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Ex-Minneapolis Police Officer to Receive Sentencing for Involvement in George Floyd’s Death

The last former Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd will be sentenced on Monday to determine if he will serve additional time in prison.

Tou Thao, who testified that he acted as a “human traffic cone” by holding back onlookers while Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, will learn his fate. Thao was found guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The video capturing Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” sparked global protests and led to a national reckoning on police brutality and racism.

Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County ruled that Thao’s actions were unreasonable and prevented bystanders from intervening or offering medical aid to Floyd.

Thao refused a plea bargain, opting instead to have the case decided by the judge based on evidence from Chauvin’s trial and the federal civil rights trial that Thao and two other former officers, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander, faced in 2022.

Thao’s federal conviction was upheld recently, and he could face a sentence ranging from 41 to 57 months for the state charge. Lane and Kueng, the other officers involved, received shorter state sentences which they are serving concurrently with their federal sentences.

Minnesota guidelines recommend a four-year sentence for the manslaughter count, which Thao would serve simultaneously with his federal conviction.

Minnesota inmates typically serve two-thirds of their sentences in prison and one-third on parole.

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