George Floyd case: Ex-cop Tou Thao files motion to dismiss charges

Thao claims the felony charges brought against him are “not supported by probable cause"


Nancy Dillon
New York Daily News

MINNEAPOLIS — The fired Minneapolis police officer who stood guard as fellow cop Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leading to Floyd’s death, wants his charges dismissed.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Tou Thao claims the felony charges brought against him are “not supported by probable cause,” WCCO-TV reported.

A mugshot of ex-Minneapolis police officer Tou Thou who has been charged with aiding and abetting fellow ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.
A mugshot of ex-Minneapolis police officer Tou Thou who has been charged with aiding and abetting fellow ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

Through his lawyers, he claims “forthcoming evidentiary submissions will illustrate” that he didn’t know Floyd’s life was at risk.

Thao, 34, is facing felony counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in connection to Floyd’s May 25 homicide.

According to his complaint, Thao retrieved a “hobble restraint” from a squad car to subdue Floyd during the arrest, but it wasn’t used.

“During this time, (Thao) looked directly at how Chauvin was restraining Mr. Floyd, with Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck area,” the complaint signed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison states.

“(Thao) then became concerned about a number of citizens who had gathered and were watching the officers subdue Mr. Floyd, and potential traffic concerns, and so (he) stood between those citizens and the three officers restraining Mr. Floyd,” the complaint states.

“When one citizen stepped off the curb, imploring Chauvin to get off of Mr. Floyd, (Thao) put his hands on the citizen to keep him back,” it reads.

Floyd, an unarmed Black man arrested for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, was handcuffed and forced face-down on the pavement as Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, authorities said.

Graphic bystander video shows the 46-year-old father of five begging for air, saying “I can’t breathe,” and calling out for his deceased mother.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide, saying it was caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest” linked to “law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”

Thao was previously sued in federal court for alleged excessive force in another case.

According to the 2017 lawsuit, Lamar Ferguson claimed that Thao and his partner stopped him in 2014 and beat him up while he was on his way to his girlfriend’s house. The lawsuit was settled for $25,000.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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