Three years after the violent killing of African American George Floyd during a police operation in the United States, one of the police officers involved at the time has been convicted again.
Tou Thao, who helped keep observers at bay, was found guilty of assisting in manslaughter, according to consistent US media reports. The court in Minneapolis (Minnesota) did not sentence the ex-cop to the more serious charge of aiding and abetting murder.
The sentence should therefore only be determined at a later date - a prison sentence of several years is expected. Thao - who had already received a federal sentence of 3.5 years - was the last of the four police officers involved to receive his state verdict. He had pleaded not guilty. On video recordings, Thao said to witnesses of the killing, looking at Floyd: "That's why you shouldn't take drugs, children." His lawyers reportedly argued that Thao was unaware of Floyd's condition.
Floyd's death on May 25, 2020 in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis triggered demonstrations against racism and police violence in the United States. Videos documented how the officers pushed the unarmed man to the ground. White police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for a good nine minutes while Floyd begged him to breathe and eventually lost consciousness. His colleagues Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane did not intervene despite Chauvin's actions.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for second-degree murder by a Minneapolis court. He's already serving that sentence. A federal court had sentenced him to an additional 21 years in prison. Kueng and Lane are also serving prison sentences of several years.