Tou Thao, one of the fired Minneapolis police officers who was charged in the death of George Floyd, is out on bond. He was released on $750,000 on Saturday morning, according to records viewed by Law&Crime. Of the four defendants, only Derek Chauvin remains behind bars.
The case is poised for a court fight. Attorneys for Thao, Chauvin, and co-defendants J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane consented to video coverage of the trials. Kueng’s defense claims that high-ranking officials leaked to the press. From the filing:
Specifically, this relief is necessary to blunt the effects of the increasing and repeated media attacks from the various officials who have breached their duty to the community. These State comments have crescendoed to an extraordinary volume this week with the Chief pronouncing that “[w]hat happened to Mr. Floyd was murder.” The State’s conduct has made a fair and unbiased trial extremely unlikely and the Defendants seek video and audio coverage to let a cleansing light shine on these proceedings. Doing otherwise allows these public officials to geld the Constitution.
As seen on video, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck during an arrest on May 25. This went on for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, even after the victim became unresponsive, prosecutors said. Lane and Kuneg were on Floyd’s back. Thao was the office seen on footage standing between his co-defendants, and bystanders who were outraged at how Floyd was being treated.
The judge denied requests to broadcast the pretrial hearings, but didn’t make a decision about any of the hypothetical trials.
Thao, Kueng, and Lane were each charged with one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and one count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter.
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[Screengrab via Darnella Frazier]
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