The lawyer for one of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged over George Floyd‘s death has claimed his client ‘only handled crowd control’ and had offered cops a hobble restraint to use during the fatal arrest.
Defense attorney Robert Paule filed a memo on Wednesday supporting his earlier motion to dismiss charges against fired officer Tou Thao for lack of probable cause.
The memo said Thao had his back to what was going on as officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee to the neck of Floyd, a handcuffed black man.
Chauvin had pinned Floyd down with his leg for more than eight minutes on May 25 even after he repeatedly pleaded for air.
The defense attorney for former Minneapolis cop Tou Thao (pictured right during a court hearing last month) is seeking to dismiss the charges against his client due to ‘lack of probable cause’
Thao (right) was fired alongside three of his colleagues, Derek Chauvin (far left) J. Alexander Kueng (second from left) and Thomas Lane (second from right) after footage of Floyd’s fatal arrest went viral in May
Thao was seen in footage of the fatal confrontation with his back to Floyd as he was pinned to the ground by Chauvin. Thao’s attorney has claimed he only handled ‘crowd control’ of the incident
According to the memo, 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, and asked about the status of an ambulance, radioing police dispatch to hurry up the response.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin (left) pressed his knee against his neck for more than eight minutes
Thao claims he offered officers a hobble restraint (pictured in a stock image) for Floyd, but they refused
The lawyer also argues Chauvin was using a non-deadly, Minneapolis Police Department-approved neck restraint, and that Thao and the other three officers ‘had been repeatedly trained to use neck restraints.’
Viral footage of the deadly police confrontation showed Thao standing on the street as Floyd was pinned to the ground behind him, struggling to breathe.
Thao was seen facing a group of bystanders who were recording the incident as they urged officers to release Floyd.
The disturbing footage captured Floyd’s final moments, during which he gasped for air and complained to cops that he couldn’t breathe before eventually losing consciousness.
He was later taken away in an ambulance and was pronounced dead shortly after on May 25.
Thao was fired the next day along with fellow officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane following widespread backlash over the video.
He was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd’s death triggered a nationwide protests against police brutality and the senseless killings of black Americans
Source: Daily Mail AU