O Agent Tou Thao – who had already been convicted in federal court of violating Floyd’s civil rights – was the last of four former police officers to face trial in state court for Floyd’s murder, in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020.
Unlike the other three former agents, Thao always maintained that he didn’t make any mistakes, let alone commit a crime.
This former police officer has previously testified that he served only as a “human traffic cone”, when he held back civilians who expressed concern while former police officer Derek Chauvin pinned the African American to the ground with his knee, over the course of nine and a half minutes.
The video of a spectator who captured Floyd’s screams, saying that he could not breathe, went viral on social networks and triggered a wave of demonstrations against racism and against police violence in several cities around the world.
At the sentencing hearing that took place today, Thao repeated that he never intended to hurt anyone that day, in a speech full of biblical references, where he drew parallels with the suffering and false accusations borne by Job and Jesus, reported the Associated Press agency (AP ).
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who found Thao guilty in May of complicity in aggravated murder, said today that he expected “more than prayer” from Thao.
“After three years of reflection, I expected a little more remorse”, underlined the judge.
Thao was sentenced to 57 months in prison, a sentence longer than the 51 months requested by prosecutors and the 41 months requested by Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule.
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