crime and punishment

Tou Thao released from jail on the Fourth of July

Tou Thao

Tou Thao

Tou Thao, 34, was released from the Hennepin County jail in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Untied States while Americans were commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the U.S. on July 4, 2020. He posted a $750,000 bond and agreed to appear in court at 9 a.m. on September 11, 2020.

Representing Thao is criminal defense attorney Robert Matthew Paule. The lawyer represented Ryan Kelly, one of the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal arrest of Thurman Blevins on June 23, 2018.

 

Thao was one of the four former Minneapolis Police Department officers involved in the fatal arrest of African-American security guard George Floyd on May 25, 2020, which happened to be Memorial Day. The other three were Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, Thomas Kiernan Lane, 37, and J Alexander Kueng, 26.

Detained in the Minnesota Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, Chauvin was originally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter only. A new charge of second-degree murder was eventually added.

On the other hand, Lane, Thao and Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony and with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence. Lane and Kueng were released on June 10, 2020 and on June 19, 2020, respectively.

Lane, Thao and Kueng were offered either a $1 million bond with no conditions or $750,000 bond with condition. They all chose the latter.

Born on January 2, 1986, Thao is of Hmong descent. After graduating from Fridley High School in Fridley, Minnesota in 2004, he attended North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota to earn an associate degree in law enforcement but he never graduated.

The Minneapolis Police Department hired Thao as a community service officer on February 4, 2008. Because of budget cuts, he was laid off in 2009 but in 2012, the department hired him back and gave him a full-time position.

Prior to Floyd’s death, at least six complaints were filed against Thao in his career with the Minneapolis Police Department. However, no disciplinary action was ever taken.

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