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Officer who held back crowd during George Floyd’s murder sentenced to over 4 years in prison

August 7, 2023

Tou Thao, the former Minneapolis police officer who held back a crowd of bystanders during George Floyd’s fatal arrest in May 2020, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison Monday for aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Thao gave a short comment on his role in Floyd’s death in a statement prior to his sentencing in a Minnesota courthouse.

“Obviously, on that day, we didn’t intend on – I didn’t intend on doing any malice or anything like that, or try to hurt anyone. That was never my intent. I did the best I thought I could,” he said. “Obviously the outcome didn’t come out the way I wanted it, so I’ll leave it at that.”

He then spoke for about 20 minutes about how he rediscovered Christianity after Floyd’s death and delivered a religious sermon to the court.

Read more of Brad Parks and Eric Levenson's reporting on Thao's sentencing for CNN.

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