Lorenzo Reyes – USA TODAY
Updated June 3, 2020
All four police officers in the killing of George Floyd will face charges, Minnesota’s attorney general announced Wednesday, and court papers described more troubling details about how officers did nothing to stop Floyd from dying on the ground.
Attorney General Keith Ellison said at a news conference that evidence “supports a stronger charge” for Derek Chauvin. He had been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter May 29 and taken into custody the same day.
Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung and Tou Thao were the other officers on the scene. Thao was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the commission of a felony; the other officers face similar charges of aiding and abetting.
The bail for all four officers was set at $1 million.
“Trying this case will not be an easy thing,” Ellison said. “Winning a conviction will be hard.”
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension superintendent Drew Evans said one of the three other officers is in custody and the other two were expected to be taken into custody by the end of the day.
Thao, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, stood by as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Court papers describe Thao as being more concerned about controlling the nearby crowd than Floyd’s welfare.
Thao “became concerned about a number of citizens who had gathered and were watching the officers subdue Mr. Floyd, and potential traffic concerns, and so the defendant stood between those citizens and the three officers restraining Mr. Floyd,” the charging papers said.
The officer had moments earlier “looked directly at how Chauvin was restraining Mr. Floyd, with Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck area,” according to the court records. “When one citizen stepped off the curb, imploring Chauvin to get off Mr. Floyd, (Thao) put his hands on the citizen to keep him back.”