his mama and say 'Please don't kill me'."
“George Floyd mattered. He was loved, his family was important, his life had value, and we will seek justice for him and for you, and we will find it," Ellison said.