Former officer Tou Thao’s body camera video, which was made available to the public on Thursday, showed Thao was holding back nearly a dozen spectators. Some were using their cell phones to record the moment former officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, resulting in his death.
In the video, Thao became more and more aggressive with the increasing number of spectators begging the officers to leave Floyd’s neck and check his pulse. At one point, Thao ordered passers-by to step onto the sidewalk and told them that this is what could happen if they took drugs.
Floyd, suspected of having spent a fake $ 20 bill at a convenience store, was lying face down and restrained by two other agents in addition to Chauvin: Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. A young male spectator is seen in the video walking down the sidewalk into the street, prompting Thao to push him into the chest with one hand.
Later, a woman who identified in the video as an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter arrived without a uniform and asked officers if they had checked Floyd’s pulse.
Prosecutors later confirmed the woman’s employment as a Minneapolis firefighter and argued in court documents that officers rejected her aid and relegated her to the sidewalk. Kueng finally took Floyd’s pulse and told his colleagues he couldn’t detect one, according to the Star-Tribune.
Thao’s lawyer Robert Paule has filed Thao’s body camera video with the court to support a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him, the Star-Tribune reported.
Paule argued in court documents that Thao’s video proved that he was focused on crowd control and that he never physically got hold of Floyd or had a full view of what was happening as the other three policemen held Floyd back on the ground.
Thao also contacted emergency medical personnel and asked them to step up their emergency from a code 2 to a code 3, which activated their lights and sirens, Paule wrote in a note filed last week, according to the Star. -Tribune.
“The last time Agent Thao turned to see what was going on, Mr. Floyd was alive and breathing,” Paule wrote. “Constable Thao spent the time during Mr. Floyd’s arrest focusing on keeping civilian passers-by off the scene to allow the other three officers to make the lawful arrest. “
Floyd’s death on May 25 sparked a national outcry and massive protests in the United States and around the world against racial injustice and police brutality. Floyd repeatedly told officers he couldn’t breathe and called his mother before passing out. He was pronounced dead in a hospital that evening.
The four police officers were fired and are due to stand trial in March 2021. Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Thao are accused of aiding and abetting both second degree murder and manslaughter.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Thursday asked the judge to jointly try the four former officers. Defense lawyers have until September 8 to respond. The next court hearing for the four is scheduled for September 11.