Third Minneapolis cop charged in George Floyd’s death is released from jail after posting bail
- Tou Thao, 34, was released from Hennepin County jail late Saturday morning
- The former police officer was being held in lieu of $750,000 before he was freed
- Accused of aiding and abetting second-degree murder on afternoon of May 25
- His colleague Derek Chauvin is still in jail, accused of killing George Floyd, 46
Tou Thao, 34, left Hennepin County jail late on Saturday morning
A third Minneapolis cop charged in George Floyd’s death has been released from jail after posting bail.
Tou Thao, 34, left Hennepin County jail late on Saturday morning, CBS news reports.
He was being held in lieu of $750,000 before his release.
Thao is one of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
The cops were fired and arrested after the death of Mr Floyd, 46. Their colleague Derek Chauvin knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes on May 25.
Officers J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Thomas Lane, 37, were released on their $750,000 bonds last month.
Kueng and Lane were the first to respond to the call that a man – later said to be Floyd – had been trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli.
Kueng and Lane discovered Floyd sitting in a nearby car. They handcuffed him and attempted to put him inside their squad car.
Later, after the arrival of Chauvin and Thao, witness video shows Kueng holding onto Floyd’s back while he was lying in the street. Kueng then told the other officers that he ‘couldn’t find’ Floyd’s pulse.
According to charging documents, Lane (seen far right) – who initially took Floyd into custody – held down the father-of-five’s legs, while Kueng held his back
Thao blocked a growing crowd from stepping in to stop Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck (pictured behind him). Despite their pleas for help, not once did Thao try to get Chauvin off Floyd’s neck
Thao’s co-defendants (left to right), J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane
Authorities said Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for about two minutes after Kueng’s statement.
According to charging documents, Lane – who initially took Floyd into custody – held down the father-of-five’s legs, while Kueng held his back and Chauvin knelt down on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
During the arrest, Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving. He was handcuffed at the time.
In witness video released last week, a man and a woman are heard urging the officers to check Floyd’s pulse before more bystanders are heard pleading with the officers to help Floyd.
‘You think that’s okay? Check his pulse!’ a man is heard yelling as Thao argued with a woman nearby.
‘The ain’t moved yet bro,’ the man continued. ‘He has not moved not one time!’
The man then asked Thao: ‘You’re going to let him kill that man in front of you?’
The woman then yelled: ‘Tell me what his pulse is right now!’ Another woman is heard asking in the background: ‘Did they just f**king kill him?’
George Floyd (pictured) died on May 25 under then knee of Officer Derek Chauvin
As a crowd gathered, others are heard shouting, ‘Get off of his neck!’ and ‘He’s not moving!’
Despite their pleas for help, not once did Thao try to get Chauvin off Floyd’s neck.
Instead, he continued to argue with the witnesses, yelling for them to remain on the sidewalk and not come any closer.
A short time later, paramedics arrive and lift Floyd’s lifeless body off the pavement and onto a stretcher.
Police bodycam footage has not been made available to the public yet, because it is being investigated by the FBI.
Chauvin (left) is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in relation to George Floyd’s (right) death, with his bail set at $1.25 million
Former police officers have said that the bodycam footage will ‘prove’ there was a struggle.
During a CNN interview, Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray said that ‘It wasn’t a violent resistance but it wasn’t a kind of non-resistance that an individual should do when police officers are arresting him.
He also noted: ‘He should get out of his vehicle and follow the orders of the police officers. He didn’t do that.’
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Kueng’s attorneys said that he had been working on his third shift as a police officer when the incident occurred.
Kueng can be seen here (left) with Floyd as he takes Floyd into custody on May 25
Lane was freed on June 10 and Kueng followed nine days later.
Chauvin remains behind bars. He was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and arrested after Floyd’s death. He was initially charged with third-degree murder before that charge was upgraded to second-degree murder.
Chauvin’s bail was set to $1.25million. The officers appeared in Hennepin County courtroom last week, when their representatives asked for TV cameras to be allowed in the courtroom during the trial – currently set for March 2021.
Chauvin and Thao are next due in court on September 11.
Immediately following Floyd’s death, Black Lives Matter protests erupted globally.
While the majority of protests remained peaceful, buildings, businesses and police departments have burned after some demonstrations turned violent in major US cities.
Protesters have not only demanded justice for Floyd, but they’ve called for justice for Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and most recently Rayshard Brooks.
Demonstrators have also marched for Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot dead by a white man in Georgia in February.
Floyd was laid to rest June 9 in Houston, Texas.
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