Tou Thao, 34, was one of four fired Minneapolis police officers charged in connection to George Floyd's May 25 death

By Claudia Harmata
July 05, 2020 03:30 PM
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Credit: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

Three of the four ex-Minneapolis police officers facing charges in connection with the killing of George Floyd have now been released from jail.

Tou Thao, 34, was released from the Hennepin County Jail on Saturday on "bond and conditional release," according to the jail's records. His bail was set at $1 million with no conditions or $750,000 bail with conditions.

Thao is one of three officers arrested on June 3 and charged in the death of Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. He is charged with aiding and abetting — without intent — second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.

Thomas Lane, 37, was previously released from jail after posting bond on June 10. J. Alexander Kueng, 26, was released from jail on Jun 19 after also posting bond. Both face similar charges to Thao.

George Floyd
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Derek Chauvin — the ex-officer who was filmed pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes — remains in custody at the jail, with his bail set at $1.25 million.

Chauvin, 44, was initially charged with third-degree murder but had his charges upgraded to include second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter.

All four men appeared in court on June 29 when they all waived their right to a speedy trial, which is scheduled to begin in the spring, The New York Times reported.

None of the former officers have entered pleas.

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From left: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao
| Credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/AP/Shutterstock

Judge Peter A. Cahill of Hennepin County District Court set the next hearing in the case for Sept. 11, and a trial date of March 8, 2021.

In the next few months, the court will decide whether to hold four separate trials or if the four former officers will be tried together, according to the Times.

On May 31, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo spoke with CNN, telling the outlet that the three officers were "complicit" in Floyd's death for not stepping in.

"Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit," Arradondo said. "Silence and inaction — you're complicit. You're complicit. If there were one solitary voice that would have intervened ... that's what I would have hoped for."

Arradondo said he had "never experienced" anything like this case in his career, and viewing the footage of the encounter gave him a "visceral" reaction. He said the decision to fire all four officers was clearcut in his mind.

"There are absolute truths in life ... the killing of Mr. Floyd was an absolute truth that it was wrong," Arradondo said at the time. "I did not need days or weeks or months or processes or bureaucracies to tell me that what occurred out here last Monday was wrong."

Floyd was laid to rest on June 9 in Texas after memorial services were held for him in several states.

Nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism have ensued following his death.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.