New bodycam video shows cop Tou Thao trying to control onlookers as George Floyd cried out for help
New video footage shows the moments leading up to George Floyd‘s death, this time from the perspective of Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao.
The clip released Thursday captures how the cop stood between his colleagues and onlookers, who are so disturbed by what they’re seeing that they begin recording it on their cell phones.
As Floyd cries out for help, telling officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng that he can’t breathe while they apply immense pressure to his body, Thao pushes people back.
‘You’re just gonna let him keep his hand on his neck like that? You’re a b**** bro. Thao you’re a b**** bro,’ one man tells him after the crowd has repeatedly tried to reason with the officers.
Thao appears to respond: ‘Yes.’
Video released Thursday shows the perspective of Tau Thao standing near onlookers recording the incident that led to the death of George Floyd
Thao’s lawyer argued last week that Thao ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers. He is charged with aiding and the abetting the murder of George Floyd (left)
He makes sure witnesses stay on the sidewalk while Floyd’s body is restricted behind the patrol vehicle on May 25 around 8.20pm.
Throughout the video witnesses yell at him not to touch them as he is seen reaching to push them away.
One woman asks if Floyd has a pulse but Thao yells at her to get out of the road and tells her she doesn’t know what she’s doing.
She states her experience, which is bleeped out, and responds: ‘I do know.’
Others make it very clear they are taking pictures of him specifically while he battles to keep them away.
It helps create a fuller picture of what happened outside Cup Foods after staff called authorities as they suspected Floyd was trying to use a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes.
It doesn’t document his exact viewing angle but helps to determine what he may have seen and heard.
On Friday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill ordered copies of bodycam footage from Keung and Lane to be released to the public and they were published on Monday.
The footage does not show exactly what Thao saw but indicates his perspective of the killing while standing up. Left he is seen controlling the crowd in a previously released clip
This angle shows how concerned passersby were, so much so that they stopped to record
Locals repeatedly tell Thao not to touch them as he tries to push them away from the cop car
Some of the witnesses are minors, including a 17-year-old girl who recorded the incident on her cell phone
This angle shows how concerned passersby were, so much so that they stopped to record. Some of the witnesses are minors, including a 17-year-old girl who recorded the incident on her cell phone.
Derek Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The other three officers involved are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Thao’s attorney is arguing to dismiss the charges, saying his client only handled crowd control.
According to a memo from last week, Thao had offered a hobble restraint to the other three officers, but they refused it.
A hobble restraint is sometimes used to by police to restrain suspects by their wrists and ankles. The device limits the person’s movement while keeping them in a seated position.
Thao then ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers for the majority of the remainder of the arrest, the memo said.
‘When Officer Thao turned his back to Mr Floyd and the three other officers for the last time, Mr Floyd was still alive and breathing,’ the memo said.
‘Officer Thao did nothing to aid in the commission of a crime.’
Thao never placed his hands on Floyd, according to the memo.
However evidence also shows the four ‘worked together to commit the crime,’ Keith Ellison, Attorney General for Minnesota, said.
Thao’s lawyer argued last week that Thao ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers
On Friday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill ordered copies of bodycam footage from Keung (center left) and Lane (center right) to be released to the public and they were published on Monday. Chauvin is pictured left and Thao pictured right
Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, Kueng and Lane held Floyd down and Thao prevented bystanders from intervening.
‘And then he fell silent. He stopped moving. He stopped breathing. And the officers could not find a pulse,’ according to a court document.
All four officers were fired and are scheduled for trial in March.
Ellison filed a memo arguing that evidence against the four is similar, and that a single trial would be more humane for those testifying.
Holding one trial also would allow the community and the nation to absorb the impact of the verdicts for the four officers at once, instead of piecemeal, Ellison argued.
A single trial also would spare witnesses and Floyd’s family members from having to ‘recount the harrowing details of Floyd’s death,’ Ellison argued.
The attorney general also cited the travel costs and lost wages of witnesses testifying at four separate trials, the risk of testifying in person during the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that several eyewitnesses are minors.
The next court hearing for the four is scheduled for September 11.
People visit a memorial at the site where George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pictured on June 3