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Former officer Tou Thao files motion to dismiss charges in Floyd death

The documents, filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court, ask Judge Peter Cahill to drop the charges on grounds they are "not supported by probable cause."
Credit: Hennepin Co. Jail
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao has filed a motion asking for charges of aiding and abetting manslaughter in the death of George Floyd to be dismissed. 

The documents, filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court, ask Judge Peter Cahill to drop the charges on grounds they are "not supported by probable cause." The motion, filed by Thao's defense attorney Robert Paule, maintains that the State has the burden of showing – by probable cause – that Thao "knew former officer Derek Chauvin and others were going to commit a crime and ... intended his presence or actions to further the commission of that crime."

Paule says Thao requests the following relief from the court: 

  • An order dismissing Counts I and II on the ground that the Complaint fails to establish by probable cause that Mr. Thao had the requisite mental state for Aiding and Abetting under Minn. Stat. § 609.05 subd. 1.
  • An order dismissing Counts I and II on the ground that the Complaint fails to establish by probable cause what actions of Tou Thao furthered the commission of the underlying crime for Aiding and Abetting under Minn. Stat. § 609.05 subd. 1.
  • An order dismissing Counts I and II on the ground that the Complaint fails to establish probable cause in light of the authorization set forth in Minn. Stat. § 609.06 subd. 1.

Thao and fellow officers Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are all charged with one count of aiding and abetting murder, and one count of aiding and abetting manslaughter, for failing to leave their positions on the scene or act as Floyd struggled to breathe. His neck was under the knee of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is now charged with second-degree unintentional murder. 

Lane's defense attorney Earl Grey previously filed a motion to dismiss the charges against his client, citing lack of probable cause "based on the entire record." Gray filed several exhibits as evidence, including body camera footage and a transcript of Lane's interview with investigators.