Is Tou Thao Kellie Chauvin's brother? Cop was fired and rehired before George Floyd murder
Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the second-degree murder of George Floyd, bringing finality to a case that has gravely traumatized the Twin Cities and sparked nationwide demonstrations. Now, three other policemen who were also involved in the case await their verdict.
The jury selection for Tou Thao, Thomas K Lane, and J Alexander Kueng's combined trial will begin at 9 am on March 8, 2022, according to a scheduling order filed in Hennepin County Court. The three officers were also present at Cup Foods and had helped Chauvin in making the fatal arrest of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
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Although Tou Thao, who was Chauvin's partner, had earlier sought dismissal of charges on the grounds that he had no idea that a crime was about to take place and the State has not proved he did. However, his bodycam footage shows that the 40-year-old, Asian-American ex-cop shouted at people who said "you're gonna let them kill him". His behavior led to conspiracy theories soon making the rounds that Thao was also the brother of Chauvin's wife, Kellie Chauvin. Since then, more unknown information about the Hmong American has been revealed by the press. Here's what's to know.
Tou Thao was fired and rehired by police
Before Floyd's death, Tou Thao worked as a Minneapolis police officer for nine years. He was cited eight times as a rookie for being dishonest or taking shortcuts by a training officer. He was the subject of six police misconduct accusations over the years, the Star Tribune reported. According to documents, he has six nonspecific police conduct complaints against him, five of which were closed without discipline, and one was still open when he was fired.
Before the killing of George Floyd, Thao and another police were then accused of beating, kicking, and kneeing an unarmed Black man in handcuffs in 2014. The incident took place just a few blocks away from where they would subsequently meet Floyd. Lamar Ferguson filed a police brutality complaint against Thao and another officer in 2017, alleging that Thao and other officers attacked him, fracturing his teeth, while he was detained during an arrest in 2014. The case was settled for $25,000 by the city of Minneapolis.
Coerced domestic abuse victims to not file cases
Thao was employed as a community service officer with the Minneapolis Police Department in 2008, as part of a program aimed at increasing personnel diversity. He was able to complete his law enforcement degree at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park thanks to the program.
His career showed signs of trouble from the start. Thao was reprimanded by his field training officer eight times in his first year for being dishonest or using shortcuts to avoid doing things like intervening in instances that demanded a police response. According to court documents, Thao attempted to coerce domestic abuse victims into not filing complaints between 2012 and 2017.
Kellie Chauvin brother rumours
After Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce and the four officers were arrested for their role in George Floyd's death, rumors started making the rounds on Twitter that Kellie and Thao, who are both a part of the Hmong community, were siblings. The claim was also made on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as within the Hmong community in Minneapolis. Some of the posts included images of Chauvin, Tou Thao, and Kellie Chauvin together, implying that she was responsible for Floyd's death.
In an email to the Associated Press, her divorce lawyer, Amanda Mason-Sekula, stated that her client had no link to Tou Thao and that the family had been harassed and intimidated as a result of the false information, as reported by MEAWW in an earlier article. "Tou Thao is NOT Ms Chauvin’s brother," she said. "I would GREATLY appreciate help putting that rumor to rest. Her family has been harassed and threatened based on multiple incorrect reports."
The fact that Kellie Chauvin and Thao are both Asian appeared to be the source of the misunderstanding. Kellie Chauvin was born in Laos in 1974 and moved to Thailand with her family when the war ended in 1977. Users highlighted how that her maiden name was Thao and that it was proof she was related to Tou Thao. They also pointed out that she had a brother in uniform.