HOUSTON, United States (AA) : Tou Thao, the fourth and final Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s murder, was sentenced on Monday to more than four years in prison, according to multiple news outlets.
Thao held back bystanders from the scene of the killing in the state of Minnesota on May 25, 2020 in which former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes as Floyd cried out “I can’t breathe” until he died.
“I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility. And less preaching,” Judge Peter Cahill said.
Thao had testified that he was only serving as a “human traffic cone” but the judge found him guilty in May of aiding and abetting manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
“There is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer, when viewed under the totality of the circumstances,” said Cahill. “Thao’s actions were even more unreasonable in light of the fact that he was under a duty to intervene to stop the other officers’ excessive use of force and was trained to render medical aid.”
Thao was sentenced to 57 months (4 years, 9 months) in prison which is six months longer than what prosecutors had recommended. He was given credit for nearly one year served behind bars of his state sentence, which will run concurrently with his three-and-a-half-year sentence for his conviction on a federal civil rights charge.
Chauvin is serving a 22 1/2-year state sentence for murder and manslaughter charges, which is being served concurrently with his 21-year federal civil rights conviction.
The other two former officers, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, received three-and-three-an-a-half-year sentences, respectively, for state charges of aiding and abetting manslaughter, which they are serving concurrently with their federal civil rights convictions of two and a half years, and three years, respectively.