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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

Final officer convicted on state charges over George Floyd death

Final officer convicted on state charges over George Floyd death

One of the Minneapolis officers involved in the death of George Floyd has been found guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter.
A Minnesota judge issued the guilty verdict for Tou Thao on Monday night.

Four former police officer were charged in the aftermath of Mr Floyd's death. His killing led to mass protests around the world.

Thao's conviction on the latest charges marks the end in a series of state and federal cases against the four men.

Minnesota's attorney general Keith Ellison said Thao's conviction is "historic and the right outcome".

"While we have now reached the end of the prosecution of Floyd's murder, it is not behind us," he said.

"There is much more that prosecutors, law-enforcement leaders, rank-and-file officers, elected officials, and community can do to bring about true justice in law enforcement," he said.

All four former police officers have already been convicted on federal civil rights charges. Additionally:

*  Derek Chauvin was convicted on state murder charges in April 2021

*  Thomas Lane was sentenced in September 2022 on a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter

*  J Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in October 2022

Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in May 2020 when Chauvin pressed his knee into Mr Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

The two other officers helped hold him down while Thao held back bystanders.

On Monday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said in his 177-page verdict that Thao "actively encouraged his three colleagues' dangerous prone restraint" of Mr Floyd.

"Like the bystanders, Thao could see Floyd's life slowly ebbing away as the restraint continued," Judge Cahill wrote in his verdict.

"Yet Thao made a conscious decision to actively participate in Floyd's death: he held back the concerned bystanders and even prevented an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter from rendering the medical aid Floyd so desperately needed."

Thao waived his right to a jury trial in the Minnesota case, opting instead for Judge Cahill to determine the verdict.

He also waived the right to testify and question witnesses.

His sentencing for the manslaughter charge has been scheduled for 7 August.
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