(VitalNews.org) – The last former Minneapolis police officer convicted for playing a role in the death of George Floyd in 2020 was just sentenced to over 4 years behind bars on Monday.
Tou Thao was found guilty in May by Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County, Minnesota, on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter committed by Derek Chauvin. He was sentenced on Monday to 4 years of incarceration.
Thao spent nearly a year in jail before his sentencing, during which he said his faith in Christianity grew. He also said he had no intentions to hurt anyone during the May 2020 incident that resulted in Floyd’s death. Thao said he “did not commit these crimes,” and that his “conscience is clear.” He also added that he “will not be a Judas” or “join a mob” for protection or “betray” his God.
While handing out the sentence, Judge Cahill responded that he “was hoping for a little more remorse, regret,” and taking “some responsibility” from Thao “after three years of reflection,” and “less preaching.” The judge said he wasn’t “going to rehash all the facts” relating to Floyd’s death, but that there were things Thao did as well as things he “didn’t do” that made him “guilty of this crime.”
The defendant’s defense team argued in 2020 that the police body cam footage from the scene proved Thao shouldn’t face any charges. In the clip, a bystander tells the officers to check on Floyd’s pulse and then criticizes them for not doing so.
Thao and his legal team are planning to file an appeal.
Chauvin, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death and sentenced to 20 years behind bars, recently appealed for another trial, which was rejected by the court. Chauvin and his lawyers argue that the ex-officer did not receive a fair trial, arguing that the jury was influenced by the intense media coverage and protesters.
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