Disgraced former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao gave a 22-minute speech throughout his sentencing, throughout which he preached Bible quotes to the court docket however provided no apology to George Floyd’s household for his position within the Black man’s loss of life.
Thao was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal jail on Wednesday for violating Floyd’s civil rights when he stood by and didn’t intervene throughout his Memorial Day 2020 homicide.
The eight-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department was sentenced alongside his fellow officer J Alexander Kueng, who was handed a barely shorter sentence on account of his lack of expertise as a rookie officer.
While Kueng declined to ship a press release at his sentencing, Thao took the chance to present a long-winded speech to these gathered within the courtroom, together with Floyd’s grieving girlfriend and cousin.
In a 22-minute rambling speech, he reeled off quotes from the Bible and claimed he had been “born again” after turning to faith following his arrest.
“When I walked into that jail cell, I grabbed a Bible, and I searched for it, I searched for an answer to all this wickedness, and I couldn’t find it,” he mentioned.
But – regardless of his obvious new-found religion – Thao didn’t apologise as soon as to Floyd’s family members or present regret for his actions that day.
The solely individual he apologised to was the court docket reporter who needed to transcribe his rambling speech.
Instead, he complained concerning the “false accusations” made in opposition to him and appeared to evangelise at Floyd’s household and the prosecutors that they need to additionally “turn to God”.
“Don’t forget about God. Turn to him,” he mentioned.
“As a father of three kids, I can sit here and appeal for mercy. But I appeal to my friends to turn to God.”
Moments earlier, Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross had delivered an emotional sufferer influence assertion the place she condemned his remarks throughout her boyfriend’s homicide and telling him to consider Floyd when he’s “scared” in his jail cell.
“As you watched my love being suffocated under the knee of your co-officer, I will never forget you saying to the crowd of onlookers, ‘This is why you don’t do drugs,’” she informed him. “No one deserves to be treated as less.”
She added: “I had seen my big strong, muscular man be shaken and sad when he was in a small space. He wasn’t trying to resist that day, he was just so scared. When you get scared in that small prison cell, remember how Floyd felt.”
Thao stored a crowd of bystanders again and stopped them intervening as Floyd was dying below Chauvin’s knee. Meanwhile Kueng pinned down Mr Floyd’s again and Lane held down his legs.
Thao pleaded not responsible at his trial again in February and sought to push all the blame for Floyd’s loss of life onto the senior-most officer on the scene Chauvin.
When he took the witness stand, he had a testy change with prosecutors after they questioned why he didn’t attempt to cease Chauvin from murdering Floyd.
“I think I would trust a 19-year veteran to figure it out,” he mentioned.
Thao was discovered responsible of each fees of failing to supply Floyd with medical help and failing to cease their colleague Derek Chauvin from murdering him as he pinned the Black man to the bottom by the neck till he died.
Kueng was additionally conviced on the 2 counts whereas their fellow officer Thomas Lane – who requested twice if they need to roll Floyd into a special place – was convicted on one depend of failing to supply medical help.
Kueng was sentenced to 36 months on Wednesday whereas Lane was sentenced to 30 months final week.
All three, who stood trial collectively, have been informed to give up to US Marshals on 4 October.
Chauvin acquired a sentence of 21 years earlier this month, to be served concurrently alongside his 22.5 yr sentence on state fees of homicide and manslaughter.
He prevented going to federal trial together with his three fellow officers by reaching a plea deal in December to plead responsible to the federal civil rights fees in change for spending the rest of his sentence in a safer, comfier federal facility.
At his federal sentencing, Chauvin addressed the youngsters of the person he killed.
He informed Floyd’s youngsters that he needs them “all the best in their life” however stopped wanting apologising for leaving them to develop up with out their father.
“I just want to say that I wish them all the best in their life and have excellent guidance in becoming great adults,” he mentioned.
Thao and Kueng are actually awaiting trial on state fees of aiding and abetting each second-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter.
The state trial has been delayed a number of instances and is now scheduled to start in January 2023.
Lane reached a plea cope with prosecutors again in May so is now not heading to state trial with the 2 different officers.