- A third body camera video was released on Thursday showing another vantage point of the fatal arrest of George Floyd on May 25.
- The footage was taken from ex-officer Tou Thao, who held back a crowd of horrified bystanders while his colleagues restrained Floyd.
- Throughout the video, Thao could be seen arguing with the onlookers, who urged officer Derek Chauvin to get off Floyd’s neck, argued that Floyd wasn’t breathing, and begged the officers to check Floyd’s pulse.
- Thao’s lawyer submitted the video to court as part of a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him, arguing that Thao himself never touched Floyd, and that he was handling the crowd and not watching while his colleagues knelt on Floyd.
- Thao, like ex-officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, faces charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
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New body camera footage released Thursday showed George Floyd’s fatal police encounter from the vantage point of officer Tou Thao, who argued with a crowd of horrified bystanders while his colleagues restrained Floyd.
The footage was filed in court by Thao’s attorney, who submitted a motion last month to dismiss the criminal charges he faces, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported. Thao was charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Previously released footage was taken from the body cameras of officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who were also charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
Thao’s lawyer argued that his client shouldn’t face charges because Thao was handling a growing crowd of angry and concerned bystanders, and therefore wasn’t watching while his colleagues knelt on Floyd.
“The last time Officer Thao turned around to see what was happening, Mr. Floyd was alive and breathing,” Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule, wrote in a memo filed in court last week, according to the StarTribune. “Officer Thao spent the time during the arrest of Mr. Floyd focused on keeping the civilian bystanders out of the scene to allow the other three officers to effectuate the legal arrest.”
Paule also argued that Thao never physically touched Floyd, and even offered a hobble restraint, which the other officers opted not to use, the StarTribune reported.
The crowd of bystanders appeared increasingly upset as Floyd stopped talking and appeared to pass out
The 22-minute video shows Thao and the other officers – Derek Chauvin, Kueng, and Lane – wrestling with Floyd for several minutes while trying to force him into the backseat of a police cruiser. Floyd struggled, telling the officers he was claustrophobic.
But after several minutes passed, Chauvin, Kueng, and Lane could be seen pressing Floyd to the ground, Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“This is why you don’t do drugs, kids,” Thao told the crowd.
Much of the rest of the video showed Thao facing away from Floyd and his colleagues and towards the bystanders, who appeared to grow increasingly upset as Floyd stops talking and falls unconscious. Multiple bystanders could be seen and heard urging the officers to stop restraining Floyd.
“He is human, bro,” one man said.
“He’s talking, so he’s fine,” Thao responded.
The man also appeared to question Chauvin’s motives, shouting, “He’s enjoying that s—. He’s enjoying that s—. He a f—ing bum, bro.”
“Bro, get the f— off of him,” one woman yelled. “He’s about to pass out.”
“You’ve stopped his breathing right now. You think that’s cool?” the man said, before taking his phone out, apparently to start recording.
The crowd yelled that Floyd wasn’t moving and that officers should check his pulse
When the man stepped into the street, Thao could be seen moving forward quickly to push him back. From there, the group of bystanders began shouting even more angrily, yelling that Floyd looked “not responsive” and that he wasn’t moving.
A woman who identified herself as a firefighter appeared from behind Thao, asking him if the officers could check whether Floyd had a pulse.
Thao asked whether she was really a firefighter, then told her to “back off” and move off the street and onto the footpath.
“Check the pulse! Bro he has not moved, not one time, bro,” the man yelled, while onlookers continued to gather.
The footage showed Thao holding the crowd back and keeping them off the street until roughly 13 minutes and 17 seconds into the video, where Chauvin can be seen standing, and an ambulance can be seen preparing to drive away.
According to KARE 11, Thao’s lawyer argued in his motion that prosecutors haven’t shown probable cause that Thao “knew former officer Derek Chauvin and others were going to commit a crime and … intended his presence or actions to further the commission of that crime.”
- Read more:
- New bodycam footage of George Floyd’s arrest shows police pointing a gun at his face as he begs them not to shoot
- Derek Chauvin, the ex-officer charged in George Floyd’s death, faces several felony charges of tax evasion
- The city where George Floyd was killed has declared racism a public health emergency
- New police body camera footage details George Floyd’s last moments before his death
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