George Floyd death: Tou Thao seeks dismissal of case claiming he didn't know a crime was going to be committed

As per Tou Thao's attorney Robert Paule, facts do not support the allegation that his client's actions 'furthered the commission of the underlying crime for Aiding and Abetting'


                            George Floyd death: Tou Thao seeks dismissal of case claiming he didn't know a crime was going to be committed
Tou Thao (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Tou Thao, one of the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, has moved to have his charges dismissed on the grounds that he had no idea that a crime was about to take place and the State has not proved he did.

Documents filed in the Hennepin County District Court have asked for the charges against Thao, 34, to be dropped as they are not supported by probable cause under Minnesota statute, reports Daily Mail. 

While Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of Floyd for nearly nine minutes, Thao did nothing to intervene and stop the situation. Two other officers involved -- Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng -- assisted Chauvin in restricting Floyd. 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.

Protesters march on Hiawatha Avenue while decrying the killing of George Floyd on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, 'I can’t breathe' (Getty Images) 

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter while the three other officers, Thao, Lane, and Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

Thao's attorney Robert Paule has said that the state has failed to show "by probable cause – that Mr Thao; (1) knew former officer Derek Chauvin and others were going to commit a crime and (2) intended his presence of actions to further the commission of that crime." The motion presented by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank does not show any probable cause that his client "had the requisite mental state for Aiding and Abetting" as per Minnesota law. 

Paule also says that the facts do not support the allegation that Thao's actions "furthered the commission of the underlying crime for Aiding and Abetting." Thao's motion for dismissal will be looked into on September 11. Thao is the only officer who had not laid his hands on Floyd who was arrested for trying to use a fake $20 bill at a grocery store. 

We had earlier reported that a database that consists of complaints against the police shows that Thao has been the subject of at least six separate investigations.

Joaquin Hollinshed yells, 'I can't breathe,' while joining thousands of people as they stage a die-in next to the Colorado State Capitol with their hands behind their backs to protest the death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020, in Denver, Colorado (Getty Images) 

Two years ago, Thao and another Minnesota officer were involved in a case that was settled out of court when the city of Minneapolis paid an African American man, Lamar Ferguson, $25,000. 

According to the lawsuit, Thao and his fellow officer had allegedly "punch(ed), kick(ed) and kneed" Ferguson. "They had no reason to stop me, they started asking me a whole bunch of questions, where I was going," Ferguson told The Sun. The lawyer for the Floyd family, Benjamin Crump, said, "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.

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