Verdict expected in state case of former Minneapolis officer charged in connection with Floyd’s death

Verdict expected in case against former MPD officer charged in George Floyd’s death

Verdict expected in case against former MPD officer charged in George Floyd's death

Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao is expected to learn his future on a state charge in George Floyd’s death.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Thao waived his right to a jury trial in October. That means Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill will deliver the verdict on the count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, months after closing arguments were made. Judge Cahill was expected to return a verdict within 90 days of receiving the case.

Although Thao is also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, Cahill will only rule on the manslaughter charge. He will make his decision based on evidence from Derek Chauvin’s state trial, as well as the federal civil rights trial held for Thao and fellow former Minneapolis Police Department officers J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane.

Those four men either entered guilty pleas or were already convicted of federal charges and are currently serving prison time.

If Thao is convicted, state guidelines recommend a sentence of four years, which he would serve at the same time as his three-and-a-half-year federal sentence.

Video from the scene that day shows Thao standing between bystanders on the sidewalk and Chauvin, Lane and Kueng, who were closer to Floyd.

During closing arguments, state prosecutors argued police officers have a “legal and professional duty to intervene in the excessive use of force by another officer” and added that Thao acted as a “human traffic cone” and in turn assisted the criminal actions of the other officers.

However, Thao’s defense team argued he is innocent because he followed his police training and “did not intend that his specific actions were done to assist in the commission of a crime.”

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