- The FBI has opened an investigation into the incident
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody after Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.
The incident, which was captured on video by a bystander, has sparked outrage and protests across the country, with many people calling for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder.
Here are 10 reasons why the charging of Tou Thao in George Floyd’s death is justified.
- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for Thao’s firing
The actions of the officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been widely condemned. Soon after the incident, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had called for the officers involved, specifically Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, to be fired.
In an address to the media, Mayor Frey said “ Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail? If you had done it or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. And I cannot come up with a good answer to that question”.
The mayor has been vocal in his stance that the officers should have been held accountable for their actions, and this belief was reiterated in the charges brought against them.
After the release of the charging document detailing the cases against Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, Mayor Jacob Frey released a statement saying:
“The irreversible damage done to Floyd should not be part of anyone’s job description. After careful consideration and review of the facts of the case, I support Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s decision today and urge for a swift prosecution and justice for George Floyd’s family and all of us seeking accountability.”
- The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has announced its investigation into the incident.
The BCA is the state’s top law enforcement agency and has been directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death. The agency is expected to collaborate with the FBI and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to scrutinize the details of the event.
The BCA will conduct a comprehensive review of the circumstances surrounding the incident, from the initial police response to the report of a man matching Floyd’s description to the subsequent altercation between the police and Floyd.
The BCA will also be looking into any potential violations of procedures, policy, or state law by the officers involved in the incident.
The BCA has also indicated that it will carefully look into the complaints of the bystanders and interview any other individuals who may have witnessed or been involved in the incident.
- The Minneapolis Police Department released dashboard camera footage of the incident
The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has released dashboard camera footage of the incident.
The footage was released to the public as part of the MPD’s internal investigation into the incident, as required by its documentation policy.
The video shows the altercation between the officers and Floyd, and gives insight into the events leading up to Floyd’s death. Notably, the video shows officers restraining Floyd and kneeling on his neck for several minutes, leading to a loss of consciousness.
The footage also shows Tou Thao, one of the four officers involved in the incident, standing guard and stopping bystanders from intervening. This is significant evidence in justifying Thao’s charges.
The release of the video has caused outrage in the community and shown the importance of continuing to investigate this incident. The MPD is still accepting any relevant information that can help their investigation.
- Perez’s family has retained civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump
The family of George Floyd has retained civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump to represent them in legal matters.
Crump, who is known for his work in many high-profile cases involving police brutality, has important experience in addressing systemic police accountability. To that end, he is intensely working to ensure criminal and civil rights accountability for the loss of George Floyd’s life.
Crump has called for all of the officers involved in the death of Floyd to be charged. He has spoken out against the fact that only one of the officers, Tou Thao, has been formally charged.
Crump also called for a full investigation into the deputies involved in his client’s death. This inquiry should include an examination of their decision-making leading up to and at the time of his death.
The charges against Tou Thao are a significant step forward in seeking justice for George Floyd and his family. But there are still three other officers involved in this incident who need to be held accountable. The other three officers must be formally charged with criminal and civil rights violations to ensure that there is justice for George.
- Officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter
Officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. It is important to note that Chauvin was the first of the four officers on the scene to be arrested and charged.
Chauvin’s criminal charges were a direct result of the collective public outrage and the intense pressure for justice by the family of George Floyd and the public at large. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, has called for all four officers to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The charges against Chauvin set an important precedent and point to the progress being made by the justice system. It is a crucial step towards achieving justice and accountability for the death of George Floyd and proof that the criminal justice system is able to take action when the public demands it.
It is essential that the other three officers involved in the wrongful death of George Floyd be charged and held accountable. This will ensure the safety and the protection of all citizens, while providing a sense of closure and justice to the family and the public.
- Thao’s body camera footage showed him walking up to the scene and talking to Chauvin
Officer Tou Thao’s body camera footage revealed that he arrived at the scene of the incident, walked up, and began talking to Chauvin. Thao was seen standing in the street and telling onlookers to back away. He was also seen trying to keep the onlookers away from the area for approximately nine minutes, even as Floyd was being arrested by Chauvin.
This shows that Thao had knowledge of and participated in the arrest that ultimately led to the death of Floyd. Given his conduct and his close proximity to the officers, he arguably could have and should have taken steps to intervene, such as calling other officers to the area or reporting the incident to a higher authority.
Thao’s failure to intervene and act to stop the wrongful death of Floyd has resulted in his own arrests and charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. These charges are legitimate in light of the fact that he clearly was aware of what was transpiring and ultimately failed to act accordingly.
- Chauvin and Thao
The interactions between former officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao contained in the body camera footage of the George Floyd incident show how Thao failed to intervene even though he was present and had a duty to stop the wrongful death of Floyd. The videos appear to show that Thao was aiding and abetting Chauvin and that their interactions in the videos were criminal.
The videos of Thao and Chauvin interacting around the time of the arrest of Floyd include Thao walking up to the scene and talking to Chauvin, Thao attempting to keep onlookers from the area and actively helping Chauvin carry out the arrest.
In addition, the footage shows Thao and Chauvin talking after Chauvin handcuffed Floyd and put his knee on his neck, even though Thao was obviously aware of the civilian protests against the act. This suggests that Thao failed to intervene or report the incident, a move that is seen by prosecutors as aiding and abetting the wrongful death of Floyd.